Just found this site and have to jump in with my own comment. Old time
traditional woodworkers would have rounded off the corners by marking
the line, chipping off the excess with a mortising chisel, rasping it
to final shape and sanding. Done in less time than it takes to set up
the machinery today. Sometimes progress is an elusive thing. Look at
the curvature of a violin. It is still done by hand in the better
miamicuse (in PPmdna82OPgioT_enZ2dnUVZ firstname.lastname@example.org) said:
| I have a piece of oak plywood 3/4" thick 36"x60". I would like to
| round the corners into something like a 6" radius. What is the
| best way to do this to make it as smooth as possible? I have only
| a compound miter saw and a handsaw.
Use your CMS and handsaw to make a trammel or compass and a bowsaw
<http://www.geocities.com/plybench/bowsaw.html from scrap, use the
compass to mark the 6" corner curves, cut the marked arcs, and sand
DeSoto, Iowa USA
I see you've gotten suggestions and sarcasm from both ends of the
spectrum, so I'm taking the middle road. Go down to your local Home
Depot or Lowes or whatever they have in your town and buy an ORBITAL
jigsaw made by Milwaukee, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Bosch or maybe Makita
or Hitachi. Don't get Sears, Black & Decker or Ryobi. It's not just
that they have a short life, they don't cut good even when brand new.
But a good jigsaw is a pleasure to use. Expect to spend about $170 or
so. It's more than absolutely necessary for this one project, but I
see you post on alt.HomeRepair a lot, so you'll find lots of other uses
for it once you have it. A year from now, you'll wonder how you ever
got along without it.
"Don't ever wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy, but the pig likes
Amen. My thoughts exactly. Buy a dang jigsaw and trim close to your
line and sand down to the target -- along with a chopsaw, table saw,
sander, drill, and router, the jigsaw is a must-have in any shop, and
was the next tool I bought after the drill, skil, and sander -- I got
along just fine with a drill, skil saw, sander, and jigsaw for an
entire library project, rounded corners and all.
I prefer the jigs with an adjustable angle knob on top, along with
adjustable speed. You'll love having your jigsaw, and can even set it
up for large-scale scroll-sawing if you're slick. And if you have
kids... man they'll love the toys you can make with a jigsaw!
Thank you. I have a jigsaw, a cheap Black and Decker I bought five years
ago to make cut outs on melamine back splash for outlets, and counter top
hole for sink etc... and it did not do a good job - or may be I should say -
my skill sucked. I did not feel I have control, I can't see where the saw
is going and the saw dust was flying out blocking my view or something. I
did not consider doing it for the corners since it will require more control
than those rectangular outlet holes. May be I just did not have a good saw,
or may be I just sucked at it.
I have one of those Black and Decker jigsaws. It's not you. It's the saw. I
recently bought a Hitachi. The difference in performance is amazing. You
won't regret putting the money into a good saw once you have used it.
You owe it to your future as a handyman to get your hands on a good
quality jig saw. You'll find it a quantum leap above that piece of
junk you have now. The saws I mentioned earlier have an orbital action
that causes the blade to travel in a hook-like path that makes the cut
very agressive when you need it for thick wood. Or you can adjust the
orbit so that the blade moves straight up and down for good control.
Switchable sawdust blowers will keep your cutline clean and moving
counterbalances keep vibration to a minimum.
If you aren't ready to take the plunge based on our advice alone, RENT
a good jig saw to see what we mean. You don't want to be like the cat
in the quote below.
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom
that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down
on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid
again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold
one anymore." - Mark Twain
I think he is saying that there is not a quantum leap in difference unless
the first saw had no blade.
Really a $90 bench top band saw will cut much better than most jig saws. I
am the owner of a Milwaukee jig saw and have used a Bosch. Both being
nearly equal in quality of cut I would not put either up against a band saw.
I have to disagree with that. I have a Black and Decker jig saw. That and a
couple of Skil jigsaws were all I had used until recently. I just thought
jigsaws were a last resort. Something you dreaded to use unless there was no
other choice. After buying my Hitachi, that opinion has changed. There is
that much difference. There is no doubt that a bandsaw will give a better
cut but if I was going to spend $200.00 or less on a curve cutting tool, I
would buy the jigsaw. More versatile and you really can't get much of a
bandsaw for that kind of money. In any case, he was talking about a 36"x60"
piece. Considering the handling problems, he'd probably do a much better job
with the jigsaw.
I won't try to change your mind about the "quantum leap" issue. It was
a figure of speach I won't attempt to defend. I think I called the
Black & Decker a piece of junk, and I won't attempt to defend that
either. Like Beauty, Junk and Quantum Leaps lie in the eye of the
But I think any reasonable person who used both would agree that a good
orbital jig saw from any of the brands I initially recommended would be
a definite improvement over a Black & Decker.
Both of us seem to own both a jig saw and a band saw. I agree that a
band saw gives a better quality of cut, but I find my jig saw to be a
much more versatile item of equipment, especially for home improvement
tasks. Remember that the O.P. is NOT a woodworker, but a handyman.
And when his next project involves cutting an even bigger piece of
plywood or a long board, the jigsaw would be the tool of choice. If
you disagree, well that's why they have chocolate and vanilla, right?
"Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get muddy, but the pig likes
Well Doc, after doing a little research, I see that you are right.
Wouldn't you know that when Americans try to borrow a term from
science, they'd get it backwards? On this side of the pond, what we
usually mean by "quantum leap" is a jump from "A" to "B" without
passing through any of the points in between. Even then, some would
say I was a little too quick to apply the term to the difference
between two jig saws. Another habit we have, particularly Southerners,
is a tendancy to overstate our case. But hey, everything's relative,
"Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
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