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Picture of Jigsaw to Scroll Saw Conversion

In the infancy of my woodshop, back around 2010, I realized that I badly needed a scroll saw, but sorely lacked the funds. Using what I had available to me at the time, I was able to create a fixture that firmly secured my Black and Decker jigsaw, essentially turning it into a functional and versatile scoll saw. This is still one of my primary tools still utilized in my shop, and I've churned out some high quality projects with it.

What you will need:

  • A jig saw (obviously)
  • A hand saw or circular saw
  • Scrap lumber that best suits your needs
  • A Dremel Trio (not necessary at all, but makes routing the hole a bit easier)
  • Wood screws
  • A drill press or drill gun, along with assorted drill bits
  • Some sandpaper (not critical, but no one want's splinters everywhere).
This is the kind of project you can breeze through in one afternoon, it's great.  And since I used only donated or found materials, my costs for this project were a whopping $0.

 

 
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Step 1: Make the Mounting Surface and Saw Blade Hole

Picture of Make the Mounting Surface and Saw Blade Hole
2 - dremel set up.jpg
3 - dremeled.jpg
4 - fitting to saw.jpg
I found a nice 0.5" piece of plywood and cut it to approximately 8" X 12" with my circular saw.

Using my jigsaw to gauge the relative location I wanted to mount it in, I marked where the saw blade would stick out from the mounting surface, and gave my self some clearance, let's say no less than 0.375" in either direction about the blade.

I then used my Dremel Trio to create a rectangular hole that fit into my markings.  Alternatively, this feature could be made by drilling a 5/16" hole in each corner of the rectangle, and then using my jig saw to cut between the four holes.  

Either way works fine, just depends on the tools you have on hand and how good you are at using them.
Daedalus621 year ago

Simple yet efficient, just as I like 'em... Voted!... I'm definitely doing this, however I have no experience whatsoever using an scroll saw... For the "experts" out there: Would you think adding a speed controller to the jigsaw is going to do any good?... In cutting wood of different thickness and/or hardness?... Thanks!

Good idea, Daedalus62 , not only different materials have different best cutting speeds, but different saw blades too benefit from variable speed. As with the upside-down mounted jigsaw the variable speed trigger is now very inconveniently located (and dangerous to operate), I'm thinking of buying a spare speed control from the saw manufacturer, and mount it in an accessible place in order to regain the speed control. Not all the power tools can operate correctly with a simple rheostat, and a variable transformer is both not inexpensive and easily available. I guess the best way would be to rewire the jigsaw with an extra speed control of the same type as the original one (bought as a spare part). Anybody has a better idea? Amclaussen.

Hi, amclaussen.

Honestly, I haven't tried it yet (so many projects, so little time) but I bought this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000W-50-220V-25A-AC-Motor...

Hope it works properly... If not no problem, it's pretty cheap.

Cheers

guyzo35 (author)  Daedalus621 year ago
I'm not sure about other jig saws, but my Black and Decker can adjust its speed to cut different thicknesses/materials, as well as change out blades, which is the reason I haven't retired this tool yet - it's so versatile!

My jig saw is a cheap and pretty basic one, so I'm adding this speed control permanently attached to your "bench", to cut different materials, etc... Thanks, guyzo35!!

guyzo35 (author)  Daedalus621 year ago
Ah, makes sense, good luck!
amclaussen4 months ago

The concept of mounting power tools below a bench top is very good and advantageous, but it can be executed in a little better way, I believe.

I got the idea of using the jigsaw upside down under the bench when I saw a catalog from Bosch showing that accessory for their jigsaw, and quickly did a simple version as yours. as I got good results, I kept the improvised, simple version for a while, but as I am a natural "Tinkerer", I soon wished my solution to be better, so I started improving it.

All jigsaws have the blade attached to a reciprocating shaft. But the better ones have some kind of additional support or guide in order to reduce the flexibility of the (relatively) thin blade. Any added distance away from the point where the blade exits the jigsaw base plate will increase the amount of lateral deflection that the blade gets, losing precision.

Therefore, the best way to mount the jigsaw will be by fabricating a "Base-plate" with a THINNER but STIFF base material. I started using a 1/8" aluminum plate, but it was not as stiff as I wanted, so I replaced it with a very rigid sandwich made of several pieces of Phenolic board, like the one used into electronic circuit boards, sandwiched with thin layers of fiberglass cloth purchased at a Hobby shop (where they sell radio control model airplanes) all glued together with Epoxy. This sandwich material is very stiff and strong, yet still easy to machine and drill.

I've been using this to make different base plates for several of my hand power tools, like the router, circular saw, and jigsaw. These base-plates go into the bench surface from above. As the bench has a recessed step in order to get the sandwich base plate where the tool is mounted very flush, flat and level with the bench top surface. I made that cut in the bench top with my router.

In that way, my jigsaw (that has a roller to help support and guide the blade), has that roller closer to the bench surface, not only augmenting precision, but also providing more blade length above the bench top, so that I can cut thicker materials, as my circular saw does too. Even my router benefits too, as the cutting bit can be installed closer to the bearing of the motor, giving better results too. I planned my "power-tool bench" to have means to receive the circular saw at the center, a bench drill to the left side, and either the Router or the jigsaw on the right side. I made these base-plates square, to be able to rotate them 90° to either side in order to put the cutting edge in the most convenient orientation.

When I need the full space, I install "blank" base-plates and then have a smooth continuous bench top surface. Hope this ideas help somebody.

Best wishes, Amclaussen.

ornarvaezjr6 months ago

Great Idea!!

jhall387 months ago

Thank you! You just saved me some money.

imit3231 year ago

Good idea!

guyzo35 (author)  imit3231 year ago

Thanks!

Mulher1 year ago

Thanks a lot.

guyzo35 (author)  Mulher1 year ago

Welcome!

This is brilliant! Wish I had seen this last year when I needed to cut out some wooden facsimile props of "throwing knives". Def. going to try this!

guyzo35 (author)  StoryAddict1 year ago

Thanks!

Absolutely awesome!! Top of my list if things to make!!
Hippykidz1 year ago

Great 'ibble! Thanks I love a good scrap bin project and happen to have a corded jig saw collecting dust. Looks like I am going to have a new scroll saw soon though. B>)

guyzo35 (author)  Hippykidz1 year ago
Thanks! Enjoy it!
Very nice. Just watch your fingers. Also don't force the wood onto the blade. Let it cut at it's pace
lilchumy1 year ago
This deserves to win! Good work. I just bought a jigsaw and wanted to make something like this. You've given me something to do today.
guyzo35 (author)  lilchumy1 year ago

Thanks! Let me know if you come up with any improvements on it!

rimar20001 year ago

Good work, congratulations.

guyzo35 (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thank you!