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Using a Jigsaw

A jigsaw is a versatile tool for any do-it-yourselfer. You can make straight or curved cuts in a variety of materials.

How to Use a Jigsaw

Measure and mark.

Determine the size and position of the circle on the board. Use a compass and a pencil to draw the circle, or simply take a round object, such as a can or lid, and trace the circumference.

Position the board, and drill a starter hole.

Place the board with the cutting area extending beyond the end of the work surface, and clamp securely in place. Drill a 3∕8-inch starter hole just inside the scribed circle.

Position the saw, and start the cut.

Position the jigsaw with the blade inside the starter hole and with the saw’s shoe plate
flush with the board. Making sure the blade is not touching the board, start the saw and cut an arc to reach just inside the waste side of the scribed circle. Continue until you cut about half of the circle.

Finish the cut.

Find a comfortable position to avoid an unsafe or awkward cutting angle, and finish cutting the remainder of the circle. If you are practiced enough, you can cut any uneven spots inside the circle with the saw. Otherwise, use a sanding sponge, which works well on curved surfaces, to clean up the edges.

Good to Know

Make several test cuts before working on your final project. Use gentle pressure when guiding the saw. Pushing or leaning can result in angled cuts.