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I'm trying to get my shop completed for hobbyist woodworking. I own a jigsaw that's very useful, but I'd like to be able to attach it to a table-like surface (still don't got a pro-table, I'm using a few boards of hardwood glued together).

What I'm hoping for is to make it easier to cut long straight lines - I can do this by hand, driving the jigsaw with a straight template, but having it attached to a table would help greatly.

I know I should get a real table saw at some point, just asking for a solution for now...

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are you talking about a hand held jigsaw? –  shirlock homes Apr 1 '12 at 11:29
    
yes. I could attach it to the bottom of the table top though... –  kender Apr 1 '12 at 13:15

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Could you do it... Yes. There are a few problems with this setup.

First, if the saw does not have a locking trigger how will you turn it on when you are cutting? If it does have a locking trigger, you'll want a way to turn the tool on/off quickly and easily. This could be achieved by connecting the saw to a power strip, and mounting the strip in an easily accessible area. You'd then use the switch on the power strip to turn the saw on/off.

Will mounting the saw make changing the blade difficult/impossible?

Mounting a jigsaw in this way could make it easier to force the wood, which could lead to binding, flexing, and even cause the blade to break (which could be deadly).

Lastly, why are you using a jigsaw for long straight cuts? Long straight cuts are far easier with a table/circular saw. The great thing about a jigsaw, is that the blade can bend and flex slightly. This makes cutting contours easier, but will make long straight cuts more difficult.

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Also no blade guard to protect with that blade sticking straight up. –  lqlarry Mar 31 '12 at 20:09
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A disaster waiting to happen. –  shirlock homes Apr 1 '12 at 11:30

If it's a hand tool not designed to be mounted in that manner, I would advise against doing this as it has the potential to be dangerous. Think about what would happen if the tool were to become dislodged or the blade break off. In the event of an emergency, how would you quickly shut it off? Saws like table saws and band saws should have an easily accessible shutoff button.

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Well, I can route the power line on the top so I can have a off switch by my hand... So it's not really an issue here (I have a number of power outlets on my table right now, they all come with a switch). –  kender Mar 31 '12 at 18:29
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The saw was not designed to have dust falling down on to it if it is mounted upside down. –  mikes Mar 31 '12 at 20:51

Using a jigsaw in a table setup is no more dangerous than using it handheld if the mounting is secure - the blade is not guarded when a jigsaw is used handheld either! If you really wanted a guard you could build one into a table mounted jigsaw.

Several manufacturers even make table insert plates for their jigsaws similar to router mounting plates. I see no problem in making your own. When using a jigsaw in a table setup you should follow all the normal safety precautions (e.g. wear safety glasses), and as others have mentioned you should use a foot switch or some other easily accessible switch.

Now, just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good solution. A small, inexpensive bandsaw will outperform a jigsaw for cutting curves (and probably straight lines too), and a circular saw will definitely outperform a jigsaw for cutting straight lines. I wouldn't bother with a table mounted jigsaw unless your budget is very tight.

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+1, although it is slightly more dangerous: if the blade snaps when handheld, you're shielded by the work; when inverted, the blade has no place to go but up toward you. On the other hand, it is easier to guide a complex cut when you can see the blade. And some jigsaw manufacturers design their saws with straight sides so that they can be clamped in a vise (my Black & Decker is this way). –  kdgregory Apr 1 '12 at 14:08
    
Although if you slip while using a table setup, the blade is sticking up in a nice rigid fixture for you to fall on. And the blade will more likely hit you in your torso if it's mounted at waist-height. –  Doresoom Apr 6 '12 at 13:57
    
+1 for mention of a bandsaw. –  Bryce Jun 28 '12 at 20:51

If your looking for easy monuverability, than this can be easier. Ive seen a german company make a very inexpensive mounting precision table.

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The shipping is more expensive because its international. Nonetheless its the best and safest way to secure your jig saw because the top arm secures the saw blade. However this is literally for precision work. You can use it though for much thicker wood its really a great invention. I even found a video on how to build your own scroll saw, though it might be almost as much as the german one.

Essentially what these set ups do is make your jig saw into a scroll saw. The thing is that if your jig saw doesnt have a way to screw through the shoe plate than youll have to secure it the same way neutechnik does this with wing nuts, nylon jaws or maybe even a press clamp (in imagining it right now seems to work) for sure wing nuts with washers and some nylon jaws should do the trick its really a gorilla project that you'll have to solve using your best options making sure that whatever you do you're able to secure the jigsaw as strong as humanly possible.

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This definitely makes it safer, since the tip of the blade is covered. However, you can't rip large pieces of wood with it. –  Doresoom Apr 6 '12 at 13:59

Answer as of September 2013 : I bought a Wolfcraft Table from Amazon and because a blade guide wasn't available I built an arm with bearings to attach to the Wolfcraft Table. The parts used to make the arm were salvaged from an old steel bed-frame and the bearings were taken from roller boot wheels. The current version doesn't have a safety power off switch but otherwise it works well and cost £0 (not inc Wolfcraft table at around £25.) Here's the YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwbS-Yzw6RA

I haven't got room for a bandsaw b.t.w.

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