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- i have an old Craftsman variable speed jig saw purchased several decades ago. It runs well and only gets occasional use. It has a "feature" that makes me contemplate its demise each time I do use it.

- when making curved cuts in thicker material <say anything > 3/8" it puts a significant 'bevel' on the cut. In other words, it does not make a true vertical cut. I suspect part of the issue is that the distance from the blade mount to the bottom of the plate <which would be the top surface of the wood when cutting>. It seems big compared to pics of newer jig saws. Its apx 1-5/8". In my mind, a shorter distance would put the wood closer to the blade mount and resist the blade 'flexing' when cutting curves.

- I don't think I am feeding the material too fast <pushing too hard> and fast or slow feed or, fast or slow rpms seems to make no difference to its natural ability to bevel the inside of a curve.

- I am off base thinking a new one <either orbital or regular> is going to give me clean(er) curves or is this one of those "they all do that to some degree" things ??

- ebill
 

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Theo
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I have a B&D I bought in maybe 1976. Works fine. But the blade holder, or whatever it's called, is a bit worn now. Cuts straight, but curves are not straight up and down. No biggie, I never make finishing cuts with one anyway, old OR new, just straight cuts, or rough cuts; then I sand to the line. If you don't want it anymore send it along to me. I can use it with no issues.
 

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I have a newer Craftsman and it does the same thing. The blade even looks out of square with the the table by 10 degrees. I can't seem to get it square,so don't use it. I bought a cordless Makita and am very happy with it. I had an old craftsman that had the scroller feature on the blade that I could rotate while cutting, was very handy cutting out vanity tops for sinks. The newer craftsman had the same feature ,but was not cutting square. I only use mine for rough cuts too.
Herb
 

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My Bosch cuts nice curves in 3/4 and, thinner material. My old Craftsman would deflect, though. I only use Bosch blades. They seem stiffer.
 

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NO BLADE GUIDE STABILIZER...

move to the head of the class and go w/ a Bosch...
 

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I have an 18v DeWalt. Has a guide and only use Bosch blades, and the shortest blade that will do the job. Does a good job on straight and curved cuts, although I always sand the curves in particular. I also don't push the cut fast. Not having to monkey with a cord is a real plus. Can't quite justify a Bosch at this point, but if the DeWalt dies before I do, I'll probably stretch the budget for a Bosch.
 

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Coping saw solves the problem. Sounds like the blade is flexing. I h ave an ancient CM jigsaw that was my late father-in-law's. Metal case tells you how old it is. Never had a real problem with cutting even thick stuff. I use it for rough cutting and use a sanding drum for the finish work. The goal/hamper is an example. Cut with the jigsaw and used a drum sander on the drill press to go up to the line.
 

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Not that you might be doing this but sometimes it's easy to push towards the inside of the radius and that will have a beveling effect. You might look for this on a test piece.

Hold the saw lighter and turn into the radius with your wrist rather than the whole arm. It might be helpful to "push" towards the outside of the radius while turning the saw. It's the turn that guides the blade and not the side push.

...just sumptin' to try...

I have an old craftsman and when I use it I have to be very conscious on the turns... I also have a Bosch barrel grip and it works so well I can almost guide it from the power cord.
 
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I think all the better ones have a roller blade guide near the base shoe. Can’t speak for the cheap brands.
 
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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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I had a Craftsman jig saw for years, and seldom used it for the same reason you're encountering. I always wondered why jigsaws were so highly touted when clearly they were troublesome to use. Then one day a Bosch jig saw appeared in my shop ... the jig saw skies parted, and glorious sunshine burst forth in my shop. Jig saw bliss had arrived. And it was good.
 

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Like you, I didn't use my jig saw very often. It was a Craftsman, probably 40 years old. I only used it for rough cuts since, like yours, the blade went out of vertical on anything more than gentle curves, and it vibrated. About a year ago, Lowe's had a sale and, with my military discount, I couldn't pass it up. Like Oliver, it was almost a biblical experience. I finally found out why they made jig saws. I've used it more in the last year than I did the Craftsman in the last 10 years. Well worth the price. I know how hard it is to part with a tool, especially if it's an old friend, even if you fought with it all the time, but sometimes it's the best move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Barry747;2023489 I know how hard it is to part with a tool said:
- thats what I am thinking ....

- ok, I agree with Stick and Gaffboat on the Bosch solution. I'll go with that one as some of the curves/slots I have been making, you can't really get a good sander in them <no, I can't use a router in this application> and going back over with a coping saw and then hand sanding seems to be not very time efficient, or accurate. At least to me.

- ebill > thanks all !
 

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You might find this of some use...

.
 

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I fought with an old Craftsman for years. It had the swivel head "scroll" function that wouldn't stay locked which made it doubly frustrating. Then one day about 25 years ago I walked into the House of Tools in Langley when I was down there visiting and they had a Metabo on sale. It was still pretty expensive but I went for it anyway and I've never regretted it. It was like moving up to a Cadillac from a Russian Lada. I gave my son a Dewalt a few Christmases ago and it had the added feature of tool less blade change. It is also a well made tool that has some weight to it. Any decent tool will have some heft to it besides having that roller blade guide to keep the cuts straight. There is still some technique involved as Nick pointed out but you won't have to fight the machine. Blades can be important too as Stick is pointing out. For tight curves you want a narrow blade with coarse teeth that have a fair amount of set.
 

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This is a really good thread. Lots of subtle informaiton about jig saw technique, especially the unknowing pressing toward the inside of a curve. And, the suggestion to look for a blade guide when you buy.
 
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