Jigsaws also referred to as bayonet saws are a popular type of workshop tools. They are very easy to use, lightweight and very versatile. They are capable of performing duties of a circular saw, scroll saw or even band saw.
Most people are known to use jigsaws in a wide variety of applications such as rough cutting large plywood pieces before being hauled to the table saw and cutting of the wallboard. However, jigsaws are known to be very great when it comes to making intricate and tight cuts. This saw is known to be great for both home repairs and advanced wood projects.
In this article, we will be taking you through the basic steps on how to use a jigsaw correctly.
Common Uses of a Jigsaw
Jigsaws can be used for a wide range of applications. You can use jigsaws for making beveled cuts, straight cuts and plunge cuts. The point where jigsaws perform beyond limitations is making curved cuts like arches, circles and intricate designs.
The ability of jigsaw to cut through tight angles and curves makes it similar to scroll saws and band saws.
Step By Step Guide on How to use Jigsaw
Using jigsaw is quite easy which makes it an excellent option for the first time users.
Below is a step by step guide on how to use a jigsaw for beginners.
Secure the board
You will have to start by clamping the board down. The jigsaw blade movement will cause vibration to the board and when not clamped, high chances it could bounce around. Securing the board will make it extremely difficult to inaccurate cuts that can cause injuries.
Ensure you leave spaces below your piece where the blade will be moving. Failure to do this can break the blade or make cuts you never intended to. In case the cut is at the boards end or on the edge, you can always consider hanging it over the edge.
We hope you are beginning to get the steps involved on how to use a jigsaw to cut wood. In case you are working on a big project that you cannot hang over the edge, no need to worry as there are a few options. You can consider putting a group of wood blocks on the table or workbench. Thereafter, place the piece on the blocks top. You can use the anti-ski risers which you will place on the t-track table to help in elevating your place of work.
Plug the Jigsaw to Power or Insert the battery
If your jigsaw is using a battery, ensure that it is fully charged before you place it in. However, when using a corded jigsaw, plug it to a power source and make sure the cable length is enough to make the entire cut.
Start Making the Cut
- Turn on the saw with the blade still off from the material. Thereafter bring the blade to the material edge slowly.
- It is recommended that you never follow the middle line whenever you are cutting. When you select on edge of your line and follow that, you will be able to achieve a more accurate cut.
- When your cut end is on your piece edge, you can push through to complete the cutting. When the cut ends midday of the material, ensure you stop and remove your finger from the trigger.
- Ensure the jigsaw stops before you remove the blade from the material. This will help prevent the blade from catching the material and buck backing at you.
- Do not forget to unplug the jigsaw or removing its battery when you are through with cutting.
How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut Curves
When cutting curved line, ensure the radius is never tight for the blade. The jigsaws are flexible although you cannot twist and turn in any direction you want. In case the curve is too tight, there is a possibility of saw bucking up and from the wood or the blade getting snap.
In case you have plans of cutting a tight curve for the saw, consider using this trick.
Start by making a rough cut away from the line to help in removing huge number of material. Thereafter, create a bunch of small relief cuts at a specific angle stopping at the cut line. After removing sufficient amount of materials to fit the blade into the gap, you can complete the cut along the line.
How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut a Straight Line
With the main task of jigsaws being cutting curved lines, making straight lines can prove to be quite challenging. The jigsaw’s flexible blade makes it completely difficult for one to get straight clean lines.
Several other saws like the circular saws are known to perform much better. When jigsaw is all you have, it is still possible that you can make straight clean cuts by getting the straight edge guide. You can always purchase one or make one that is similar to the circular saw cutting jig which has been customized to the jigsaw. However, for a shorter cut, all you will require is a speed square.
The speed squares comes with a lip on one of their sides that can be used to ensure the cuts are square to the edge. Ensure that the blade of the jigsaw is aligned with the cut line with the have the square fit
How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut a Hole
You will start off by drilling a large hole that your jigsaw can comfortably fit. Thereafter, put the blade through and start cutting. Ensure the hole is not made closer to the line. The drill bit can drift when you start cutting damaging the material.
How to Use a Jigsaw to Cut a Circle
Making bevel cuts using a jigsaw can be a bit tricky. The bevel cuts are a very common type for those installing a trim or making a French cleat. However, one has to keep in mind the nature of the blade will always come up with cuts that are not 45 degrees angle perfect.
Properly make adjustments to the shoe angle to ensure they are at the desired bevel. Make sure there is an angle gauge close to the knob that will ensure you get in the ballpark. When making the 45 degree cut, always check the angle accuracy using the speed square. Ensure it fits between the shoe and the blade without leaving any gaps or spaces.
Ensure that there is nothing that will block the blade progress below whenever you are making the cut. Remember the depth of cutting will reduce whenever you are cutting at an angle. Always use straight edge to ensure the jigsaw is protected from wandering when cutting.
We hope you now know how to use a jigsaw tool. When done with making your cuts, remember to sand all the material edges to avoid splinters. Depending on the material and size, this will be done using orbital sander, file or belt sander. Ensure that you unplug the jigsaw, thereafter remove the blade and keep it in a secure location.
Then sweep and clean and vacuum the place of work and ensure that you dispose correctly any scraps. When there is a big scrap material, put it in a secure area around the designated place for scrap materials.
We hope you now know how to use jigsaw correctly and will be able to make great cuts.