Material for a Jig Jig

Yes, I meant to type “jig” twice. I want to make a jig jig. I’ve been thinking about the problem of repeatability with using reusable, removable jigs to align materials to my wasteboard. I can get close using calipers (which is tedious), I get get in the ballpark by aligning the edge of my jig to the wasteboard printed grid lines (which is inaccurate), I get get perfect results by re-milling the pocket that holds my work piece each time (which is wasteful). Instead of any of these options, I’ve decided to make a jig jig- a jig for my jig. Off to the left? Way off in No-Man’s-Land on your wasteboard? There’s a good couple inches where your router can’t go. A couple inches that conveniently has a couple threaded inserts by default. I want to make a permanent jig fixture that takes up an inch or two on that left side with a profile for accurately aligning removable jigs to the working area of my wasteboard. See the image below for what I mean:

On the left would be the permanently installed jig jig, off where it wouldn’t interfere with your milling. The one on the right would be a generic example of a jig used for who knows what, with a pocket, clamps, electrical probes, whatever you’d need for that type of work piece.

  • You’d know your workpiece is aligned with the machine’s X and Y axis
  • You wouldn’t have to machine a new pocket each time
  • You wouldn’t have to spend 5 minutes measuring with a caliper each time
  • You could quickly swap between jigs

So, finally, my question is this: What material? I was thinking a hardwood would be a good choice, but I’d want something that wouldn’t swell with moisture. Thoughts?

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HDPE (high density polyethylene).

0.25" x 12" x 12" for $7.41. Good deal?

Edit: I thought so, I ordered a few sheets. Thanks for the heads up, @WillAdams, that looks like a great material for this application. I’ll post a project when it’s done. I’m also thinking of incorporating some strong binder clips to hold the jig faces flush while bolting the removable piece down.

Double Edit: Probably don’t buy that HDPE. I should have read the reviews- it seems many customers get warped sheets. We’ll see, mine arrive tomorrow.