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Jigsaw help/question, please

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by gitlvr, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    My jigsaw gave up the ghost a while back in the middle of making templates for a future build. It was really old, and finally gave it's all in the performance of it's duty. Which leaves me needing to replace it.
    Since it's been a while since i bought one, I have a question. There are quite a few out now that are labeled "orbital" saws.
    What is this, and is it good or bad for cutting bodies from blanks or making templates with?
    p.s.: Please do not recommend a bandsaw. I have no room, nor the budget for one. I'm looking at jigsaws.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Orbital on a jigsaw means that not only does the blade move up and down, the assembly lunges out in a small circular pattern. Making it much more aggressive for tougher jigsaw situations like cutting ply wood or thicker harder woods. In my opinion its a good feature, especially if you can turn it on/off.

    Of all the new jig saws, I feel Bosch is at the top of the pack, especially the ones with roller guides. A bit pricey though.
     
  3. inspectorted

    inspectorted TDPRI Member

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    I like the Bosch brand saws. It has what they call an oscilating feature which means the blade move horizontally as well as vertically. It maybe the same as an orbital??? The bosch lets you turn this feature on or off depending on what material your cutting. at any rate it's the only saw I will consider using.
     
  4. Porchduck

    Porchduck Tele-Meister

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    The Bosch Progressor is one of the best made. When I was wondering the same thing (which to buy), I got a basic metal working book by Ron Covell (if I remember correctly), and this is the jigsaw he recommended for best all around. I actually do more metal work than woodworking and the Bosch has held up well to this tougher application. Has a quick change blade system which is very handy.
     
  5. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, guys. Orbital it is, then. Appreciated.
     
  6. JohnPurdy

    JohnPurdy Tele-Meister

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    I have heard good things about Bosch Barrel Grip Saws. John
     
  7. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For a little more than a good jigsaw you could get a scroll saw. I've cut out 1 3/4 in. hard maple bodies with a scroll saw. Like a bandsaw, a scroll saw will cut perpendicular to the face of a board when cutting tight curves ......... unlike a jig saw.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  8. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My Hitachi jigsaw cost about the same as the nice Bosch Jigsaw.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a Black & Decker Heavy Duty Variable Speed Jigsaw that was $130 around 20 years ago. Based on my experience with other Ridgid power tools, the Ridgid Pro Jigsaw is probably a great jigsaw but it's $149. I think my Hitachi CW40 scroll saw was only about $10 more. Jigsaw are great for jobs they were designed to do. Cutting out guitar bodies is not one of those jobs.

    ......[​IMG]
     
  10. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Those Rigid jig saws were on sale for about 70$ a while back. I was going to buy one, but I didn't need it. I thought they were clearenced, maybe it was just my local store.
     
  11. ievans

    ievans Tele-Meister

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    My Skil jigsaw has that feature, too. It moves the blade forward and back as well as up and down, when turned on.

    Regardless of what brand of jigsaw you get, pick up some Bosch blades. A cheap jigsaw with good blades is tons better than a great saw with crap blades.

    I know you don't want to hear about bandsaws, but I recently picked up this following much-hated Craftsman 10" bench top bandsaw for $15 off Craigslist.
    [​IMG]
    The local Lowes had a Bosch blade that fit for $10. A half hour of adjustment, and 15 minutes to drill and mount it to some extra pine board, and I could retire my jigsaw for guitar building. It cuts curves perpendicular to the body, something I just couldn't do with the jigsaw.

    I want a bigger, higher-quality bandsaw, but like you I don't have the space for it. This one cuts fine for my purposes, and I have less than $25 in it. Just something to think about.
     
  12. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Jack(and the rest of you). I know you have good intentions and have given good advice, but I literally have nowhere to store even a table top model. I live in a trailer with a wife and daughter. The only room available to me for storage is the middle bedroom, which is 8' x10', and already houses a mini recording studio( computer, mixer, small PA, 2 mics and stands, 8 guitars, only 3 of which are uncased, a P bass and the requisite amps, and room treatment.) Not to mention I turned the closet into a little alcove that houses a carpet covered bench for guitar set up and repair,with a Craftsman 3 drawer chest underneath for luthier tool storage, and an area beside that set up for wood storage.. I'm full up.
    I do the majority of my building on the front porch( have a large one), using a Black and Decker Workmate portable work bench. I'm afraid it will have to be a jigsaw.
    In the future I will be erecting an 8'X10' metal storage shed out back which will eventually house a small drill press and a band saw, as well as an air compressor and a good woodworking table to do the "dirty work" on.
    But i won't be setting that up(already bought it) until sometime next year. Cash is tight, and i want to set it up right or not at all. Admittedly, it'll be pretty humble, but i think I can make it work for me.
     
  13. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You often see good quality used tools at pawn shops. Might find a good jigsaw there. Others here have used jigsaws for their builds so it can be done. Making perpendicular relief cuts for inside curves is a good idea.
     
  14. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Jack. I built my first scratch build with a jigsaw.
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/177171-something-different-iow-my-first-scratch-build.html
    As long as you cut well enough away from the line, and use the relief cuts, especially around any tight curves, they work just fine. There is just more clean up work to make certain the sides are level and get them down to the line. You work with what you've got. I'm fully prepared to do what is nescessary to work with a jigsaw.
    Thank you all for your help, advice and knowledge. It is appreciated greatly.
     
  15. flanders7423

    flanders7423 Tele-Meister

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    BOSCH!!! Can't go wrong with Ridgid, either.
     
  16. cbass

    cbass Banned

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    My bosch jig saw cuts perfectly parallel. I make relief cuts in the cutaway area and use good blades.Of course the scroll saw(or bandsaw) would be a better choice but I have a lot of other uses for a jigsaw.
     
  17. Reverend D

    Reverend D Tele-Meister

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    Its been a lot of years and I'm sure they've changed designs since then, but we used to use a porter cable jig saw in our shop. We had the bosch and the porter cable and the porter cable outlasted the bosch by quite a bit. The only thing that went out in the porter cable after a few years of cutting 16-20 gauge steel honey comb doors (outside steel skins, cardboard honey comb between) was the caged needle bearings and we'd replace those and it'd be ready to go again. The design of the bosch at that time was a screwdriver through the top of the unit to replace blades. While the bosch was a good saw the porter cable didn't have the orbital kick out blade function and was more accurate IMHO.

    As I say that was years ago and I think Porter Cable has gone down hill a bit in order to save some money for the manufacturer. That said there are various models and I didn't look at all of them so perhaps one of them is still comparable to the one we used to use. I just know we would use them to cut large holes in the doors for glass window frames, we'd cut out doors to weld in tabs for locksets etc and at the time they were the best we tried of the milwaukee, bosch and porter-cable brands. They were quite pricey though even back then it was north of 200.00. Wish I had more up to date information for you, but the other fellows have made solid choices and I'm sure you can't go wrong in a non production environment with any of them they suggested. Rigid is sure seeming to make some good quality equipment these days.

    Regards,

    Don
     
  18. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    the barrel-grip Bosch is a venerable tool and there are some operations (like coping moulding holding the saw upside down) that are easier gripping the tool this way. However, in order to get variable speed in the trigger, you'd need the top handle model (the two models are identical from Bosch). I'd say if you get a bargain on the older barrel grip design you should consider it.

    The features and design of the Porter Cable also seem okay, though I haven't tried one of their jigsaws I've never had a problem with any Porter Cable power tool. Buy the best you can afford, which means Bosch, Porter Cable or Milwaukee. The orbital function actually pulls the blade back so the teeth aren't trying to cut on the downstroke and the chips clear a little better, it's not like it's actually nibbling forward as it cuts on the upstroke. You can adjust how much oscillation there is, or turn it off for the slowest smoothest cut or when it might bounce like with sheet metal.
     
  19. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

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    As many others here have said, BOSCH. IMO the best jigsaw for the price by far and away, "expensive" or not. Expensive is a relative term. This saw I bought in 1991 and it has seen A LOT of use (I'm in construction). Still runs smoother than a Pfaff sewing machine, never needs anything, original brushes.... I could go on....

    The black )diagonal) lever controls the oscillation or orbit. It has 3 settings to advance the orbit, and no orbit. It very much speeds-up the cut time, but is best not used for tighter radiuses. For cutting out a guitar body you would not want to use the orbital function as the blade might want to wander from straight-up-and-down.

    Bosch invented the bayonet-mount and offered the 1st tool-less blade change jigsaw. This one is pre tool-less. Doesn't matter; takes about 10 seconds to change a blade w/ a long, thin screwdriver.

    The only jigsaw IMO that is comparable to a Bosch is a Metabo, and they cost much more. The price is actually cheap for what can be a lifetime tool. Buy a Bosch. You will never look back or want for something better because there is no better. Once again IMO. You are looking at 19+ years of getting the job done and just as smooth and accurate as the 1st day it was plugged in. I only wish all my tools were like this one....;)
     

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  20. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I am pretty sure Metabo is Bosch in other countries.
     
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