Every year at the beginning of the school year, I look back at last year's canoe building class. I try to find those things that slowed down the progress of the class or were difficult for students to do. I then sit down and design jigs and fixtures to improve things.
The first year I taught, I made some thin patterns out of Masonite, featherboards for ripping strips and a router table for molding strips.
The next year, we added thicker patterns and a pattern bit so that we could make exact copies of patterns very quickly. We also added a Freud thin-kerf blade (.093" thick blade) for ripping strips and new patterns for another canoe design.
The third year, we added a "type setting" board that aids in the assembly of feature strips.
This year, we'll add a gang-sawing assembly so that two strips can be cut at the same time. I'm also working on in-feed and out-feed tables for the strip ripping operation. A third canoe design is being added to the livery as well. Before the end of the year, I hope to have an improved design of my router table.
When you do the same thing again and again, jigs and fixtures don't just make your job easier, they also make it safer and more accurate.