Jump to content

Using A Jigsaw To Cut Out The Body - Recommendations?


Robert Irizarry
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not only am I new to guitar building but to much of woodworking. Now that I have my template, I'm ready to take a shot at cutting out the alder body. I made a couple of quick practice cuts with a jigsaw and tried to hold it perpendicular to the surface of the body blank but got mixed results - my cut wasn't particularly square.

Aside from using a bandsaw, which may turn out to be the way for me to go but which I don't presently have, does anyone have any tips to share regarding approach, recommended blade, etc.?

One alternative I thought of was to make a VERY rough cut with the jigsaw - leaving plenty of material around the shape (so I don't have to worry if I'm not particularly square with my cut) and then use the router to take off the excess. Maybe that's the solution for me? Regardless, I'd love to hear recommendations on using the jigsaw since it would be nice to actually learn how to use some of these tools. :D

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert, perhaps a good way for you would be to rough cut then shape with a spindle sander. If you have your template in a hard form (not paper) then the router with a bearing guide bit is the best approach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One alternative I thought of was to make a VERY rough cut with the jigsaw - leaving plenty of material around the shape (so I don't have to worry if I'm not particularly square with my cut) and then use the router to take off the excess.

That method yielded the best results for me. Get as close as you can/dare (without crossing the line) with the jigsaw then clean up with the router.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on my third body now, rough cut with jigsaw, leaving about 1/2 to 1/4 inch margin to allow for the blade flex. Then it's cleaned up and squared off with a belt sander. After no. 3 the cutting gets better, you can feel the blade bending and compensate for it a little, so the cleaning up work after cutting is not very hard and takes about 15 minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds good, gents! My template is 1/4" MDF so no issues there. I just made a new one which I posted about on my build thread as well as on my blog. I'm excited to start this next facet of the build. Thanks for the input! I hope to have another update soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of mine have been jigsawed to 1/8-1/4" of the line (jigsaw's good enough, and I watch the tilt of the blade), then rasped a little closer, then routed down to the template. Good alternative I've used for necks: drum sand with a robosander to the line, which leaves things slightly oversized, and trim the tiny amount left off with a router bit, which leaves a much smoother surface.

Thankfully, I've got a bandsaw now. Just need to get it up and running!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jigsaws follow surface plane material you're cutting, and since the blade is under no tension at the bottom of it's movement you'll quite easily cut too far into convex curves and not enough into concave as the blade eases out of the curve at the bottom slower than the top. All I can say is to cut slowly and surely else the blade will take it's own path and angle. A bandsaw relieves this tension somewhat and produces better results as the tension is kept above and below the cutting point.

Oh yes:

+ wooha on the bandsaw!! make sure it's set up well and you have a new best wife.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of mine have been jigsawed to 1/8-1/4" of the line (jigsaw's good enough, and I watch the tilt of the blade), then rasped a little closer, then routed down to the template. Good alternative I've used for necks: drum sand with a robosander to the line, which leaves things slightly oversized, and trim the tiny amount left off with a router bit, which leaves a much smoother surface.

Thanks! I don't have a robosander just yet so I will go with rough cutting, rasping and then finishing off with the router. Now to find some time... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...