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Jig-saw worktop grief.

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Anonymous

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Had horrible time trying to saw straight across postformed worktop with my cheapo Black&Decker +work top blade. Saw followed guide, but blade had it's own agenda and kept veering to right and bending away from vertical.

Gave up in the end and routed it. This saw's always tended to do this - and no matter how much I try and adjust the base plate, I can never get a perfect 90 deg between plate on both sides of blade, or get the blade to go straight - it's visibly pointing slightly to the right. It's made worse with a longer worktop blade. Don't know whether to buy a new jig saw or rout the sink cut out as well.

Btw, how effective should the vacuum be with a router - this is DW625EK btw? It still chucked a lot of dust out the back.

Oh, and I ended up having to tape the top of my face mask to my face as the goggles (third pair I've tried) steamed up soon as I exhaled...potential for irritation, shall we say. Still, got it done in the end.

Square
 

johnelliott

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I cut worktops as part of my full time work. I have a Makita jigsaw, very well made and quite expensive, and yes, the blade wanders, producing in or out slopes for no particular reason. The way I cope with this is first of all, I only cut with a jigsaw if I NEED a curved line (following a scribed line to fit to a wall, or a sink cut out. I always cut from the top using a DOWNcut blade. Then, if the blade has moved to leave an out slope (it usually has), I use a bearing guided cutter in my router, run the bearing along just down from the top of the cut, and that takes off any bulges.
Straight cuts are always done with the router. Dust collection probably gets maybe 50% of the dust.
If the dust mask is a problem, then get a Trend Airace, £26 and worth it if you wear a mask a lot
John

edited for typos
 

devonwoody

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To Johnelliot
You mention you do straight cuts with the router, I am new to this tool and wonder what you are actually doing.
Any chance you could describe the technique either on this forum page or send me a pm.
 

johnelliott

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devonwoody":1kvckxbg said:
To Johnelliot
You mention you do straight cuts with the router, I am new to this tool and wonder what you are actually doing.
Any chance you could describe the technique either on this forum page or send me a pm.
For a straight cut I first of all remove the bulk of the material with a jigsaw, to leave maybe 3mm to be taken off. Then I clamp a straight guide to the worktop, calculating the necessary offset, then using a 2" long, 1/2" cutter (Wealden replaceable tip, very good) I make a series of cuts, each about 12mm deep, always ensuring that I cut IN to the leading, postformed edge of the worktop. That leaves a slightly stepped cut face, so I move the fence in another millimetre, then, with the cutter plunged to the full depth of the cut, I do a skim cut. That should leave a nice straight, chip-free cut good enough for gluing an edging strip to.
If I need to do a really long straight cut I use my Trend clamp guide with its dedicated router mounting plate
John
 
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Anonymous

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Ok, thanks John. Not quite sure why going down 12 mm at a time with straight cutter after clearing most of the wood with jig saw produces a stepped cut initially, though(?) But if I understand the gist, I think I'll make my sink cut-out that way too: after drilling a 6 mm radius hole in each corner, and using the jig saw, tidy up with the same cutter used for the masons mitre. Think I'll get one of these bearing guided cutters too, though.

I'm surprised that vacuum's only good for catching about 50% of the dust (seemed about what I found too). I'm wondering if it's worth the trouble...

Square
 

johnelliott

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Square":h0bd5cwp said:
Not quite sure why going down 12 mm at a time with straight cutter after clearing most of the wood with jig saw produces a stepped cut initially, though(?)
Well, it all depends on how close to the desired line you've been able to get with the jigsaw. I was thinking about the situation where a worktop end would be exposed and need to be trimmed with edging strip. Any chips at all would be noticeable so one would probably jigsaw about 3 or 4 mm from the desired line. Even with the router of choice (Trend T9) one would not try to take that much off in one go (the router could do it, but the straightness and cleanliness of cut might suffer. So, going down in steps might leave very slight ledges, and top class work demands a final skim
I find vacuum very good for some situations such as trouting thr back of the worktop for connectors
John
 
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Anonymous

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When I routed my worktop in half, I did about 5 passes using a 30 mm collet and a guide, and the face looks as flat as I can imagine a chipboard end to be - definitely no ridges. But saying that, I do now remember seeing a Trend document that recommended making a series of passes to get through the full depth but leaving a couple of mm to be removed with a final pass of the whole blade.

I suppose it makes sense to jig it first just to save the blade...

Square
 
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