Jigs and Mods for MiniMax CU300 up ↑

Quite a few years ago, in a fit of ill-informed enthusiasm, I purchased a Minimax CU300 Classic combination woodworking machine. They no longer make that model, but are still offering something similar but improved, the cu 300c. This machine has three motors, and combines five functions: (1) sliding table saw; (2) thickness planer; (3) jointer/planer; (4) shaper; (5) slot mortiser.

If I had been wiser, I could probably have spent the money more effectively on a set of other tools. The first three functions have proven very useful, especially the sliding table. However, I have only used the shaper once, and never used the mortiser.

The sliding table is the main strength of this machine. It is a great safety feature, that helps keep hands away from the blade. It is also more precise than a fence in conveying a work piece parallel to the blade. I really miss it when I have to revert to the fence, as I do for pieces longer then 5 feet. (There is an optional 8-foot slider, but it would not fit in my garage.)

The slider has clamps and a cross-cut guide that can be adjusted for angle cuts, but to get full use from the slider one sometimes needs to make a jig.

The jig I use most frequently is my version of "Fritz and Franz". See https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?257046-Fritz-and-Franz-jig/page2 for a fancy version, with scales and stoip. Mine is simpler but still very useful for cross-cutting pieces too small to hold in place on the slider using the large clamps provided with the saw.

Another operation for which a jig is needed is working with narrow strips. I managed to work up a jig that has been useful in some of these cases, shown below. Using this, I have managed to cut L-shaped and tongue-and-groove profiles on the saw, so long as the pieces are short enough to fit on the slider. The main limitation is the loss of 3/4 inch of cutting capacity. A plus is that the edge of the jig clearly defines the saw cut. So, for example, one can cut tapered pieces by measuring a different distance from the edge at the leading and trailing points fo the piece you are cutting.


The main reasons I have not used the shaper are:

The main reasons for not using the mortiser are: