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    Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    My son in Concord, NC, needs to cross cut some 2x4s for a small project he wants to tackle. He wants to know if a jigsaw can be used to cut a 2x4. One of the blades I looked at is 3", but I don't know what the usable stroke is. He eventually wants to get the right tools, but for now, he's just getting started and is learning.

    His father (me) is adamant about him not getting a power miter saw or table saw until he has been trained (and has some money.) He's also limited on space.

    If anyone in the Concord area needs a helping hand to move stuff, he has a strong back and is available to help out. He'd like to see your shop and talk with you about woodworking.

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    I use an old Bosch VS jigsaw with Bosch brand blades and it has no trouble cutting a 2 x 4. If he goes further and clamps it up and uses a straightedge a very clean cut is possible. I find it a very handy tool for a lot of cutting shores.

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    My SIL uses a Bosh jigsaw almost exclusively for his woodworking around the house. He doesn't want to bother us about it and is too lazy to drive out here flor a few cuts.
    Berta

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Mike, the short answer is, yes, it can be used to cut a 2x4. It may not be the best choice, but as some others have pointed out, it will do the job.
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    His father (me) is adamant about him not getting a power miter saw or table saw until he has been trained (and has some money.) He's also limited on space.
    what about a Circular Saw ?

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Quote Originally Posted by tryingtokeepmyfingers View Post
    what about a Circular Saw ?
    Not yet.

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    Not yet.
    I was just seeing if father approved it or not

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Mike,

    I'm just across the Interstate from Concord and can help your son if you want me to.

    Send me a PM and I'll respond with my address and phone number.



    Charley

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    A jigsaw is a good gateway power tool to the addiction of WWing. One with a forward cut stroke is even better, and if you are doing serious work on laminate tops, down-stroke blades are a must. But I find at work that if I only need to cut a couple of 2x4s it is easier to whip out the Japanese pull saw and give it a few strokes rather than drag out a cord & saw. I have an Irwin with a detachable blade and I keep it in the tool bag.
    Perhaps watching this video will ease your fears:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tedtal...b_4569175.html
    Although it isn't related to the saw issue, it does address a root fear all parents have.
    WHAT BOX?

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    I use jigs saw all the time for that application. I cut the birds mouth for rafters in the animal shelters we build and it does just fine. As long as you can find some thicker more aggressive blades so that they don't bend whenever they go through the wood and cause one end to be bigger than the other it'll work.
    The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed. Henry Ford

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Dennis, I'm trying not to be unreasonably cautious, if there is such a thing, but considering how much I have learned in the last few months, it's amazing that I have not already hurt myself with the very little woodworking I've done in the past. He was a football player and a baseball player, so we've dealt with injuries that could have been avoided with a more cautious lifestyle. However, I see no reason in exposing him, myself, or anyone to inherently dangerous tools when the risk of injury can be dramatically reduced by education. The FAA wouldn't let me fly an airplane until I was educated on some very important aspects of piloting an airplane. The DMV wouldn't let me operate an automobile in the same way.

    In my world, "kickback" is not defined as a table saw spitting a piece of wood back at you. When I ask him what kickback is, he will be expected to recite a lot of the information contained in this Wikipedia article:

    Kickback happens when the blade catches the workpiece and violently throws it back to the front of the saw, towards the operator. It can be thrown very hard and can injure the operator. It is not uncommon for the object to have high enough velocity to become embedded in a wall or to cause other damage or injury. Never stand in a direct line between the blade and the fence when ripping narrow stock. A kickback can be fatal.Kickback happens when ripping if:

    The wood pinches the blade because of internal stresses. This is difficult to predict and can be impossible to control when using fingers to hold the wood down. Many times the board pinches the blade and is thrown back before the wood reaches a splitter. This type of kickback never happens when a board is not cut all the way through (dado). By starting a cut with a dado and then raising the blade to leave a splitter tab of uncut wood, this type of kickback can be avoided, but raising the blade during a cut cannot be done unless anti-kickback hold downs are used, so it is safe to raise the blade with a free hand.

    The wood is allowed to raise up or moved sideways during a cut, then pushed back down, taking too big a bite at the top of the blade. This can be prevented by using feeder wheels very close to the start of the blade and hold downs after the blade to control the wood all the way through the cut. The right feeder wheels are very effective for both dados in plywood and for rip cuts on boards as narrow as 1/8". Feeder wheels can be powered or unpowered, clamped or held magnetically, and replace fingers near the blade so a hand can be free to turn off the saw during a cut.

    The board is pinched between the rear of the blade and the fence. The fence should be parallel with the blade, for the best cut on both sides of the blade. The fence can be set with the rear farther from the fence for safety, but at the expense of upcut marks on the "waste" piece. Never allow the fence to be closer to the rear of the blade than the front.

    Kickback can also happen when crosscutting boards with internal stresses. A chop saw or circular saw is the best preference for cutting poor lumber.[citation needed]

    The risk of kickback is reduced by certain practices:

    The blade must be kept sharp and clean, something novice users may not recognize. The buildup of pitch on a blade greatly increases friction and increases the probability of kickback. It also decreases the quality of the cut, causing it to burn.

    The saw must be aligned, adjusted so that it is parallel to the miter grooves, with the rip fence should angled minutely. If the blade is parallel with the fence you will notice the marks made by the back of the blade on the wood. It is possible for the workpiece to be pinched between the blade and the rip fence, which will cause violent kickback if the fence is closer at the back of the blade.

    The correct relationship for the fence is minutely spread which means that the angle is different depending on the side of the blade the fence is set.

    The blade guard should be used whenever possible. Typical table saws incorporates a riving knife, a spreader which helps prevent the cut from closing on the back of the saw blade. Natural tension can exist in wood that causes the cut to close. Some blade guards have anti-kickback devices that allow only forward travel past the blade.

    Push the workpiece past the blade. Do not release a workpiece until it is past the blade and removed from the saw. Turn the saw off before removing small cut off pieces.

    Always maintain control. Do not execute a cut where you do not have complete control of the situation. Make sure there are no obstructions. Do not cut a workpiece that is too large to handle.

    Do not use the rip fence as a guide during crosscuts. If you need to make a series of equal length crosscuts, use a stop block in front of the blade so the workpiece is not in contact with the rip fence during the cut. It is easy for the workpiece to twist out of perpendicular at the end of the cut and thus get caught by the blade and thrown.

    Check for flaws in the wood. Cutting through a loose knot can be dangerous. Cutting a warped or twisted board along the rip fence is dangerous because it can get pinched between the fence and blade.
    If you don't know the cause of kickback and how to prevent it, how do you protect yourself from experiencing it?

    Regarding a jigsaw, it's my understanding that two quick ways to get hurt are to take your eye off the blade and for the blade to break or dislodge and shoot at you. He will be required to wear safety glasses at all times, just as I have now started doing. The good news is that his primary interest at the moment is hand tools, which I think is a great way to learn about wood and woodworking in general. He has plenty of years left to get good at it.

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    Dennis, I'm trying not to be unreasonably cautious, if there is such a thing, but considering how much I have learned in the last few months, it's amazing that I have not already hurt myself with the very little woodworking I've done in the past. He was a football player and a baseball player, so we've dealt with injuries that could have been avoided with a more cautious lifestyle. However, I see no reason in exposing him, myself, or anyone to inherently dangerous tools when the risk of injury can be dramatically reduced by education. The FAA wouldn't let me fly an airplane until I was educated on some very important aspects of piloting an airplane. The DMV wouldn't let me operate an automobile in the same way.

    In my world, "kickback" is not defined as a table saw spitting a piece of wood back at you. When I ask him what kickback is, he will be expected to recite a lot of the information contained in this Wikipedia article:



    If you don't know the cause of kickback and how to prevent it, how do you protect yourself from experiencing it?

    Regarding a jigsaw, it's my understanding that two quick ways to get hurt are to take your eye off the blade and for the blade to break or dislodge and shoot at you. He will be required to wear safety glasses at all times, just as I have now started doing. The good news is that his primary interest at the moment is hand tools, which I think is a great way to learn about wood and woodworking in general. He has plenty of years left to get good at it.
    Lol never heard of the blades flying off but I've had the wood bind on them and it's like trying to hold onto a jackhammer!
    The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed. Henry Ford

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    Quote Originally Posted by blakeyon2asd View Post
    Lol never heard of the blades flying off but I've had the wood bind on them and it's like trying to hold onto a jackhammer!
    yes the blades to not fly off anymore with T shanks blades but the Jackhammer yea that happens which leads me to this

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    If you don't know the cause of kickback and how to prevent it, how do you protect yourself from experiencing it?
    Let put it this way you can read all about it you want but the only way you might prevent it is to have it happen to you the first time.... running a table saw or other tools is alot about feel and until you have felt it the first time you really do not know much about it.... only buy gaining experience using the tools and doing things with them will we really learn how to use them... we just hope we are lucky enough not to do major harm in the process

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    The DMV wouldn't let me operate an automobile in the same way.
    And this could be political so all I will say is I have been driving for 20 years now and I was almost side swipped today by two people one on my left and one on my right about a mile later.... everyone wanted to me first since it was raining I guess.... all I will say is everyone that wants to drive should have to receive skid pad training in the rain before they should be able to legally drive.... I was racing 80mph at major speedways when I was 13 years old and that car control training is most helpful in driving.... yea knowing the signs and rules and parts of the car is good but everyone needs to learn car control..... That is how I avoided my first side swipe of the day being able to stop without anti-lock brakes in a very short distance from about 40 mph... the person came from two lanes over infront of a truck beside me almost into my drivers door and front fender... I great way to start the day

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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    My thoughts:

    You may be able to reliably cut 2x4's on a semi-regular basis with a jigsaw, but only if a few caveats are met first....

    1) The blade should be at least 1/2" to 3/4" longer than the maximum depth of cut, but not substantially longer than about 1", or so, longer than necessary.

    2) You will want to use a stiff blade (such as Bosch brand blades) with a coarse (low tooth count) blade with deep gullets to prevent accumulated sawdust from building up in the gullets -- with thick cuts clearing sawdust from the gullets is critical.

    3) A heavy duty jigsaw (such as a Bosch, DeWalt, or similar) will handle the 1-1/2" depth of cut necessary for 2x4's with little to no trouble provided an appropriate blade choice is made. However, lesser jigsaws may be operating at or beyond their design specifications when making cuts this deep regardless of the blade choice (i.e. there is a good chance one will be overloading an economy jigsaw). Many economy jigsaws are intended only for light-duty applications (some may not even be able to reliably keep their bases locked at 90-deg during heavy cuts DAMHIKT).

    4) Jigsaws with an "orbital" cutting motion selector switch will not only cut faster when making heavy cuts, but they will also help to clear the gullets and keep the blade running much cooler (this last part is very important).

    5) Overheating of the blade is your enemy (hence all of the above). An overheated blade will soften and begin to take the path of least resistance while making the cut and, eventually, the blade will develop a permanent barrel arch, at which point the blade is useless and will need to be replaced even if the teeth are still sharp (there is no saving such a blade and your cuts will only continue to deteriorate if you don't replace it).

    6) Without a straightedge you are unlikely to get as straight a cut with a jigsaw as you would have with a circular saw due to how narrow the jigsaw blade is. Even with a straightedge, your cuts will never be as true as if you had used a circular saw. Whether or not the results are acceptable depends entirely upon your needs -- for rough framing it is almost certainly going to be just fine, for fine woodworking you are better off using the proper tools (even a good handsaw may well prove superior to a jigsaw for straight cuts).

    7) If trying to use a jigsaw for this purpose, invest in good quality blades (well, this really always goes, but it is *so* easy to be tempted by cheaper alternatives). You'll only be shooting yourself in the foot and subjecting yourself to misery if you try to save money on cheap blades.

    All of which are my $0.02. Whatever your project I wish you the very best.

  19. #15
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    Re: Jigsaw for Cross Cutting - Concord

    I love my Bosch jigsaw. It laughs at 2x4s. I have cut 12/4 maple with it, prepping blanks for the lathe (so it did not matter that the cuts were not perfect).

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