Re: how to do a straight cut using a jigsaw?

I've found that it's very hard to do that. The jigsaw just wasn't meant for that. However, I'll bet you can find room in your budget for a circular saw. Even with a jig, you will find that the cut may start out KIND OF straight, but as the blade heats up it will start wandering. If not a cheap circular saw, then get a hand-held-people-powered say. It will give you better results.

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

Making a straight cut with a jigsaw (or bandsaw for that matter) is not the easiest thing. You need a sharp blade and lots of patience. Allow the blade to do the cutting with very little forward pressure. Keep the plate flat against the wood. For me it's a toss up whether a handsaw is better for a straight cut. Possibly you can buy a circular saw?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sat, Jul 19, 2003, 10:54pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@satx.rr.com (StevenBliss) says: I've found that it's very hard to do that. The jigsaw just wasn't meant for that. However, I'll bet you can find room in your budget for a circular saw. Even with a jig, you will find that the cut may start out KIND OF straight, but as the blade heats up it will start wandering. If not a cheap circular saw, then get a hand-held-people-powered say. It will give you better results.
Make that a circular saw and a straight edge. I don't consider a sabre saw a precision tool, even with a straight edge. But, with no experience with a handsaw, you probably won't get satisfactory results without some practice first. Get a deent after-market blade for the circular saw. I have a B&D I got in 1982-3, and still works great.
JOAT Let's just take it for granted you don't know what the Hell you're talking about.
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 16 Jul 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/JOATorJackOfAll/page4.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If yer gonna do this on a regular basis, the first thing I would do is make yourself a T-square...or go out and buy one. Just use some 3/4 stock...1x2 or 1x3...and screw the cross pieces together. You might want to make a couple...or a few...2 ft. long, 4 ft. long, etc.
Also, on the short piece, you can cut in a small notch that will accommodate the saw blade. The notch should be at the width of the saw's guide (hope I'm making sense! lol)
When you want to make a cut, simply line up that notch with the mark for the cut. The left side of the T-square will then be in the exact spot you needed for the cut...and will be your guide for the cut. Also, that little bit of platform will help you get a good start with the cut.
Put a clamp on the far end to hold things in place.
P.S. A fresh piece of plywood is usually a good template to make an accurate T-square. Most times, the corners are square from the factory.
Hope I made sense. Its late...and I'm outa coffee!
Good luck.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Merrill wrote:

I'm going to agree with your disagreement. :)
I've made straight cuts with a Cheapass single speed jigsaw and a stout 48" straightedge clamped with quick-grips or whatever those things are called.
Just takes patience, and planning. Choose the right blade for the job, and don't use a bent blade. Cut with the good wood under the straight edge so that if you stray, you dig into waste instead of workpiece. This also assumes your saw has a foot you can run along the straight edge. Every jigsaw I've seen has had one, but maybe some don't.
I don't know that I would want to do this if I were trying to rip a board into two useful pieces, but it's definitely possible to make reasonably straight cuts with a jigsaw.
Clean up with a plane. Better than trying to cut by hand IMHO, but maybe that's just because I'm really lazy. People built all kinds of really excellent stuff centuries before anyone invented the electric motor and all the gizmos it imparts motion to.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The best way to do it is clamp a straight edge on your stock to be cut. The distance from the line to be cut, to the straight edge, should be the same as the distance from the edge of the sawfoot to the blade( usualy 1"-1.5"). They also make blades that are desgned for straight cuts. These blades are deeper front to back ( 3/4" -1"or more)than the standard blades (1/8" - 1/4"). The deeper the blade the straighter the cut. I hope this helps .
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Heh, that's what I was going to say. :)

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

I started with a new Jigsaw (Bosch PST 850) about a year back, and I had the same problems, so I recently added a circular saw (Freud 7 1/4"). I have to say they make a great team.
I'd also add that towards the end of the time gap between buying the jig and the circular, someone posted a link in here - http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
I've made one for each saw and I plan to remake them shortly due to the increased ease and accuracy they have shown me since, but when I made them I was a serious newbie, and would make them in a slightly different way, which better suits my needs (now I know what those needs are!) way next time.
I'd suggest you try this, but don't go to a great deal of expense making them out of something exotic the first time (if at all), as you may find you want to remake them to suit you like I did, and it'd cost a fortune after a little while. It's surprising how quick having one or more of these gives you a better idea of how you work and how you might want to work.
Most useful thing I made at first! I got a MAC mitreboard (Planche Board Inc.) at about the same time, and I have to say it's a hard call as to which I'll use first sometimes, if the required functionality for the cut is possible with both!
When I cut the jig one, I used a fine blade to get the best possible finish - BZZT mistake - they flex a load more than heftier blades and gave me a line I could not use in reality due to wanderage, but happily it wandered too wide (away from the guide rail), rather than too narrow, so I got a second bite of that cherry, with a stiffer blade that time, and it's bang on nailed this time!! ;O)
I'd spend some time and effort selecting and obtaining a good set of clamps for clamping these down too, I'm guessing it'll pay back many times over. I'm experimenting with a 3" pair of cast Gs at the moment, they are heavy, making them a bit cumbersome, but are absolutely fine in every other respect.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I can rip lengths of 3/4" oak with my Bosch jigsaw with good results. Sometimes its faster than dragging a table saw into the house. Take it slow with a sharp blade. For a straight line, two clamps and a straight edge will do, but the jig saw is so maneuverable, you should practice freehand.
MH

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

this might help: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=straight http://www.mathleague.com/help/geometry/basicterms.htm#lines
--
McQualude

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Down, Thunder! Good point, though...
BTW, isn't Chris Merrill a luthier? Seems to me that *those* guys have tighter tolerances than any cabinet maker...
-Phil Crow

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

I will also agree with the disagreers (disagree-ers?). I clamped a cheap crapsman combination square to the workpiece and used a cheap crapsman jigsaw with whatever blade was already on the saw. Luckily I am in the habit of positioning the workpiece on my left so the waste falls off on the right (I am right-handed), so when the saw veered away from the square, it was into the waste piece. I could back it up and dive right in again, and go back over the cut a few times to get all the left-over bits. It made a nice smooth cut.
There are a few issues however. One is that it took me a gawdawful long time to set up each cut, since I wasn't smart enough (still aren't) to come up with a sawboard or something similar. So I had to hold the saw up to the cut mark with one hand, move the square with the other, and clamp it down with the other other.
Another issue is that the foot of the jigsaw was made of bent sheet steel, so the edges were rounded, so it had a tendency to ride over the edge of the square. A thicker straightedge would take fix that. I imagine those clamp-n-tool guide things would work great. Too bad they don't have a square built in so you could automagically line it up square across the board.
Or you could always add an auxiliary foot made of phenolic or baltic ply or something. You could make it with a sharp square edge on the left side.
I might add that a jigsaw can do something that is impossible with circular saws and difficult with hand saws, and that is make a cut partly across a board that ends square to the surface. To elaborate, when you stop a cut with a circular saw, the top of the cut might be right on the mark, but the bottom of the cut will be an inch or so back, because the blade is circular. You have to then finish the cut with a handsaw. Maybe that issue doesn't come up often, but anyways.
Also, jigsaws are lighter, quieter and probably safer than circular saws, albeit slower. I prefer them. But I am just a garage woodworker, and have never been near a construction site.
Blissfully ignorant,
Karl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Karl wrote:

I hate my circular saw. It's heavy, tremendously loud, and scary. If I slip with that thing, I cut off a finger or sever my femoral artery or something. If I slip with the jigsaw, I go get a bandaid.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 01:50:55 -0400, Silvan

Agreed, mine's new and I feel using jigs to minimize it's chaos options are the only way to go with them - a tool worth at least as much respect as the bark it's got, since the bite is far, far worse than that. And it's bark is bad enough to stuff up your hearing in pretty short order! I never want to feel comfortable around this thing - coz that's, for sure, when it'll bite!
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.