Adjustable Jigsaw Guide for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts

Make an adjustable jigsaw guide that can be used for both straight cuts and crosscuts with this step-by-step tutorial and video.

I have built several jigsaw guides for my workshop, from simpler to more complex. This is the most complex jigsaw guide I’ve built so far combining several different guides into one (mainly the jigsaw guide track and jigsaw crosscut jig). This jigsaw guide can be used to make both longer straight cuts and crosscuts.  

One of the main advantages is the adjustable crosscut fence. Fine adjustments can be easily made to ensure accurate perpendicular cuts.  

The guide track contains several pre-drilled “sight” holes for better visibility when making straight cuts as well as several cutouts and holes in the base for better stock grip when crosscutting.

The larger size of the guide allows for accommodating longer pieces of wood. It can be used freely or clamped down to a workbench for better stability and accuracy. 

All the material needed for this guide is readily available in any hardware store. The base is made of plywood and aluminum angles are used for the tracks and the crosscut fence. See below for a complete list of required material.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
DIY Adjustable Jigsaw Cutting Guide

If you have some experience with woodworking and building DIY woodworking jigs, then you will have no problems making this jig. Some experience is needed in order to build this jigsaw guide. If you are a complete woodworking beginner, I suggest you start with these two guides first.

  1. Jigsaw guide for straight cuts
  2. Jigsaw guide for cross cuts

They work just as well, and you can achieve great results with them too. I have been using them for many projects myself.

RELATED: I made a comparison of all the jigsaw guides I have built. Here you will find information about their use, price of the material, time spend on their production, and necessary woodworking skills to make them.

DIY Adjustable Jigsaw Guide Video

If you want to see how to make an adjustable jigsaw guide, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide.

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Table of Contents

  1. The Material you will need
  2. How to Make an Adjustable Jigsaw Guide
    • Step 1: Cut the jigsaw guide base
    • Step 2: Cut the slot for the crosscut fence
    • Step 3: Attach the aluminum guide rails
    • Step 4: Drill the sight holes and clamping holes
    • Step 5: Cut the slot in the track
    • Step 6: Attach the crosscut fence
    • Step 7: Attach the handle
  3. How to Make Straight Cuts and Crosscuts with a Jigsaw Guide
    • Straight cuts with a jigsaw guide
    • Crosscuts with a jigsaw guide

*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!

Always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.

Material needed to build an
Adjustable Jigsaw Cutting Guide

Adjustable Jigsaw Cutting Guide:
Plywood – 37cm x 55cm x 1,2cm (14,5 x 21,6 x 0,47″)
Aluminum Rails – 55cm x 1,5cm x 1,2cm (thickness 1,5mm)

Other:
Drill bit – 6mm
Forstner bit – 20mm, 35mm
Handle
Epoxy resin
M6 Bolts, M6 Wing Nut
Wood screws (shorter for aluminum rails, longer for handle)

Tools:
Chisel
Jigsaw
(Trimming Router)
Hand Drill

Let's Start

The base of the jigsaw guide is made of 12mm plywood. The L-angle bars are from aluminum and are used for the guide tracks and the crosscut fence. All the material is readily available in local stores.

The guide can be used freely or it can be clamped down to a workbench with hold-down clamps. The protrusions on the baseboard are designed specifically for this purpose.

The jigsaw guide is equipped with a handle for easier manipulation and there are several cutouts and holes drilled in the base for better visibility and stock grip.

When crosscutting the crosscut fence can be adjusted and fixed as needed to make sure the cuts are made exactly at 90 degrees.

Adjustable jigsaw guide parameters:

  • Total dimensions – 37x55cm
  • Straight cuts up to 40 cm in length
  • Aluminum track guides with predrilled sight holes for better visibility
  • Cutouts and drilled holes for easier manipulation and stock grip
  • Adjustable crosscut fence for a precise 90-degree cut

To build the jigsaw guide you will need a jigsaw and a hand drill. Additionally, you could use a router together with a router circle cutting jig (for routing a slot in the base) but it is not necessary and you can use the jigsaw to cut the slot.

I am also using a chisel to cut a hexagon in the baseboard to align an M6 bolt’s head with the base surface, but this is also optional. A non-countersunk bolt will work just as well.

How to Make an Adjustable Jigsaw Guide for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts

Step 1: Cut the jigsaw guide base

For the base, you will need a plywood board (37cm x 55cm x 1,2cm).

Draw the design and cut out all the unnecessary pieces. To cut the shape you can use a jigsaw. I am using a simple jigsaw guide for straight cuts I built earlier. For the internal cuts use a Forstner bit first and then cut with a jigsaw.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

NOTE: When building the track, take into account the width of your jigsaw shoe. The base part for the track needs to accommodate the jigsaw base, the aluminum tracks, and some extra space on each side for clamping.

Step 2: Cut the slot for the crosscut fence

Draw a line on the jigsaw base where you want to place the crosscut fence. Mine is 10,5 cm from the bottom of the jigsaw base.

Drill a 4mm hole for a pivot point on one side and cut a 6mm slot for a rider on the other side (right before the track) that will secure the crosscut fence in position. To cut the slot I am using a router circle cutting jig. (to make the t-slot I cut a slot through the board base first and then trimmed the wood around to fit a t-track bolt and make it flush with the surface).

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

NOTE: Making a t-track slot for a t-track bolt might be unnecessary. This is quite a complicated and time-consuming approach. I wanted the t-track bolt to be flush with the surface giving the jigsaw guide a fancy look, but fixing the crosscut fence in position can be achieved in simpler ways.

You can just as well cut one slot through the base and fix the bolt in position with a nut – in this case, the adjustable bolt will not slide in a t-track and will be secured directly through the main slot.

Step 3: Attach the aluminum guide rails

Frist Guide Rail – Attach the first guide rail to the jigsaw base. Cut it to length, drill in holes for the screws, attach a double-sided tape on the bottom of the rail, and tape it to the base.

Secure the rail to the base with screws and washers. If the screws go through, grind the tips with a sander. The bottom of the jigsaw base must be smooth without protrusions.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Second Guide Rail – Attach the second guide rail to the base. Place the jigsaw on the base next to the first rail, tape the second rail on the base, and repeat the previous steps.

Make sure the jigsaw slides nicely and easily in the created track. Now is the time to adjust the rails as needed. Once finished, fix the second rail with screws.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

NOTE: I am using a jigsaw shoe with my jigsaw. The jigsaw slides better on the surface and there is less resistance from the tracks.

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Step 4: Drill the sight holes and clamping holes

Mark the center of the track – the cut path – and drill in sight holes using a 20mm Forstner bit every 5 cm.

Also, cut 3 holes with a 35mm Forstner bit below the crosscut fence. They are useful for clamping down the jig or securing the stock when crosscutting.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Step 5: Cut the slot in the track

Cut a slot in the track for the jigsaw blade. Start in the first sight hole, and finish in the last one. Optionally, you can sand the cut path with sandpaper to get rid of splinters.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Step 6: Attach the crosscut fence

Pivoting point – Drill a hole for an M6 bolt in the previously drilled pivot point. Carve a hexagon with a chisel around the drilled hole to sink in the bolt’s head. Thus, the bolt won’t move. (Instead of carving a hexagon you can always drill a larger hole for the bolt’s head and fix it in with epoxy)

T-track – to adjust the fence in the position I built a t-track and a t-track bolt. The t-track bolt is a rider that fits in the cut slot. Carve a hexagon in the rider and insert an M6 bolt.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Crosscut fence – the crosscut fence is 26cm long and is made of an aluminum L angle bar.

Drill 2 holes in the bar – 1 for the pivot point, and 1 for the t-track bolt. Mount the crosscut fence on the bottom of the jigsaw guide base and fix it with nuts.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Step 7: Attach the handle

It is a good option to attach a handle to the base. Operating the jigsaw guide is easier and more secure.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

If you want to have an all-in-one solution then this jigsaw guide has it all – you can make both long straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine adjustment to make sure your cuts are always at 90 degrees. It is a nice addon for your jigsaw and a nice weekend project.

How to make straight cuts and cross cuts with a jigsaw guide

The following steps describe how to make straight cuts and crosscuts with the DIY adjustable jigsaw guide. Keep in mind to use the right jigsaw blade for the job. Using the right blade is one of the most important things when cutting with a jigsaw to end up with a clean and straight cut.

Check these 5 tips that will help you make straight cuts and prevent your jigsaw blade from bending.

Straight cuts with a jigsaw guide

  1. Place the jigsaw guide over the stock and align it using the sight holes
  2. Secure the jigsaw guide and the stock with clamps
  3. Make sure nothing is obstructing the cut path, both above and below the guide
  4. Place the jigsaw on the track
  5. Slowly make the cut, keeping the jigsaw straight
  6. Track the progress using sight holes

Crosscuts with a jigsaw guide

  1. Place the stock below the jigsaw guide
  2. Align it with the crosscut fence
  3. Make adjustments to the crosscut fence as necessary
  4. Place the jigsaw on the track
  5. Hold the stock with your hand or secure it with hold-down clamps using the grip holes
  6. Make sure nothing is obstructing the cut path, both above and below the guide
  7. Slowly and steadily make the cut
  8. Track the progress using sight holes
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.
An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

To achieve the best result, cut slowly and steadily. Keep the jigsaw in a straight position, don’t push it, and let the jigsaw do the work.

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An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

So, are you building this adjustable jigsaw guide? Let’s do it!

Adjustable Guide for a Jigsaw

Workshop Jigs used for this project:

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