Easy Jigsaw Guide for Your Workshop

A quick and easy jigsaw guide that you can easily build for your workshop no matter your skill level. Great woodworking project for beginners. Step by step tutorial, measurements and video!

A Jigsaw was one of the first power tools I got for my workshop. Due to its versatility, it is probably the best tool for a DIYer and woodworking beginner. I have already created a few DIY jigsaw guides in the past and now I made another one – an easy jigsaw guide for shortcuts. I was really happy about the previous ones and I was wondering how this one would perform.

This one is very simple and easy to make. You can make one yourself in no time, at no cost using only the material you already have in your workshop. The guide is great for short straight cuts and crosscuts.

This guide was designed for a jigsaw but you could make one exactly the same way for a circular saw. Although if you were planning on making a guide for a circular saw I would recommend this one – DIY circular saw track.

RELATED: DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail, you might also like these Jigsaw Guides

Jigsaw Cutting Guide Video Tutorial

If you’re interested in seeing how it all comes together, check out the full build video below!

What do I need to build it?

This guide serves both as a jigsaw cutting guide as well as a jigsaw crosscut jig. You will only need a jigsaw to make it, a few spruce wood bars you probably already have, and a bolt.

The best part is, it really doesn’t cost much and you’ll have a nice addon to your workshop. You can easily get below $10 for the build. Check out the listed material below.

Table of Contents

  1. General Questions
    1. Can you cut straight with a Jigsaw?
    2. Why does my Jigsaw blade bend?
  2. Building the Jigsaw Guide
    1. Building the Jigsaw Frame
    2. Attaching the tightening wood piece
  3. Using the 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!

Woodworking is awesome and a lot of fun but always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.

What you'll need to build this Easy Jigsaw Guide

Spruce wood (planed)
2x – 40 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm
2x – 30 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm
1x – 6 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm

M5 Bolt – 6 cm, M5 Washer, M5 Wing Nut

Wood screws, Wood Glue

Jigsaw Guide Plans

Simple Jigsaw Guide Plans. Printable jigsaw guide plans.
Jigsaw Guide Plans

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Can You Cut Straight With a Jigsaw?

Yes, you can. But it is not entirely easy and it takes practice. As a great tool for DIYers, a jigsaw excels when you need to cut curves, angles or make other specific cuts. If you want to make straight cuts with a jigsaw it is better to use a cutting guide. 

This guide will help you with short straight cuts. If you want to make long cuts with a jigsaw then a guide track/guide rail would be a better option.

However, there are other factors that affect how straight and clean the cut will be – for instance, the jigsaw model, the type of blade you are using and the type of material you are cutting.

Why Does my Jigsaw Blade Bend?

Very often why a jigsaw blade bends is when cutting through thick material or putting a little too much side (lateral) pressure on the saw.

These tips will help you to end up with a square cut and not a beveled/ skewed edge.

  • Use the right blade for the job and the material you are cutting. There is a huge difference between the best and the worst blades. 
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on the saw. Keep the Jig Saw straight and let the blade do the cutting.
  • Take your time and don’t rush.
  • For better quality and accurate cuts use a heavy-duty saw that is equipped with blade guides (pair of rollers) and variable speed that lets you slow down when you’re at a tricky point in a pattern. 

Let's Build It

Building the Jigsaw Guide

1) Build the Jigsaw Frame

First, let’s start with the jigsaw frame. Cut all wooden pieces to the desired length (see dimensions above). For that, I used a  crosscut jigsaw guide I built earlier.

Dimensions:

   Piece 1 – 2x – 40 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm
   Piece 2 – 2x – 30 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm
   Piece 3 – 1x – 6 x 2,8 x 1,9 cm

Cutting wood stripes for a jigsaw guide
Cutting wood pieces for a jigsaw guide

Glue pieces 1 and 2 together, leaving on the second piece a distance greater than half the width of your jigsaw (that should be approximately 8 cm).

(Once finished with the jigsaw guide you will cut off the extra wood. You don’t need to worry about that at this point. The main intent now is to leave a bit of extra wood, that will be cut off afterwards)

Note:
Take your time when gluing the pieces together. Make sure they are fixed at a right angle to achieve 90-degree crosscuts. It is definitely worth spending a bit of extra time on this part since this determines how accurate the guide will be.

It is good to use a square to fix the pieces at 90 degrees.

Gluing wood stripes together making a 90 degree angle
Gluing wood pieces together making a right angle using a L angle

Glue the second long wood piece (piece 1) to the frame. I inserted 2 M5 Bolts between the wood pieces to make sure they are parallel. Again, pay attention to the right angles.

Fixing all wood pieces together to build a jigsaw guide

Fix the bottom of the jigsaw guide with the smallest wood piece (piece 3).
Leave the bolts in until the glue dries off. 

Fixing the jigsaw guide bottom with a wood piece

Additionally, I am tightening the whole jig with screws. This step might be overkill since the glue alone would be sufficient, but I wanted the jig to be strong and durable.

Countersink the holes and make sure the screws are flush with the wood pieces.

Strengthening a jigsaw guide with wood screws
Strengthening a jigsaw guide with wood screws

At this point, you should have the jigsaw frame finished.

2) Attach the Tightening Wood Piece

After getting the shape of the jigsaw guide done, I attached the last wood piece (piece 2) to the base. 

The piece serves as a tightener that runs in the created track.
It holds the moving wooden piece in place with a wing nut. 

Align both wooden pieces, mark the center and drill a hole for an M5 bolt. 

Note:
Optionally you can sink the washer with the bolt in the wood piece and make it flush with the surface.

Fixing a parallel guide for a jigsaw jig
Securing the jigsaw wood piece with a bolt
Using a wing nut to secure a wooden piece on a jigsaw guide

Test the jigsaw guide by attaching a dispensable piece of wood between the jig arms and cut off the wood excess.

Cutting wood excess of a jigsaw guide

The jigsaw guide edge should be perfectly aligned. 

A clean cut after cutting wood excess on a jigsaw guide. Edges of both pieces are perfectly aligned

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Using the Jigsaw Guide

Using this jigsaw guide is very simple.

  1. Draw a line on a piece of wood you want to cut.
  2. Adjust the piece as necessary – make sure the drawn line is flush with the edge of the jigsaw guide.
  3. Secure the wood piece and tighten it down with a wing nut.
  4. Fix the guide to the workbench with clamps.
  5. Make the cut.
Easy Jigsaw Guide in use
Easy Jigsaw Guide in use - cutting a short piece of wood

Having trouble making a straight 90-degree cut with a jigsaw and not ending up with a skewed bevel?

Check out the tips at the beginning of this blog post or these few tips on how to make a straight cut using a jigsaw.

My experience

This is a quick and simple jigsaw guide. If you have the material ready it will take you only a few tens of minutes to build it. The jig is especially good to be used as:

  • Jigsaw Straight Cut Guide – for clean short cuts along a line
  • Jigsaw Crosscut Guide – for short 90-degree cuts

Generally, the guide is convenient for cutting smaller pieces. It is easy to use and quick to set up. Though I wouldn’t recommend using the guide for cutting anything longer than 20 cm. To cut longer pieces using a jigsaw, I would either use a jigsaw guide track or a straight edge guide designed for longer cuts. 

Note – if you want to have 90-degree crosscuts make sure the wood pieces are fixed at 90 degrees. It is definitely worth spending a bit of extra time on this part.

Easy Jigsaw Guide in use - making a cross cut
Easy Jigsaw Guide in use - 90 degree angle cut

Jigsaw Guide Upgrade

This jigsaw guide is using 1 wing nut to fix the wood piece in place. You can make an upgrade and add an additional rail to the jigsaw frame creating 2 tracks and adding an extra wing nut to provide a better fix for the piece cut. 

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How To Make a Jigsaw Guide

If you only have a jigsaw in your shop and you are building a workshop on a budget you should consider making this jig. You can quickly set it up, it costs nothing and it will help you with your projects.

Jigs used for this project:

Other Jigs you might want to check out:

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