Simple DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail (Step by Step With Pictures)

A simple DIY jigsaw guide rail that you can easily build for your workshop no matter your skill level. Learn how to build this easy jigsaw guide for longer straight cuts.

If you’re setting up a workshop and wondering which tools to get first, I highly recommend adding a jigsaw to your list (right after a drill 😉. A jigsaw is versatile, easy to use, and invaluable for numerous workshop projects. It was one of the first tools I invested in.

Its ability to make straight cuts and curves allows you to effortlessly cut through various materials including wood, plastic, ceramic, and metal.

Some time back I built a small jigsaw crosscut guide which is, as the name suggests, particularly suitable for crosscuts and short straight cuts. However, I realized it wasn’t ideal for longer straight cuts. This led me to create a Jigsaw guide rail designed specifically for easily making those long, straight cuts.

This is certainly one of the easiest jigsaw guides you can build. Also, you can build one in combination with a jigsaw cutting station.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - sanding the jigsaw guide rail
Jigsaw guide rail for longer straight cuts

This DIY jigsaw guide rail is a straightforward project you can make for your workshop, regardless of your experience. Watch the video below and follow the tutorial. It really is easy.


DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail Video Tutorial

Check out the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to make this simple jigsaw guide rail for straight precise cuts.

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Table of Contents

*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.

Jigsaw Guide Rail Plans

Download the Free Jigsaw Guide Rail Plans here
Jigsaw Guide Rail Plans Downloadable PDF. Jigsaw Guide Plans.

Material you'll need to build the Jigsaw Guide Rail

Jigsaw Guide
Baltic Birch Plywood – (600 x 140 x 12 mm)
4x Planed Spruce Wood Strips
– 2 for guiding rails –  600 x 28 x 13 mm
– 2 for stoppers – 84 x 28 x 13 mm

Check all the Tools I Use

Jigsaw –
Hand Drill –
Quick Clamps –
Spring Clamps –
Machinist Square –
Speed Square –
DIY Marking Gauge

Other Material
Wood Glue –
Gorilla Clear Glue –
Forstner Bits –
Jigsaw Blades –
Jigsaw Blades (Extra Clean Cuts) –
Sandpaper Sheets –
Wood Screws –
Painters Tape –

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How difficult is building a jigsaw straight cut guide?

Building a straight-cut guide for a jigsaw is quite simple! It’s a beginner-friendly woodworking project that involves a few cuts and screws. You can easily finish it in a day, and you don’t need any special tools—just a jigsaw and a hand drill, which are likely already in your workshop.

So, don’t worry, it’s a straightforward task that can greatly enhance the accuracy of your jigsaw cuts.

Can I cut a straight line with a jigsaw?

You can achieve a straight line with a jigsaw, although it can be a bit challenging to ensure a perfectly clean and straight cut.

Jigsaws shine when it comes to cutting angles, curves, and detailed shapes. However, straight cuts can be a bit more tricky, here’s a simple solution – use a straight piece of wood, a level, or a straight-cut guide specifically for jigsaws. This simple jig helps guide the jigsaw in a straight line, leading to more precise and smoother cuts. Also, consider using the right jigsaw blade. Not every blade is suitable!

Even though jigsaws are incredibly versatile, having a straight-cut guide on hand can enhance your ability to create accurate straight cuts for your woodworking projects.

RELATED: How to Cut Straight with a Jigsaw

10 TPI reverse-pitch tooth pattern for extra clean top surfaces when cutting in hard and soft wood, plywood.

How do you make a clean cut with a jigsaw?

Follow these 4 tips to make a clean cut with a jigsaw:

  1. Select the Right Blade: Choose the appropriate blade based on the material and the type of cut you intend to make. Opt for a reverse tooth blade to minimize burrs on the underside of the cut. Alternatively, a dual-cut blade, equipped with teeth in both directions, can further reduce burring on both sides, ensuring improved cutting results.

  2. Secure with Masking Tape: Before cutting, apply masking tape (painter’s tape) along the cut line. This technique helps hold the wood fibers in place, reducing splintering and tear-out, resulting in a smoother and cleaner cut.

  3. Adjust Speed and Pendulum Action: Set your jigsaw to an appropriate speed for the material you’re cutting. Additionally, if your jigsaw has a pendulum action feature, adjust it according to the thickness of the material. A higher pendulum setting is suitable for thicker materials, while a lower setting is better for thinner ones.

  4. Guide with a Straight Edge: Use a straight edge or a jigsaw guide to maintain a consistent cutting line. This ensures greater accuracy and reduces the chances of veering off course during the cut.

RELATED: How to change a jigsaw blade

Let's Start

The jigsaw guide I am making in this tutorial is made from plywood and spruce wood. Other materials such as MDF or HDF can be used as well. The guide allows you to make cuts up to around 500 mm in length, depending on your jigsaw’s type and size.

It also works well in combination with a jigsaw cutting station. The guide can be used on its own or attached to it to make crosscuts and angle cuts more easily.

How to Make a DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail

Step 1: Build the Jigsaw Guide Base

I started by measuring the jigsaw base plate cover. Using the cover will make the jigsaw slide easier in the track with less effort when pushing (tracks are made out of planned spruce wood).

The width of the shoe cover for my jigsaw is 84 mm – take the width of your jigsaw into account when building the jigsaw guide rail.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - measure jigsaw shoe

Cut a rectangle for the jigsaw base. The base is 600 x 140 x 12 mm and is made of birch plywood.

I cut the base width just a little bit more, not only to take into account the 2 rails and the shoe cover but also to keep a little bit of space between the shoe and the tracks. That will allow for the jigsaw to slide easier.

NOTE: I used a thicker sheet of plywood for the base (12 mm). Although, a thinner would work as well, like 9mm. I like how sturdy and solid is the jig. Also, with a thicker base plate, the jigsaw blade holds better in the slot, with less chance of bending and the cut being skewed.

You can also use other types of boards such as MDF or HDF.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting the board
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting the board

NOTE: Making a straight 90-degree angle cut with a jigsaw can be challenging, and without the right approach, you might end up with a skewed cut. Here are some tips to help you avoid that:

  • The thickness of the material matters; the thicker it is, the more likely your cut will veer off course.
  • Take your time during the cut, maintain steady pressure on the jigsaw, and try to keep it positioned straight.
  • Crucially, choose a jigsaw blade that’s specifically designed for long, straight, and precise cuts. The market offers a wide variety of jigsaw blades, each tailored for different tasks.
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting the rails

Step 2: Attach the Guide Tracks

Cut the guiding rails and the front/back stoppers. For that, I used a crosscut jig I already had in my workshop.

I decided to use planned spruce wood rails (600 x 28 x 13 mm). The jigsaw slides nicely in those and the extra width of the rails makes it easy to clamp the jigsaw track down to a workbench while cutting. 

1. Attach the first guide rail

First, glue one of the jigsaw guide tracks to the base. Secure the guide with hold-down clamps and wait until the glue dries off. 

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - glueing the tracks
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - clamping the tracks

Additionally, if you will, fix the rail with a few screws. This step might be unnecessary but woodworkers tend to over-secure things. I am one of them so I inserted several screws along the track. 😉

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - drilling the tracks
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - fixing tracks with screws

2. Attach the second guide rail

To attach the second track, start by placing the jigsaw on its base. Then place the second track along the other side of the jigsaw, and adjust until you get a nice slide of the jigsaw. 

Temporarily hold the track in place with clamps before permanently fastening it with screws. (Note: I didn’t use glue for the second track). Be patient and take your time to accurately position the track.

TIP: Tape one side of the jigsaw shoe with adhesive tape (e.g. electrical tape) when fixing the second rail. A tiny space will be created that will allow for the jigsaw to nicely fit the guide rail and slide easier.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - adjusting second rail
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - fixing second rail

3. Attach the stoppers

Measure and cut the stoppers so they fit nicely between the guide tracks. 

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - measuring stopper
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting stopper

Fix the stoppers with glue and screws.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - fixing stopper with screws

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Step 3: Drill in Sight Holes

Once the rails are attached, drill holes across the jigsaw guide. This will not only make it easier to mount the jigsaw on the track, but the holes will also enhance visibility, making it simpler to follow a line while cutting.

Start by marking where the first and last holes will go on the guide. Then, mark additional spots along the guide before drilling the holes.

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - marking holes
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - marking holes

To cut the holes in I am using a 15 / 20 mm Forstner drill bit. 

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - drilling sight holes
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - drilled holes
Jigsaw Straight Cut Guide

Place the jigsaw on the track and slowly cut a slot. 

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting slot
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - cutting slot

Sand both the edges and the surface of the jigsaw guide a bit to get rid of splinters and allow for the jigsaw to slide easier. 

DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail - sanding the jigsaw guide rail
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail finished
DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail

How to use a Jigsaw Guide Rail

Using the jigsaw guide track is straightforward and user-friendly.

  • Begin by drawing a clear-cutting line on the piece of wood.
  • Position the jigsaw guide track along the marked line, making adjustments with the help of the sight holes for precision.
  • Securely attach and stabilize the jigsaw guide in place.
  • Before cutting, ensure there are no obstructions along the intended path.

For added stability, it’s advisable to clamp both the jigsaw guide and the workpiece securely to a workbench. This ensures a controlled and accurate cutting process.

NOTE: Keep in mind which side of the line you want to make the cut.

Cutting with DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail
Short Precise cuts with DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail

My Experience

The guide is very easy to use. Simple, portable, and easy to set up. One of the best guides for a jigsaw you can make by yourself. You can make it in a few hours and it doesn’t cost much.

I was honestly surprised at how nice long and straight cuts I was able to make with this jig. Also, the cuts are clean and not skewed as sometimes happens while cutting with a jigsaw.

Nevertheless, for a clean straight cut, you should also consider using some of the tips mentioned above. It is mainly the combination of the jigsaw, the guide, and the appropriate blade that will get you the best result. 

It is a simple addon for your jigsaw. I’ve been using it for multiple projects, it is simple to make, easy to set up and it will get the job done.


Long Straight Cuts with a Jigsaw Straight Cut Guide
Straight Cuts with a Jigsaw Straight Cut Guide

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A jigsaw guide rail for a jigsaw. If you are building a workshop on a budget you should consider making this jigsaw guide jig. A great helper in the shop.

How To Make a Jigsaw Straight Cut Guide

Woodworking Jigs used for this project:

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About the author, Lukas
About the author, Lukas

Meet the creator of AllFlavor Workshop! As a passionate DIYer and woodworking enthusiast, Lukas is always looking for ways to make things himself rather than buying them off the shelf. With a keen eye for design and a knack for working with wood, Lukas enjoys sharing his craft with others and helping them discover the joy of building. Whether you're an experienced woodworker or a novice looking to try your hand at a new hobby, you're sure to find plenty of inspiration and tips on AllFlavor Workshop.