(Almost) chip free jigsaw cuts

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Earlier today I had to fit a kitchen plinth. The floor has wibbly-wobbly floor tiles so I cut a scribing block to follow the profile of floor. I was going to use my jigsaw and then belt sand the floor edge to remove the inevitable chips in the vinyl/melamine/whatever finish. I started to cut and then I remembered that I had a bag of anti-chip plates in the jigsaw box. I pushed one in to the sole plate, turned down the speed of the jigsaw and gently tapped the plate as the blade cut through it until it was "home".

plinth-chip.jpg

It really did make a massive difference. The jigsaw is about 10 years old. When I purchased it, it came supplied with a chip guard and a plastic cover to improve the dust extraction but I seldom use the dust extraction cover because it make it difficult to see the blade. TBH the dust extration on that particular Festool model is paints when working with timber, the ports get blocked and you have to use the Allen key to remove the sub-plate to clear the blocked side ports.

The chip plate on its own doesn't obstruct the view of the blade though. That said, every 700mm, I had to wipe the chip plate to remove the pencil marks that were being transferred from the plinth.

chip-plate.jpg

I am slightly annoyed with myself for having forgotten about them for so long.

Oh, and yes I am aware that if I cut from the reverse face, there would be no chipping, but that would not have been possible given the path/profile that I had to follow.
 
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For starters you'll get a better cut on MFC or MF-MDF I find it better to use a blade designed for laminates (e.g. T101AOF, T101BIF and T101BRF) as opposed to the standard T101AO tight curve, T101B fine straight fine cut and T101BR downcut blades. They are less likely to chip outtgan standard upcut blades

Secondly, turn the orbital action off, if you haven't already done that. Makes forcless chip out, but the cutting action is a lot slower

Then, with a body grip jigsaw like yours you are better off making your cuts from the back side with normal (upcut) blades - that way the teeth are cutting downwards into the material and any break-out will only occur at the rear. Thiscis doable with a D-handke jigsaw, but it can be a lot more awkward. I tealise that cutting from the back isn't always possible, but for tasks like scribing it really works well. When scribing (where a relief angle us required) thw work.is even easier if a replacement base plate such as a Collins Coping Foot is fitted

Personally, I avoid downcut blades almost all the time - they have a tendency to bend to one side or the other in the cut meaning that you often won't get a perpendicular cut out of them, and the thicker the material (e.g. kitchen worktops) the worse they are. Better than down stroke blades (or even standard laminate blades), you might want to try a couple of Starrett DuoCut bidirectional blades (BU2DC and BU3DCS). The BU2DC is the approximate equivalent of the T101AOF fine cut laminate blade (4~20mm depth of cut) whilst the BU3DCS is the approximate equivalent of the T118BIF (6~30mm DoC). The difference is that they cut in both directions and they generate very little break-out (available from Amazon, ITS and Starrett dealers).

For the straightest cuts, start with a fresh blade, or at least keep a separate blade for doing curves and don't use it on strsight cuts - just like on a bandsaw if you constantly cut curves with the same blade it will take on a "set" to one side or the other and will simply refuse to cut straight, regardless of how good your saw is. Having a good solid jigsaw with a rigid guide system improves your cut quality a bit, but I'm not recommending that you go off and buy a Mafell P1cc jigsaw just yet (the world's best jigsaw, I kid you not)
 
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For starters you'll get a better cut on MFC or MF-MDF I find it better to use a blade designed for laminates (e.g. T101AOF, T101BIF and T101BRF) as opposed to the standard T101AO tight curve, T101B fine straight fine cut and T101BR downcut blades. They are less likely to chip outtgan standard upcut blades

Secondly, turn the orbital action off, if you haven't already done that. Makes forcless chip out, but the cutting action is a lot slower

Then, with a body grip jigsaw like yours you are better off making your cuts from the back side with normal (upcut) blades - that way the teeth are cutting downwards into the material and any break-out will only occur at the rear. Thiscis doable with a D-handke jigsaw, but it can be a lot more awkward. I tealise that cutting from the back isn't always possible, but for tasks like scribing it really works well. When scribing (where a relief angle us required) thw work.is even easier if a replacement base plate such as a Collins Coping Foot is fitted

Personally, I avoid downcut blades almost all the time - they have a tendency to bend to one side or the other in the cut meaning that you often won't get a perpendicular cut out of them, and the thicker the material (e.g. kitchen worktops) the worse they are. Better than down stroke blades (or even standard laminate blades), you might want to try a couple of Starrett DuoCut bidirectional blades (BU2DC and BU3DCS). The BU2DC is the approximate equivalent of the T101AOF fine cut laminate blade (4~20mm depth of cut) whilst the BU3DCS is the approximate equivalent of the T118BIF (6~30mm DoC). The difference is that they cut in both directions and they generate very little break-out (available from Amazon, ITS and Starrett dealers).

For the straightest cuts, start with a fresh blade, or at least keep a separate blade for doing curves and don't use it on strsight cuts - just like on a bandsaw if you constantly cut curves with the same blade it will take on a "set" to one side or the other and will simply refuse to cut straight, regardless of how good your saw is. Having a good solid jigsaw with a rigid guide system improves your cut quality a bit, but I'm not recommending that you go off and buy a Mafell P1cc jigsaw just yet (the world's best jigsaw, I kid you not)

wow, that jigsaw is stunning. I was just reading about it at https://www.timberwolftools.com/blo...-nbsp-the-and-quot-handheld-band-saw-and-quot

I have to admit that I was using an inappropriate blade (Bosch Progressor), regardless I was impressed at how little chipping their was (the first inch and a half in the photo was without the chip guard).

I get your point about cutting from the underside but I wasn't really set up to be able to do that. I was cutting the plinth in the back garden with it sitting on some strips of 2 by 6 timber.

On reflection I should have turned off the oscillating action.

I have only ever once used the guide rail attachment for my jigsaw- I had to cut 18mm plywood flooring for a log cabin. To be honest I was pleased with it, not up to Mafell standards, but given that my plunge saw was elsewhere, I was happy enough.
 
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I've had a P1cc for about 6 years and it cuts straighter than any jigsaw I've ever owned, but at that price it should do! TBH for most jigsaw work it isn't necessary to have an expensive jigsaw - much of what I do, including scribing mouldings (for which a T244D is the to go for, especially with a coping foot) is done with either a Makita 18 volt cordless (the body grip brushless one), or a Bosch corded D-handle jigsaw.
 
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I've had a P1cc for about 6 years and it cuts straighter than any jigsaw I've ever owned, but at that price it should do! TBH for most jigsaw work it isn't necessary to have an expensive jigsaw - much of what I do, including scribing mouldings (for which a T244D is the to go for, especially with a coping foot) is done with either a Makita 18 volt cordless (the body grip brushless one), or a Bosch corded D-handle jigsaw.

Nevertheless, is is stunning. Relative to other jigsaws, it does seem to be a paradigm shift. Those kind of events don't happen very often.

And it is not that much expensive than a Festool Carvex
 

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