Hello Woodworkers jigsaw versa: band saw:


I have some curved forward deck stringers to cut about 5'6" L 3"W 3/4" T plywood can I use an jigsaw or would it be too hard on it? I really can't afford an band saw at present and can see no other way of doing the job. Please advise.
Respectfully
Ron
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would probably depend a lot on the jigsaw and how many you're cutting. You may burn out a $25 Harbour Freight special, or it may be child's play for a $150 Bosch. But it may depend on whether you're doing 1 or 25...
In any case, I'd give it a whirl. If you feel the saw getting hot as you're cutting, give it a break. For a lower end tool, you may want to do at least as much resting as cutting (if you cut for 15 minutes, let it rest for at least 15). And if you smell smoke, stop and check out what's smoking. Also, use sharp blades, and be prepared to replace them as required (i.e. have a few extras). Oh, and if you're going to buy a new jigsaw to do this, do it someplace with a liberal exchange/replacement policy, like Home Depot. That way, if you burn it out, take it back and get a new one. It shouldn't happen with "normal" usage when cutting 3/4" plywood, IMHO.
BTW, as alternative, you could do things the "old fashioned" way, with a hand-saw. Can't see that being fun, though. You could also use the jigsaw to cut a template, and then use a router to cut the others. But typically you'd cut them to roughly the right size/shape first before trying to trim them with the router, so I don't think that would work well. And I think the plywood glues are pretty hard on the router bits, so you may go through a few of them. Or if one of your neighbors has a bandsaw, it would probably be pretty quick work to cut them out. If one of my neighbors asked me to do that, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I think I'm the only one on my block with one, but I keep it under cover. :) Or if you have a local custom wood-working shop, you may be able to pay them a reasonable amount to cut them out.
Clint

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ron,
How 'radical' is the curve? Most stringers tend to be straight, with their ends 'mitered to match the curve of the sheer at contact.
Either way, the bow area is typically a 'sweeping curve' as opposed to a 'spear point'. Without seeing your particular boat, my first suggestion would be to make the stringers 'overlength' and STRAIGHT. Then 'kerf' the forward part {where the curvature is}so that the stringer can be 'fitted' and cut to length 'in situ'.
Afterwards, fill the kerfs with thickened glue or epoxy - if it will add to your confidence in the technique.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Cutting 3/4" plywood is not at all hard on a jigsaw. It would do the job just fine. About the greatest difference in performance you will see with power tools is the difference between cheap and high quality jigsaws. Buy a $40.00 Black and Decker, cut one ore two of those planks and you will feel like you have worked hard. Get a Hitachi, Bosch, Milwaukee, ect and it will be a pleasure to use. Jigsaws tend to splinter plywood unless you have the right blade so you may need to experiment a little there.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Should not be a problem for a decent jigsaw and maybe even anything but the supermarket bottom of the line stuff. Whatever you use get the Bosch blades as they are great and they have a wide variety.
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sal wrote:

I agree with what others say about high-end vs low-end saws. Cheap ones are kind of bitchy to use, but you can get by with them. One thing I would avoid, though, is those B&D jigsaws with the plastic wheel gizmo for locking the footplate. IME and by all accounts, they suck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A decent jig saw would handle that very easily. If money is a issue, go rent a Bosch for a few bucks for a half day.
sal wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi again Ron here: I did what you guys suggested went out and bought an medium priced j/saw $80.00 heavy with laser guide light and new type blades it cuts like an dream as compared to my cheapo B/D thanks for the info.
Ron

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.