Turn a jig saw into a scroll saw, jig

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Project by Ted posted 10-29-2012 04:45 PM 14003 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not having a band saw or scroll saw and needing to cut some simple profiles on wood no thicker than 3/4”, I got to work converting my cheap Skill jig saw into a bench-top scroll saw. The top is 1” thick particle board with black melamine finish, sanded, shellaced and waxed. You can see the 4 pegs. When the saw is placed in the jig and the top set in place, everything locks together to keep the saw in place. I lock the trigger in the on position and use the switched outlet (mounted on the work bench) to turn it off and on. I can duct tape my shop vac hose to the front to keep saw dust from falling into and clogging my jig saw. Note also the 25 lb. barbell weights… those are my shop made ‘dead-weight’ clamps. They come in real handy for holding stuff in place as glue dries. For tasks like this, I tend to glue everything up and let the glue dry before going back and adding screws for added strength. Bass ackward I know.. but it works! :)

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

14 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30219 posts in 2607 days

#1 posted 10-29-2012 04:49 PM

Clever idea. Nice job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22054 posts in 3375 days

#2 posted 10-29-2012 05:02 PM

Way to go!!
Necessity is the mother of invention!!.....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View FreddyS's profile


211 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 10-29-2012 06:32 PM

Nice idea Ted, is the jig saw fastened or just resting in the jig?

-- Learning one thing at a time

View Mosquito's profile


9635 posts in 2562 days

#4 posted 10-29-2012 06:53 PM

So basically it’s a home made BladeRunner. Nice work, looks quite functional.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Ted's profile


2875 posts in 2481 days

#5 posted 10-29-2012 07:39 PM

BladeRunner! I was trying to remember what it’s called but had a mental block, so just called it a scroll saw. Thanks Mosquito, I can sleep now.

FreddyS, the saw rests in place but then adding the top locks everything into place. That’s what the small block by the handle of the saw is for, to keep the saw from slipping out the back.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View clieb91's profile


3552 posts in 4204 days

#6 posted 10-29-2012 09:27 PM

Nicely Done. My Grandfather uses a similar set up to cut his dollhouse parts out. I thing he honestly drilled a hole through his desk though and screwed the saw on. I like this better as you can still use the saw as needed.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View patron's profile


13643 posts in 3610 days

#7 posted 10-29-2012 09:32 PM

great innovation ted

well done

and you can use the barbell’s
to exerciser if the work is to easy now

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NormG's profile


6415 posts in 3273 days

#8 posted 10-29-2012 10:58 PM

Wonderful idea, looks like you can put a fairly large piece of wood on there

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View boxcarmarty's profile


16893 posts in 2629 days

#9 posted 10-29-2012 11:05 PM

Hey has anybody seen my jigsaw? I think I let Ted borrow it…..

Nice job wood Bro. You better get a patent on that thing before Stumpy sees it…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 3109 days

#10 posted 10-29-2012 11:34 PM

Now that is using your noodle. Nice set up Ted.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Oldtool's profile


2751 posts in 2460 days

#11 posted 10-30-2012 12:15 AM

Nice build, very creative. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but woodworkers are the brains.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3704 days

#12 posted 10-30-2012 04:09 AM

Cool idea Ted, nice job

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Ted's profile


2875 posts in 2481 days

#13 posted 10-31-2012 01:09 AM

Thanks Rex :)

Dave, I used wood. I tried noodles but they kept flopping over.

Thanks David.

Marty, I loaned your jigsaw to Dave… or Jeff or Randy, I really don’t remember. Anyway, whoever it was promised to return it directly to you, unless somebody else wants to borrow it. I borrowed the one in the jig from somebody else. By the way, can I borrow your planer?

Everyone else, thanks for the comments. It doesn’t cut as well as a scroll saw, as the jigsaw blades aren’t quite as thin, but it works for my basic needs. Next I plan to convert a 3-14” power plane into a thickness planer. But do me a favor and don’t mention it to Marty.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View mIps's profile


200 posts in 2324 days

#14 posted 11-08-2012 09:14 PM

Ted: Nice version of this. I just made one as well. I would like a better view of how yours locks the jig saw in place as I am not really happy with mine. Also, how hard or easy is it to change blades?

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

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