Advice Needed - Small repeated cuts

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Forum topic by sIKE posted 02-22-2008 05:30 PM 1096 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4261 days

02-22-2008 05:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling

I am going to start making Norms miter bench here shortly. The biggest challenge for me are the cuts for the cleats on the panels. There are 4 cleats per panels with 8 panels (I think) for a total of 32 cuts outs for cleats. Now for the challenge, I can not freehand straight line cut to save my life. I tried using a straight edge with my crappy jig saw and it didn’t come out so well. I have been putting some thought into this for a couple of weeks and of yet to come up with something that is both accurate and quick.

The cutouts are 3/4” x 4” (24 of the 32) 3/4” x 2 1/2” (8 of the 32)

Thoughts I have had:

Bandsaw the cleat cutouts – sides are on the medium size and would have some control issues.
Router with patten and pattern cutting bit – would have to chisel out the rounded corner back to the straight line issue.
New jig saw – SWMBO squashed this idea.

I would be very thankful for any ideas that can make this part of the project quick, accurate, and painless.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

5 replies so far

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4495 days

#1 posted 02-22-2008 06:06 PM

Run your jig saw up against the side of a speedsquare .. .. cut away.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4311 days

#2 posted 02-22-2008 07:13 PM

If you have a router make a fence and go to it.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4285 days

#3 posted 02-22-2008 07:32 PM

I’d rough cut with the jig saw and clean up with a router and template jig.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View TampaTom's profile


74 posts in 4260 days

#4 posted 02-23-2008 07:33 PM

Yeah – a straight piece of something as a guide and a template-cutting bit would make this a pretty easy operation… You’ll get nice flush cuts.

-- Tom's Workbench -

View Tony's profile


993 posts in 4537 days

#5 posted 02-23-2008 10:18 PM

Rough most of the material out with the Jig saw, tidy it up with the router (1/4” pattern bit will leave minimal round corners) and template jig and square the corners with a very sharp chisel.

Take your time with the template, make sure it is dead-on accurate, and sand the guide surfaces dead-flat (this will make for very clean/smooth cuts).

When using the chisel, you will have to re-hone it quite often to keep that pristine sharpness, but it make the work easier and more accurate.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

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