portable home-made jig for straight vertical cuts with jigsaws

Portable jig for straight vertical cuts with the jigsaw

When cutting wood with the jigsaw, sometimes, more than might seem normal to us, we find that the vertical cut is not straight at 90 degrees to the top surface on which we follow the cutting line, but it is crooked vertically. But with the portable woodworking jig for jigsaw that I show in this post, that problem is over.

I would say that the problem is that jigsaw blades are quite flexible, and this allows them to bend to where the cut is easier for them, for example trying to follow the soft grain of the wood (or maybe there is another hidden reason 🙂 , but I am satisfied with that view of the matter).

Now, with a ball bearing guide holding the bottom of the blade, I will be able to make perfectly vertical cuts. You know, something similar to what I already did for my jigsaw table and that I use so much in my woodworking and DIY projects and videos.

Don’t miss the New Version of this jigsaw jig with bearings. A woodworking idea that allows us to make perfect cuts in wood:

Since the videos embedded in this post are without comments, let’s go into detail on how I made this homemade woodworking and DIY jig that helps to guide the cutting blade vertically.

gluing plywood with super fast glue

First I made a base 19cm deep by 24cm wide, with 1cm thick plywood (the measurements are for my jigsaw). And on top of this base I glue a narrow strip of plywood flush with the side of the base. I put the metallic base of the jigsaw against that strip of plywood, and I glue another narrow strip of plywood close to the metallic base of the saw. I use super fast glue to glue the plywood.

lower vertical guide for jigsaw. cut wood

So now I can cut a slot in the plywood base. Beforehand, I roughly find where the blade will go when using this homemade woodworking jig. One of the advantages of this slot is that the blade fits perfectly in it, so it will help to make a cleaner cut in the wood, as we can watch in the video where I show a trick for clean cuts with the jigsaw.

I also decided to glue a strip of plywood to the front of the jig, right in front and against the jigsaw shoe (you can see two pieces on the front, but I think I should have glued one continuous strip). This will help to always put the saw shoe in the same position and gives rigidity to the base in the slot area.

I finish this base by drilling some holes in which I insert hexagonal head screws. But since the hex head goes on the bottom (the one that will slide on top of the wood we want to cut), I have to embed them in the wood. A few hits with the hammer plus the help of a nail punch was enough. I like to call this technique precision woodworking ;).

attach the jigsaw shoe with screws, washers and wing nuts.

I can now hold the jig in place with the help of washers and wing nuts. I could use normal nuts, but with the wing nuts I can easily assemble and disassemble the saw in a moment, depending on whether I need this jig or not.

I can now prepare the bearings. You already know that I like to put a nylon dowel in them and washers so that I can hold them them with wood screws. Something very easy to do if we have some nylon plugs of the right diameter. Those with a flange at the inlet avoid having to put a washer at the inlet of the bearing. This way I only put the washer behind the bearing. I have to remember that for the bearing to rotate, the washer must be slightly larger than the inner ring of the bearing but slightly smaller than the outer bearing.

With a simple 45mm high wooden block and a strip of 18mm thick plywood I prepare the support for the bearings. But as we can see in the pictures, I need to have the jigsaw installed with its cutting blade, so I can put the plywood strip snugly behind the cutting blade. That is why I first attach the jigsaw, temporarily, with some screws.

Yes, I know, the wing nuts. But I actually did this before I put the screws with the wing nuts. Because of the rush to put the bearings before anything else and to see how this homemade woodworking jig looked like. But I think it would be best to put the screws with the wing nuts first, as I show in this post.

And as many of you ask: The blade I use with the jigsaw measures 15cm from tip to tip. And I find them at the hardware store near my home.

put the bearings on each side of the cutting blade

I now screw one bearing to each side of the blade, making sure that the blade will be perfectly vertical. It is a good idea to check beforehand that the metal base of the saw is also perfectly vertical with the cutting blade.

The metallic base usually has slots to adjust it to different angles with respect to the jigsaw blade, but sometimes I need to force it a little with my hands to adjust it properly.

And, well, I find that when I turn on the jigsaw the bearing support vibrates a lot. But I fix it by stiffening it with a vertical strip of plywood. And I mount again the support in place to finish this jig for perfect vertical cuts with the jigsaw.

A test cut with the help of my side fence for precise cuts … and there I have it, a perfect vertical cut with the jigsaw. Very useful for DIY with wood and woodworking projects when we are not comfortable working with more powerful tools such as a hand-held circular saw.

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