The JigsawTo continue our series on Cool Tools let's talk Jigsaw... If you only have 1 saw, it should be a jigsaw...
What It IsThe jigsaw is basically a reciprocating saw for cutting curves, which some believe is a must have for furniture building because it can be used more artistically than other saws which can only cut straight lines. It is also the most versatile saw, cutting many different thicknesses and materials!
Jigsaws are great for cutting wood, plastic and metal. The strongest jigsaws can even cut thin steel. Jigsaws do come in cordless varieties, but remember that they will be mush less powerful. Finally, you can even buy an pneumatic jigsaw, one that works with your air compressor (cool!)
Since I don't use one very often, I have an ancient, but perfectly capable *** jigsaw (no fancy bells or whistles, but it is corded - I like my tools to have some power). It gets the job done, but an orbital jigsaw cuts faster with less effort and wear on the blade.
How to UseI had a video of my using a jigsaw, but it has mysteriously disappeared :(
Basically, you draw your cut line on the wood, and holding the jigsaw firmly against the wood cut near(ish) this line. This takes some elbow grease, since I find I have to push the saw along the wood to cut (this is not the way the saw should work, so yes my old saw is probably not working as well as it should anymore). If I were to start doing intricate or detailed work (jigsaw puzzles), I would likely purchase a new jigsaw. I always use a sander to take off the last millimeter of wood so my line is perfect and the edge is smooth.
Another cool thing about a jigsaw is that it can be turned into a stationary tool (like a bandsaw) with a table accessory clamped to the edge of a workbench!! I like this idea, but haven't been able to find out more about it...
Finally a coping foot can allow you to cope crown molding with your jigsaw! Sounds like a jigsaw is an all-around pretty handy tool!