Jigsaw into Scroll saw / Bandsaw jig

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Project by Mike Coats posted 01-03-2013 12:47 PM 12389 views 9 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the run up to the holidays SWMBO wanted a lot of card holders to display all of our christmas cards on the mantle above the fire. As a beginner woodworker I am often scarce a tool or too and I currently have no bandsaw or scroll saw to mass produce any shaped pieces such as these (they can be seen in my next project). I instead decided to make do and build a quick tool.

I produced a model in SketchUp to see how it would all go together and raided my offcuts & bits n bobs bins to see if I could make it. Luckily my workbench has a split top with a 100mm gap all along the split which is perfectly sized to fit my jigsaw. I designed in a deeper front piece to the jig as this would allow it to be gripped by the vice fitted to the front of my bench holding it secure.

During construction I gave it a trial run before the tower was in place, but the jigsaw blade deflected too far to be of accurate use, so the tower with some bearings to pin the blade were fitted. The close-up of the tower is a crop from the main image to show greater detail in the workings. M10 bolts with wing nuts are fitted through holes at 20mm c/c. This provides for an action similar to closing down the mouth of a bandsaw for a more accurate cut.

-- Mike from Inverness, Scotland

13 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2348 days

#1 posted 01-03-2013 12:56 PM

Very innovative solution! Good thinking.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View shipwright's profile


8006 posts in 2854 days

#2 posted 01-03-2013 02:48 PM

You are my kind of thinker.
Good use of what was available to get the job done.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3633 days

#3 posted 01-03-2013 04:17 PM

Creative and inventive,great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 07:34 PM

Smart idea..

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 2749 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 07:59 PM

Good idea, and welcome to LJ

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3390 days

#6 posted 01-03-2013 08:34 PM

Way to go. A problem to solve and a brain that can solve it. Welcome to LJ Mike. We always have room for another Mike (there are lots of us here).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2063 days

#7 posted 01-03-2013 10:48 PM

So the boom arm (or tower) is not actually HOLDING the blade? The rollers just act as a guide to decrease the deflection of the blade, right?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3440 days

#8 posted 01-03-2013 11:16 PM

Looks like a good solution until you can afford some more tools. I’m not sure from the pictures, but it looks like you could use something behind the blade to bring the saw teeth out beyond the roller bearings. If I’m mistaken and they are already sticking out further than it appears, please disregard.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Mike Coats's profile

Mike Coats

4 posts in 2093 days

#9 posted 01-04-2013 12:17 AM

Thanks for all the kind comments. It’s proved successful enough that I can avoid buying the “cheapest” bandsaw out there and save for one a couple of tiers up.

The bearings “just about” hold the blade, almost pinching it. They’re tight enough to spin when the blade’s going, but not enough to bind.

You’re right about needing something behind the blade, and not just to bring the teeth forward of the bearings. The current bearings help prevent the blade deflecting left to right, but so far nothing prevents deflection in the direction of cut, and as such the back of the blade is “friction” cutting into the soft pine.

-- Mike from Inverness, Scotland

View Mike Coats's profile

Mike Coats

4 posts in 2093 days

#10 posted 01-04-2013 12:27 AM

If anyone else fancies building one of these it has one major downside compared to a real bandsaw which is sawdust clearance.

Matthias Wandel has a great write up with some mockups showing how dust is removed and from these it’s evident how this will cause a problem using the jigsaw to do any deep cuts.

-- Mike from Inverness, Scotland

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2746 days

#11 posted 01-04-2013 02:30 AM

Very innovative! You could add a metal strip to the tower face to stop that blade from eating into it. Or a bearing with a groove milled into it (like the one on the Carter Stabilizer). I love shop made tools that work!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3980 days

#12 posted 01-04-2013 04:05 AM

Now that’s thinking out of the box, Bravo.



193 posts in 2391 days

#13 posted 01-04-2013 08:27 AM

very nice, you have wonderfully “stretched the dollars” to make a useful tool, yourself.


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