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Jig Saws

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Woodworking jig saws are the tool of choice when creating intricate designs

A jig saw is the perfect tool to create a variety of shapes and curves in your woodworking projects. Jig saws cut in an up-and-down motion with a thin blade, enabling you to create unique shapes of wood, similar to the intricate designs of a jigsaw puzzle. It is a great tool for many custom pieces, such as headboards or tabletops.

As you follow the pattern you've marked out on the lumber, you need to have a lot of control. Otherwise, you will easily veer off the pattern and have to start over, wasting time and lumber. So look for a jig saw that allows you to easily and simply control the speed. The more amps, the more power you'll have at your fingertips so you can easily cut through wood. Ergonomic handles are another feature to consider. That'll increase your comfort as you work with the tool.

If using a jig saw is new to you, it's best to grab a piece of leftover scrap wood out of your workshop on which to practice. You don't want to learn by using your high-quality, more expensive lumber. Practice your hand-eye coordination. Trace your pattern onto the wood to ensure accuracy. Others find it's best to place the lumber on their woodworking workbenches and then trace the pattern. The old adage "measure twice, cut once" applies for these intricate patterns just as much as it does with any cut.

In addition to making intricate cuts and smooth curves, you can make a crosscut. But keep in mind that you can only make short cuts. A jig saw is a great tool, but it's not the tool you want to make a long cut or a straight cut. Times like that are when you'll need a circular saw from Sears or one of our many woodworking table saws. A jig saw also doesn't work well with all lumber. Remember to use hardwoods when building a piece of furniture that needs to be strong and durable, such as a roll-top computer desk. And use softwoods when you are making intricate cuts into wood. Since a jig saw is all about making detailed cuts, choose softwood that's no thicker than 1.5 inches. If you do use a jigsaw to cut hardwood, make sure it's no thicker than 0.75 inch. Otherwise, you'll bend the blade.

You can cut more than wood with a jigsaw. With the right blades, you can cut plastic, tile, metal and more. Check the label on the package of blades. That's where you'll find out which materials you can cut with it. Especially with unusual projects, however, always wear goggles. They'll protect your eyes from sawdust and other debris. Another reason to wear protective eyewear: Jigsaw blades are used for intricate designs, meaning they are relatively flexible. If you apply too much pressure on one, it can snap. All the twists and turns also means that your jigsaw's cord can end up back in your cut path time and time again. Be sure to give yourself plenty of room, lest you cut through it and shock yourself.

Sears is the place professional carpenters and woodworking enthusiasts turn to for all of the tools they need. We offer the most trusted brands in the business, including Bosch, Stanley and Craftsman, America's most trusted brand.

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