Novice woodworker with a problem jigsaw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Novice woodworker with a problem jigsaw

Hey everyone. I am a novice woodworker and I recently purchased a craftsman jigsaw that got great reviews. I am using it to cut 3/4" mdf as I am trying to make radiator covers. I marked out my first cut, clamped a straightedge to the mdf so I could make a straight cut and began to cut using a woodcutting blade and a high speed setting. About six inches into the cut the blade started bending to the left and my cut went very crooked. I've since tried every possible combo of speed and blade action settings on test pieces and can't get it to cut a straight or perpendicular line. I've used jigsaws before and never had this problem. Could it be a cheap blade, bad jigsaw, cutting problems with mdf, or just my stupidity? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 03:57 PM
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MDF is hard to cut anyway.

If the blade and base are not perfect the fence
board will just make it worse.

You really need a power hand saw and a good blade
to get good straight cuts on the stuff.

A table saw and a helper are the best way to go.

If they always go to the same side, I am sure it
is a blade alignment problem, but I don't know
how to correct it.

If all else fails, you could do it with a hand saw.
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 04:00 PM
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I don't have any experience with the Craftsman jigsaw you mentioned, which ever one you have, since your not real specific on the model. I have a Bosch 1591EVSK jigsaw. You may want to try some Bosch blades, from what I understand, they are the best. I guess I don't understand what cuts your atempting to make, you don't describe that well either. Are you trying to cut everything with the jigsaw ? or just openings in the panels for screen type material ?

Last edited by user4178; 11-21-2008 at 04:10 PM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. As I said I am a newbie so I don't have much in the way of tools (a table saw hopefully is in my near future), but I'm working on it. I'm going to try borrowing my father-in-laws circular saw, I figure that will get me a straighter cut. Also, thanks for the advice on the Bosch blades. I think I will go buy some as I'm gonna need blades anyway. Now that I have some scrap mdf (lol) I can see if they give me a better cut than the ones that came with the saw.
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 04:38 PM
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They make longer blades for the jigsaw that are normally a little wider, like 3/4" versus 1/4" of a normal blade. It might work but as was suggested, a circular saw or table saw works best. I'm sure you aren't the problem. MDF is from the devil.
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks bradnailer, that's good to know. I was a little concerned and was starting to think "if I can't even cut a straight line, maybe woodworking isn't the hobby for me."....lol
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 05:26 PM
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Don't sweat it. Jig saws and MDF just don't coexist well.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 06:02 PM
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Gotcha, project, few tools...

If I read what you are doing correctly, you are trying to crosscut / rip 3/4" MDF. Honestly a jig saw is not the right tool for the job. At the least, a circular saw, with a fine tooth blade, and a good dust mask are called for. Make sure that you cut this in a well ventilated area as MDF produces a LOT of dust, kind of like cutting Hardi Plank...

IF you are going to be in the market for a table saw, read the posts here on teh subject, there are a lot of good saws out there, and there is some real junk on the market too. And you might be suprised by which ones are the good ones!

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 06:08 PM
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Cut your losses and get the circular saw.

Clamp two boards and put the saw in the middle. Heck even I can gut a straight line with that setup. :)
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 06:37 PM
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Another problem with them new fangled jig saws is the bayonette type blade mounting. They don't hold the blade as securely as the old timey ones that had a set screw.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradnailer View Post
Another problem with them new fangled jig saws is the bayonette type blade mounting. They don't hold the blade as securely as the old timey ones that had a set screw.
Before I bought the Bosch I had a old Craftsman with the locking knob scroll feature, every once in awhile I would have to retighten the set screw for the blade. I haven't tried the Bosch yet, it uses the bayonet style blades, I hope your wrong Brad. The Bosch gets such great reviews.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 07:36 PM
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Chuck: I have been using my Bosch for 20 yrs. It has the hollow shank with setscrew inside, comes with loooong skinny screwdriver, I havent had a blade come loose yet becasue of the setscrew. If it gets loose the problem was the guy on the end of the screwdriver
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-22-2008, 12:09 AM
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Well Sky, I like to believe it's the Craftsman that was at fault. Ok wait a minute, the Craftsman tool.

Last edited by user4178; 11-22-2008 at 01:09 PM.
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-22-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Tennessee View Post
Clamp two boards and put the saw in the middle. Heck even I can gut a straight line with that setup. :)
With a jigsaw? I think that a jigsaw is too light a tool to ever cut 3/4" anything in a straight line.

George
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-22-2008, 11:50 AM
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Jig saws for long straight cuts
Jig saws for curves and corners
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-22-2008, 12:26 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I see a table saw in your near future! Red

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post #17 of 20 Old 12-04-2008, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, just thought I'd update you. I borrowed my father-in-law's circular saw and with a straight edge I'm able to get perfect straight cuts.
Also, woodchuck1957, thanks for the advice on the blades. I went out and bought some Bosch blades and my jigsaw now does cut perfect straight lines, even in the 3/4" mdf I was using. What a difference in the cut. I guess the blades that come with Craftsman jigsaws are really cheap pieces of you know what. Anyway, the project is going well, still have some work to do, but thanks all of you for your advice.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-05-2008, 07:56 AM
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OOOps. Did not mean to hit that key.

G
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-29-2008, 09:01 PM
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Saw in your post were in the market for a table saw

jpeccerillo - I saw in your post that you were in the market for a table saw. Stay away from the Sears Table Saw. I bought it, hated it and returned it after using it for six months (and they took it back!).

Basically the $200 dollar saw is a $100 with a $100 worth of not very useful features.

Do yourself a favor, save up your money, watch craigslist and get a better quality saw then that. While i was saving and watching CL I found a few saws that looked good. I posted the link here and got peoples reactions.

In the end I never found the right saw and ended up buying a floor model at a Rockler store for about 10% off.

Good Luck,
Rich
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-30-2008, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Lobos,
Thanks for the info. My in-laws are actually getting me a table saw. My wife's grandfather passed earlier this year and he was a master craftsman. They were going to bring me back his old table saw from Chicago. I have no idea what brand or model it is but for free I can't complain. Besides, his tools were always immaculate and he did great work for decades with them so whatever it is I'm sure it's just fine for me. However, I'll keep your reply in mind if I ever do need to buy another one.
Thanks,
Joe
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