Easy Jigsaw Guide for Crosscuts (With Pictures)

A quick and easy jigsaw crosscut guide for crosscuts that you can easily build 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. If you are planning on making a guide for a circular saw check out this selection – you will find one that will come in handy for your projects.


Jigsaw Cutting Guide Video Tutorial

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

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Table of Contents

  1. Simple Jigsaw Guide Video
  2. Materials and Tools
  3. Jigsaw Guide Plans
  4. General Questions
    1. Can you cut straight with a Jigsaw?
    2. Why does my Jigsaw blade bend?
  5. Building the Jigsaw Guide
    1. Building the Jigsaw Frame
    2. Attaching the tightening wood piece
  6. 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!

Material you'll need to build this Easy Jigsaw Guide

Jigsaw Guide Body:
Spruce wood (preferably planed)
2x – 400 x 28 x 19 mm
2x – 285 x 28 x 19 mm
1x – 61 x 28 x 19 mm
M5 Bolt – 6 cm, M5 Washer, M5 Wing Nut

Check all the Tools I Use

Jigsaw – https://amzn.to/3S85cDr
Hand Drill – https://amzn.to/3HqLEnH
Quick Clamps – https://amzn.to/48jGxkZ
Spring Clamps – https://amzn.to/41Nuh9D
Machinist Square / Speed Square

Wood Glue – https://amzn.to/48ltKhJ
Sandpaper Sheets – https://amzn.to/41OMx2p
Wood Screws – https://amzn.to/41PodgQ

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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?

You can achieve straight cuts with a jigsaw, although it might require some practice. While a jigsaw is fantastic for crafting curves, angles, and unique cuts, getting straight lines might need a bit of finesse. To enhance your precision, using a cutting guide can make your straight cuts much smoother.

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

The guide built in this article is mainly designed for short straight cuts and crosscuts. To make long straight cuts with a jigsaw a guide track would be a better option.

RELATED: How to Cut a Straight Line with a Jigsaw

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

Why Does my Jigsaw Blade Bend?

Jigsaw blades can sometimes bend, especially when dealing with thick materials or exerting excessive lateral pressure on the saw. To ensure your cuts stay precise and free from bevels or skews, consider these tips:

  1. Blade Selection: The choice of blade plays a crucial role. Opt for the right blade that matches the material and task at hand. Keep in mind that there can be a significant disparity in quality among different blade options.

  2. Gentle Pressure: Applying too much force can lead to blade bending. Maintain a balanced approach by using moderate pressure. Keeping the Jigsaw aligned and allowing the blade to cut at its own pace can lead to better results.

  3. Patience Matters: Avoid the temptation to rush through cuts. Take your time, allowing the blade to work through the material steadily. This approach often leads to cleaner and more accurate outcomes.

  4. Tool Consideration: Upgrading to a heavy-duty Jigsaw equipped with blade guides (such as a pair of rollers) and variable speed settings can greatly enhance the precision of your cuts. The variable speed lets you slow down when navigating intricate patterns.

RELATED: How to Change a Jigsaw Blade

Let's Build It

This guide is mainly designed to function as a jigsaw crosscut jig. The good news is that you’ll just require a jigsaw, a few spruce wood bars (which you likely already possess), and a bolt to put it all together.

The best part is, it 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.

Spruce wood strips:

  • 2x – 400 x 28 x 19 mm
  • 2x – 300 x 28 x 19 mm
  • 1x – 60 x 28 x 19 mm

How to Build and Easy Jigsaw Guide for Crosscuts

Step 1: Build the Jigsaw Guide 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.

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 afterward)

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 worth spending a bit of extra time on this part since this determines how accurate the guide will be.

Use a carpenter’s square or a machinist’s 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 were parallel. The bolts act as spacers and will create a nice track.

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.
Leave the bolts in the track 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 guide frame finished.

Step 2: Attach the Crosscut Fence

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

The piece serves as a crosscut fence (workpiece tightened) 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. Optionally you can sink the bolt’s head and the washer in the wood piece.

RELATED: How to drill a straight hole without a drill press 

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. Then 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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How to Use the Jigsaw Guide for Short Crosscuts

The steps below describe how to set up and use this jigsaw guide for making short crosscuts.

  1. Draw a line on a piece of wood you want to cut.
  2. Insert the piece in the jigsaw guide and adjust it 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 jigsaw 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
How to use a jigsaw crosscut guide

Check out these few to understand how to make a straight cut using a jigsaw.

My Experience

This is a simple and easy-to-make jigsaw guide. If you have the material ready it will take only around 30 minutes. It is particularly good for:

  • making short and precise crosscuts
  • making short straight cuts along a drawn line

Generally, the guide is convenient for cutting smaller pieces. It is easy to use and quick to set up. However, I wouldn’t recommend using the guide for cutting anything longer than 20 cm. 

If you want to cut longer pieces using a jigsaw, use a jigsaw guide (a jigsaw guide track or a straight-edge guide). Both will work fine.

NOTE: There is one important step when building the guide. Make sure the wood pieces are fixed at 90 degrees. That will ensure your cuts will be precisely 90-degrees. It is worth spending a bit of extra time on this step.

Easy Jigsaw Guide in use - making a cross cut
Simple Small Jigsaw Crosscut Jig
Easy Jigsaw Guide in use - 90 degree angle cut

How to Make the Guide Even Better

This jigsaw guide secures the workpiece with one wing nut. For a better hold, you can add another rail to the frame. This gives you two tracks and an extra wing nut, ensuring the piece you’re cutting stays firmly in place.

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How To Make a Simple Jigsaw Crosscut 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.