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Jig (tool): Wikis


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A jig is any of a large class of tools in woodworking, metalworking, and some other crafts that help to control the location or motion (or both) of a tool. Some types of jigs are also called templates or guides. The primary purpose for a jig is for repeatability and exact duplication of a part for reproduction. An example of a jig is when a key is duplicated, the original is used as a jig so the new key can have the same path as the old one. Since the advent of automation and CNC machines, jigs are often not required because the tool path is digitally programmed and stored in memory. Jigs may be made for reforming plastics.

Jigs or templates have been known long before the industrial age. There are many types of jigs, and each one is custom-tailored to do a specific job. Many jigs are created because there is a necessity to do so by the tradesmen. Some are to increase productivity, to do repetitious activities and to do a job more precisely. Because jig design is fundamentally based on logic, similar jigs used in different times and places may have been created independently.

Jigs include machining jigs, woodworking jigs (e.g. tapering jig), welders' jigs, jewelers' jigs, and many others.

A jigsaw is called so because it is used to cut arbitrary curves used in jigs.


Difference between a jig and a fixture

The terms "jig" and "fixture" are often confused. A jig locates on the work and guides a tool. A fixture holds the work in a fixed location. A device that does both functions (holding the work and guiding a tool) is called a jig. A device that only holds work and does not guide a tool is properly called a fixture, not a jig. The CNC era has reduced the need for jigs, whereas fixtures are still commonly used.

Drill jig

A drill jig is a type of jig that expedites repetitive hole center location on multiple interchangeable parts by acting as a template to guide the twist drill or other boring device into the precise location of each intended hole center. In metalworking practice, typically a hardened bushing lines each hole on the jig to keep the twist drill from cutting the jig.

Drill jigs started falling into disuse with the invention of the jig borer.

Since the widespread penetration of the manufacturing industry by CNC machine tools, in which the servocontrols are capable of moving the tool to the correct location automatically, the need for drill jigs (and for the jobs of the drill press operators who used them) is much less than it previously was.

PCB jig

Printed circuit board (PCB) jigs are used to test PCBs. They have a dump board inside the jig which can find fault in the PCBs.

See also

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