How to Use a Jig Saw to Cut Curves

The portable jig saw, available either as an attachment to a power drill or as an integral tool, is useful for cutting out straight or curved sections from the edge or centre of plywood, blockboard, hardboard, laminated plastic or timber panels.

The short, straight blade travels in up-and-down strokes of about 9 mm (3/8 in) at the rate of about 3000 per minute. Never attempt to hurry the cutting action by force, though pressure is needed to keep the sole plate in contact with the work against the upstrokes of the blade.

Blades are specially made for materials such as timber, sheet metal and laminated plastic. When worn, they must be discarded and replaced, as their temper is too hard to allow resharpening.


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Jig saws cut through 25 mm (1 in) thick hardwood, and 50 mm (2 in) thick softwood if used slowly. On moist timber the waste-clearing action is improved by tilting the tool slightly backwards.

To start a cut in the middle of material, tilt the saw forward and allow it to make its own starting hole. This works best on thinner material. On thicker wood, drill a starting hole in the waste first, and saw out from it.

Jig saw maintenance is the same as for any other electrically powered tool. Keep the commutator clean and change the carbon brushes when they become worn. Occasionally grease or oil the reciprocating mechanism which produces the up-and-down motion of the blade.

24. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Power Tools, Tools | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Use a Jig Saw to Cut Curves


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