Jigsaw Straight Cutting - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-28-2008, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Jigsaw Straight Cutting

Any jigs i can use to ensure straight cuts with my jigsaw? (cutting 4 by 8 plywood), is there a nice saw fence guide to use? and how do i make sure its positioned properly? its so frustrating :(, and i just cant get the blade right above the line, and when i use this 8 foot piece of wood (it shoud be straight cause i bought it that way) but the jigsaw keeps on drifting away and it ruins the whole project! :(:(
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-28-2008, 12:35 PM
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a jig saw is not really the right tool to rip plywood with. the only way to get a good straight cut is a table saw or a circ saw on a straight edge
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-29-2008, 03:07 PM
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Mike, as Chris says, a jig saw is not the tool to grab when you want a nice clean, straight cut. It is the tool to grab when you want a curved cut or to rough cut from a hole or other things. Use a table saw or such. BUT, it sounds like your problem is that the saw is not tracking well. Some jig saws do have blade guides, that help, but these are fancier saws. It is not uncommon for jig saws to want to "pull" to one side or another. Even when using a straight edge they wander. If you choose a slower blade, and don't cut too deeply, and feed VERY slowly, you might get a better cut, but it again, is not a saw to cut nice clean straight edges.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-29-2008, 03:48 PM
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I'll also agree that a circular saw or TS would work best, but there's another option:

Check out the Swanson 100" Cutting Guide as a very inexpensive $20 solution. I have one and it has worked very well with my circular saw, I'd imagine a jig saw would also perform acceptably well. Just line 'er up, clamp 'er down, and go to town.

Go here to see it:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...100&lpage=none


If I was going to use a jigsaw for a long rip-cut, I'd use a stout blade to minimize flex and go slowly... let the saw do the work. (and I'd probably stop and take a few breaks during the cut in order to let the motor and blade cool down)



Last edited by Buffalo Bilious; 01-29-2008 at 04:08 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-29-2008, 08:58 PM
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I use jigs all the time. You should really should use a skill saw, but if you still want to use a jig saw, use a guide on both sides of saw and don't try to saw to fast let the saw set you speed. Hope this helps.
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Originally Posted by Mikeldigra View Post
Any jigs i can use to ensure straight cuts with my jigsaw? (cutting 4 by 8 plywood), is there a nice saw fence guide to use? and how do i make sure its positioned properly? its so frustrating :(, and i just cant get the blade right above the line, and when i use this 8 foot piece of wood (it shoud be straight cause i bought it that way) but the jigsaw keeps on drifting away and it ruins the whole project! :(:(
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-30-2008, 01:17 AM
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After having a very low priced Craftsman that wouldn't die, I heaved it and bought a top of the line Bosch. I can almost cut a straight line freehand with this saw. My point is, a $20 saw is a $20 saw and a $200 saw is 10 times better. Just my opinion.

Tom
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-30-2008, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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ohh i see, thanks guys so which would be a better solution? a table saw or a circular saw? what should i use for cutting smaller panels of plywood (lets say around 1'X2'), and where can i learn how to use these two tools REALLY SUPER SAFELY (i heard kickbacks are very dangerous and scary)?
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-30-2008, 07:45 AM
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mikeldigra heres some safety rules we use here in england (which are very strict here) regarding different tools.
if you have the room and if you will be using for other stuff then the table saw would be great but would need to be a larger tabled one for 8 x 4 boards, if its just for the ply and if you will be cutting on site then it would be the circular saw.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-12-2008, 04:54 PM
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Mikel

As others have stated, a jig saw was designed for cutting curves and is generally unstable by nature.
A circular saw was designed for construction work where real accuracy is not important.
If you want to cut a straight line safely you will need a table saw. I think anything else will prove to be dangerous, unstable and not truly straight.
What are you trying to make? This will help in deciding what tool is the best.

Tony B
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-12-2008, 09:42 PM
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No problem jig saw will do fine as thats all you have clamp 2 2x's on the plywood leaving room between for your jig saw. I admire you for making do with what you have.
I didn't read all the replys so I hope I didn't make a second.
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 12:23 AM
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I use a square to make square toe kicks in plywood. 3-4 inches at most. No Problems.
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD View Post
After having a very low priced Craftsman that wouldn't die, I heaved it and bought a top of the line Bosch. I can almost cut a straight line freehand with this saw. My point is, a $20 saw is a $20 saw and a $200 saw is 10 times better. Just my opinion.

Tom

Do like you always do,,,, get what you always get!!
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 08:09 AM
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I have not used my jigsaw to make straight cuts but I love this straight edge:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=96878

Build something like you mean it.
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 03:21 PM
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Every now and then HF does something right. Outstanding idea.
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-14-2008, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecologito View Post
I have not used my jigsaw to make straight cuts but I love this straight edge:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=96878
Is that the same one as this???? http://www.amazon.com/Clamp-50-Inch-...f=pd_ys_shvl_2
The only difference I ssee is "A50" and "C50". Otherwise they appear to be one and the same.

Do like you always do,,,, get what you always get!!
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-14-2008, 08:20 PM
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It seems to be the same brand and product. My guess is yes, it 's the same thing.

Build something like you mean it.
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-16-2008, 02:03 PM
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I`ve cut plenty of sheet goods with a Bosch Jig saw. There`s really no trick to it...simply scribe an 1/8th wide double line for the blade to travel through with a Stanley blade. Then clean up with a block plane. This method leaves no chips!! Rick

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
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