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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I hope that someone can help me with this. I bought a Makita 4304T jig saw a few years back to replace my old Craftsman scrolling jig saw that had finally given up the ghost after some 20 years of faithful service. I've always relied on Makita for good quality and performance, but man this thing sucks! It has lots of power -variable speed- and makes nice straight cuts, but when I try to cut curves it always goes off square towards the outside of the curve. It doesn't matter how thick or dense the wood is. Cutting holes is really frustrating. I end up having to leave lots of extra material and use my spindle sander to clean it up. I can get a more square cut with my hand held recip saw!

This saw wasn't cheap and I've even sent it back to Makita to have it looked at and they say they can't find anything wrong with it. The instructions that came with it weren't very comprehensive. The base plate is definately square. There is a small, vertical lever on the side which moves the blade roller in and out. I've tried putting the lever in various positions, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I really like my other Makita tools but I hate using this saw.

I'm hoping that there's some adjustment or setting that I'm just not aware of and that the problem is with the operator. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Gord
 

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having ther roller hard against the blade is for straight cuts with it back away it lets the blade move more. On my bosh jig saw the blade has a small orbital move met when in this mode that helps it cut curves better. Are you using a nice blade, I assume so if you have been woodworking for over 20 years, That may be the problem.
 

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I have a Bosch VS barrel grip jig saw that's excellent BUT it will stray off the perpendicular on any cut involving a turn. That's partly because of the saw's stroke length, the orbit of the stroke itself as was already mentioned, the thickness of the material being and the blade's overall length. I've bought some really top quality short and shallow shanked scrolling blades and they reduce the tendency but they don't eliminate it completely. So, I also have the older and more expensive Porter Cable bayonet saw which is superb for making true perpendicular cuts. No angle adjustment on the foot by design but it cuts very true to the perpendicular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments and advice guys. It's interesting to hear I'm not the only one having this type of problem. I'll try experimenting with some different blades and see what style works best.
 

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This thread made me wanna go check my [underused] Bosch....
:glare: meh. Sometimes square sometimes not so square. Oh well, it IS only a jigsaw. Guess that's why I have a bandsaw and an OSS.:thumbsup:
 

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Festool to the rescue!!! (possibly)

Woodmantra, I just learned something new today about jigsaws while reading through a tool catalog. Festool makes two models - a barrel grip and a "D"-handle grip - that hold and support the blade on 3 sides. They claim it eliminates the wander and sway even in tight radius cuts. However, on the down side, each model is $280.

Here are the links:

http://www.festoolusa.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=3&prodid=561097

http://www.festoolusa.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=3&prodid=561123
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks EG. I've been looking at the Festool line and noticed that claim about their jig saws. Looks interesting. I've decided to get a TS 55 Plunge circular saw. I ordered it yesterday from CB Tools in San Jose and my buddy's bringing it up to Canada with him at Xmas. No Festool dealers hear yet. Depending on how I like the circular saw, I may look at getting a jig saw. I really like how Festool incorporates dust collection into their tools.
 
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