I usually start woodworking projects by building a very small version of the project first. It helps me work out the kinks without
wasting spending a lot of material. Normally it works quite well, but certain cuts on a table saw with a dado blade can be dangerous when you're using a 2" cube piece of wood. Even without a dado blade, it can be sketchy when your fingers are anywhere near the blade. This post is about the solution I devised to work with small stock on a table saw.
It begins, as most woodworking solutions do, with a jig. This jig sits securely against my miter gauge and holds the stock from behind and on top, and because it's pressed against the fence, it's also secured against its side. As a result, the stock is very unlikely to move anywhere other than forward against the blade, and my fingers are far away. Here's how it works:
1 The jig secures the stock (in this case a 2" cube, the red wood below):
2 The jig is stabilized against the miter gauge and the fence.
3 After running the stock over the dado blade and rotating it, you can remove a strip of wood from its exterior. I sort of like this shape, like a pawn in chess.
4 Repeat on the opposite end, and then rotate the piece.
5 Other woods look great too, and by adjusting the fence you can change the shapes.
6 Here's a bunch of different ones, using different heights on the dado blade and different positions for the fence.
Now I can cut small stock on the table saw without worrying about losing my fingers!