Cutting a curve on a large piece

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Forum topic by Martini1 posted 05-12-2019 12:05 AM 336 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 344 days

05-12-2019 12:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question trick tip bandsaw shaping

I am cutting a slight curve on a cherry dresser top. The top is one inch thick and about 22” by 48”. I have a bandsaw with a small table. I am not sure if i can manage the piece on the band saw. Ultimately I will make a template and clean up the cut with a router. I have a cheap jig saw and I am in the market for a new one. Partially looking for an excuse to buy a better jig saw but the serious question: is there a heavy duty jig saw out there that would be recommended for this job?

8 replies so far

View diverlloyd's profile


3596 posts in 2337 days

#1 posted 05-12-2019 12:11 AM

If it’s a slight curve and you can use a circular saw. You just start out with the blade set shallow and make multiple cuts going deeper each time. Or just cut off all the scrap with it by making straight cuts then clean up with the router.

View SMP's profile


1336 posts in 385 days

#2 posted 05-12-2019 12:18 AM

If you are going to clean up with router, a jig saw should be fine. Which jig saw do you have? Does it have adjustable oscillation? Just get some good blades.

View Martini1's profile


9 posts in 344 days

#3 posted 05-12-2019 02:13 AM

The jig saw is a Chicago Electric. Harbor freight brand. About 8 years old I got from someone not knowledgeable in tools. It works ok for plywood.

View ArtMann's profile


1425 posts in 1296 days

#4 posted 05-12-2019 02:58 AM

I have a Bosch 1590 EVSK. They aren’t made any more but I consider it one of the finest jigsaws you could buy. With that in mind, I would buy a top-of-the-line Bosch if I had to buy a new one.

View runswithscissors's profile


3060 posts in 2505 days

#5 posted 05-12-2019 03:57 AM

I also like the Bosch. As a general rule, smaller wood calls for bigger tools, while larger wood calls for smaller tools. Imagine trying to maneuver a 2×12 10’ long through a bandsaw. Very difficult without help. A husky jigsaw can do this (my first one was a used Wen Allsaw (not to be confused with Milwaukee’s sawzall). It had a high amp motor (7 amp. I think) and a one inch stroke. Took large shanked blades, and could easily rip a 2-by.) But try to cut a shape out of a 1×2 only 6 inches long with a jigsaw. A bandsaw or scroll saw is the right tool for that task.

It’s the intermediate sizes of material that allow one to choose which size tool to use. In your case, I think the jigsaw is the better choice.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View therealSteveN's profile


3618 posts in 1054 days

#6 posted 05-12-2019 06:09 AM

Jig saw should be fine. I feel that with jig saws it’s a lot more about the blade than the saw anyhow. The Bosch is the leader because it’s so dependable, but all of them go up, and down pretty much the same. If you are planning a router clean up, all you stand to lose is your thought you need another saw.

Bosch blades kick buttocks though.

-- Think safe, be safe

View bondogaposis's profile


5517 posts in 2831 days

#7 posted 05-12-2019 12:58 PM

It isn’t too difficult to add an extension to your bandsaw table, mostly you need support on the out feed side.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View LesB's profile


2169 posts in 3923 days

#8 posted 05-12-2019 03:54 PM

If you have a template you can cut the curve with the router, a template guide, and a spiral bit. Just make multiple passes. Give yourself a little extra space to make a final clean up pass.

I also like Bondo’s idea of making a table extension for you bandsaw.

Even an inexpensive saber saw can make the cut if it has the correct blade. Coarse teeth would work best but would probably leave a rough edge to clean up.

A new tool is always hard to resist but you will use it for many years.

-- Les B, Oregon

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