Jigsaw to Scroll Saw Conversion




About: I started a wood shop during the Summer of 2009, and have been teaching myself techniques and skills through the project's I've built, both for myself and for others. As a mechanical engineer, I love workin...

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.


Step 1: Make the Mounting Surface and Saw Blade Hole

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.

Step 2: Drill Out the Mounting Holes and Counterbores

I found two sets of 1/4"-20 nuts and bolts that seemed perfect for the job.  Don't forget to check the mounting hole size on your jig saw, but I'm pretty sure the standard is about a 0.25" clearance hole.

I drilled a starter hole with the smallest drill bit, drilled through with the middle drill bit (0.25"), and then drilled 0.25" deep with the largest drill bit, so that the bolt head would be recessed below the top surface of the mounting board.  Again, use whatever dimensions you see fit that correspond relative to the hardware you want to use.

Step 3: Cut Out the Legs

It goes without saying that the legs of the stand should be a bit taller than the height of the jig saw itself, just so that the thing can fit inside comfortably.

I used 2"X6" board, cut to approximately 9" tall with my circular saw.

Step 4: Attach the Legs to the Mounting Surface

Now that the legs are cut out, you need to attach them to the mounting surface.  Because I didn't know if I would need to take this thing apart for any reason in the future, I stuck to wood screws and didn't use any glue at all.

I clamped the legs to the mounting board, drilled 0.125" starter holes, and screws the three pieces together as shown, all pretty straightforward.  No more than two wood screws per leg, (2" long) should do the trick nicely.

Step 5: Cut Out the Base and Attach It to the Legs

I cut the base to an arbitrary dimension out of 0.375" plywood.  Since I wanted this stand to be moved around the shop (because I had very little space back then), I made sure to oversize the base, which allowed to clamp it down on either side to any table top.

Once I had it positioned where I wanted it, I traced the layout of the legs onto the base, clamped everything together, and followed the procedure from the previous step to screw everything together.

Step 6: Attach the Jig Saw to the Mounting Board

Then I simply positioned the jigsaw in place, slid the screws through, and tightened everything up with pliers and a screwdriver.

As an afterthought, I added in some washers to better hold the jig saw in place.

Step 7: Finished!

There you have it!

It's not the prettiest build, but like I've said before, I have this setup still running smoothly in my shop almost four years later.

Clamping the whole thing down somehow is important, please don't hurt yourself by forgetting that.

In retrospect, building some sort of guard or safety features would have been a bit smarter, but I've never hurt myself with this setup, so oh well.

Hope you like it!

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25 Discussions


3 years ago on Introduction

My hobbies include making sling shots for resale, and I was investigating buying a jig saw table. Saw one on YouTube and went to threir site, and their "kit" was more than $200 US. I'm gong to make yours, and with the speed control listed below, should fill all my needs. Thanks for saving me my retirement money (LOL)


5 years ago on Introduction

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!

5 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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.


Reply 5 years 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!


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

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!!


4 years ago on Introduction

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.


4 years ago on Step 7

Thank you! You just saved me some money.


5 years ago on Introduction

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!

1 reply
nottingham atlatl

5 years ago

Absolutely awesome!! Top of my list if things to make!!


5 years ago on Step 7

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>)

1 reply