Non-wood material for a jig.

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Forum topic by InstantSiv posted 05-07-2014 07:40 PM 1248 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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262 posts in 1770 days

05-07-2014 07:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question drill press miter saw router blade tablesaw

Hi, I need a really simple jig for cutting material with a utility knife. It will be a circle with a diameter of 7.5” and will use it as a cutting guide for the utility knife. I need this to last so wood and plastic won’t hold up.

The question is what material will stand up to a utility knife and a material that I can work with on my tools. I’ve got a router, jig saw, table saw, angle Grinder, ros, 1” belt sander, 3”ish wide belt sander with a disc on the side…

I was thinking aluminum but I don’t know if using woodworking tools on it is a good idea.

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 05-07-2014 07:56 PM

You can cut aluminum with carbide tipped woodworking
blades like router bits and table saw blades. It will wreck
band saw blades pretty quick at woodworking speeds.

View MrRon's profile


5141 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 05-07-2014 08:13 PM

Use an 1/8” thick aluminum disk. Drill a hole and countersink for a kitchen cabinet knob. Glue a 7” diameter piece of sandpaper, (medium grit) centered on the bottom of the disk.

View JAAune's profile


1846 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 05-07-2014 10:03 PM

I’d use brass or aluminum and as Ron indicated, the sandpaper will help a lot.

One trick that will help protect a bandsaw blade when cutting aluminum is to coat the blade with paraffin wax before doing the cutting. It keeps aluminum chips from sticking to the blade and causing over-heating.

-- See my work at and

View Robert Tutsky's profile

Robert Tutsky

58 posts in 2225 days

#4 posted 05-22-2014 11:22 AM

I know you mention that plastic isn’t your choice but I have been using plastic templates to cut various materials for years without any problems. Still have the original templates from 20 or so years ago. Create a simple jig for cutting circles on the band saw. Cut your desired sized circle out of plastic and you are ready to go. If ever your disk gets mangled somehow you can make another one in five minutes. Utility knives don’t wander along an edge like an x-acto blade would so there shouldn’t be a problem of cutting into the plastic.


View bigblockyeti's profile


5256 posts in 1896 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 11:39 AM

11 or 14 gauge steel. You can get blades for your jigsaw that will allow it to cut fairly easily. You can deburr and true the edges with one of your sanders and it will last longer than aluminum (less expensive too).

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View InstantSiv's profile


262 posts in 1770 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 09:26 PM

I figured an easier way to do what I need without the cutting guide thing. It was going to be used to cut vinyl away from around a hole to create a border. The idea was to make a plug that would fit the hole and attach the metal plate to the plug and use it as a guide to cut the border.

The way I do it now is easier. I shine a light through the hole and align the vinyl, which has a targeting type pattern to center it to the hole.

@ Robert: I assumed that the plastic would get cut into very easily? Am I wrong? I had thought about that cutting board material but the softness, compared to metal or glass, turned me off to the idea.

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