If you have a jigsaw at home, you can easily turn it into a jigsaw table. A jigsaw table is primarily used when you need to make neat and precise cuts. The build and use are very similar to a scroll saw or a band saw, but it is important to note that an “inverted jigsaw table” behaves differently. And that is also how the tool needs to be approached.
Using the jigsaw upside down offers options that are not available through classic use. You will be able to cut much smaller pieces, make straight cuts, make more delicate and finer cuts, or cut circles and curved shapes that otherwise would have been too difficult.
Nevertheless, to get the best result you need to use the right type of blade for the job. Not every blade is suitable for every cut. This is very important not only from the point of view of work quality but also from the point of view of work safety.
Having the jigsaw inverted leaves the blade exposed and extra caution is needed during work. When making a jigsaw table I advise adding additional safety features. The main ones include: the build must be solid, the attachment of the jigsaw to the table firm, and the blade should run in blade guides.
The jigsaw table I’m crafting can be securely clamped to a benchtop, enhancing stability and minimizing vibrations. The bigger size of the table allows for the accommodating of larger pieces of wood. The arm with the blade guides can be mounted both from the back and from the side, which also makes it easier to cut long pieces of wood. Plus, its portability is a bonus.
Mounting and attaching a jigsaw to a table can easily turn your jigsaw into a precision jigsaw table.
Table of Contents
- The Material you will need
- General Questions
- Is jigsaw the same as scroll saw?
- How to change a blade on a jigsaw table?
- How much blade above table when using a jigsaw?
- Safety precautions while working on a jigsaw table
- How to make a jigsaw table step by step
- Step 1: Build the table desk
- Step 2: Attach the table legs
- Step 3: Make the arm attachment
- Jigsaw Table Arm – Rear Attachment
- Jigsaw Table Arm – Side Attachment
- Step 4: Make a simple jigsaw table fence
- How to set and use a jigsaw table
- Jigsaw Table Video
- Woodworking Jigs Used
*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!
You might want to check these safety tips before jumping on making the jigsaw table.
Material needed for a DIY Jigsaw Table
Jigsaw Table Saw:
Plywood – 400 x 500 x 21 mm (15,7 x 19,7 0,8”)
Spruce Wood (4x) – 240 x 40 x 40 mm (9,44 x 1,57 x 1,57”)
Plywood (2x) – 400 x 130 x 12 mm (15,7 x 5,1 x 0,47”)
Plywood – 460 x 120 x 12 mm (18,1 x 4,72 x 1,47”)
Plywood – 120 x 130 x 9 mm (4,72 x 5,11 x 0,35”)
Jigsaw Table – Arm attachment, Adjustable Arms, Bearing Guides:
Plywood (2x) – 100 x 110 x 12 mm (3,93 x 4,33 x 0,47”)
Plywood (1x) – 100 x 110 x 9 mm (3,93 x 4,33 x 0,35”)
Aluminum L angle (2x) – 100 x 15 x 15 mm (3,93 x 0,59 x 0,59”)
Plywood (2x) – 380 x 50 x 12 mm (14,96 x 1,96 x 1,47”)
Plywood (2x) – 190 x 50 x 12 mm (7,48 x 1,96 x 0,47”)
Plywood – 110 x 50 x 12 mm (4,33 x 1,96 x 0,47”)
Plywood (2x) – 80 x 50 x 12 mm (3,14 x 1,96 x 0,47”)
Plywood – 60 x 60 x 12 mm + 60 x 30 x 12 mm (2,36 x 2,36 (1,18)x 0,47”)
Jigsaw Table – Cutting Fence:
Aluminum L angle – 540 mm (15 mm x 15 mm x 2mm)
Plywood – 12 mm thickness
Drill bit – 6mm
Forstner bit – 15mm
Wood Screws (longer, shorter)
Wood Glue, M4 Bolts
M6 Bolts, M6 T-nuts, M6 Washers
Bearings for M6 bolts
Tools (Not all the tools are necessary):
What are the benefits of an inverted jigsaw table?
An inverted jigsaw table, where the jigsaw is mounted upside-down, offers a unique approach to woodworking. It combines the flexibility of a handheld jigsaw with the stability of a stationary tool.
- Increased Stability: With the jigsaw fixed to the table, there’s a reduction in vibrations, resulting in cleaner and smoother cuts.
- Enhanced Precision: The fixed position of the jigsaw ensures a consistent cutting angle, leading to more accurate cuts, especially on intricate designs.
- Safety: Keeping both hands free means you can focus on guiding the wood safely, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Versatility: The inverted setup allows the user to approach the wood from multiple angles, making it easier to handle complex projects.
- Cost-Efficient: For hobbyists or those on a budget, an inverted jigsaw table offers the functions of a table saw without the hefty price tag.
How much blade above table when using a jigsaw?
The blade height above the table must be sufficient to fully cover the thickness of the cut material. More precisely, at the lowest point of the cut (the moment the jigsaw blade is inside the jigsaw), the jigsaw blade must be higher than the thickness of the material being cut.
This is important for 2 main reasons:
- Precision of cut – if the height of the material is higher than the blade it will not be possible to cut through the material cleanly.
- Safety – a short blade will be pushing the material away from the table, making it impossible to hold the material firmly, and may result in injury.
How to change a blade on a jigsaw table?
Changing a blade on a jigsaw table happens quite frequently and having good access to the release lever is one of the essential prerequisites to quickly, easily, and securely change the blade.
Changing a blade on a jigsaw differs among models. Some allow for hands-only blade replacement, while others require specific tools, depending on the particular model. When transforming a jigsaw into a jigsaw table, it’s more convenient to use a jigsaw that features a tool-less system.
Changing a blade on a jigsaw table:
- Make sure the jigsaw table is turned off and unplugged
- Make sure you have easy access to the blade release lever
- Disengage the blade release lever and remove the blade
- Insert the new blade and make sure it is well positioned in the blade (roller) guide
- Secure the blade in position
RELATED: How to Change a Jigsaw Blade
Let's Build It
The jigsaw table desk is made of 12 mm and 9 mm plywood and the table legs of spruce wood prisms. All the material I used for the build is easily available at any local hardware store.
The table can be used separately or it can be clamped down to a workbench. That is actually the setup I prefer. Simple clamps will do the job. The table is much more stable, and there is almost no vibration at all.
The larger surface of the table (400 x 500 mm) can accommodate longer pieces of wood, making work more convenient.
The jigsaw table also contains an adjustable arm, that holds the blade in position while cutting. The blade oscillates between two adjustable bearings, which can hold different types of blades.
There are two setups for the adjustable arm:
- Rear attachment – the extension is mounted on the back of the table and allows the arm to move forward and backward. The height of the arm is fixed. Such a setting is suitable for cross-cuts.
- Side attachment – the extension is mounted from the side of the table and allows the arm to move from side to side. The height of the arm is adjustable. This setting allows cutting longer pieces of wood.
DIY Jigsaw Table saw parameters:
- Table dimensions: 400 x 500 mm
- Table height: 270 mm
- Adjustable Arm:
- Rear attachment: workpieces up to a height of 30 mm
- Side attachment: workpieces up to a height of 70 mm
- Portable, can be easily clamped to a workbench
I have used multiple tools to build the jigsaw table, but not all of them are necessary. They make the work easier and more precise. A jigsaw should be enough. Though having and using some of the woodworking jigs would be definitely useful.
How to Make a Jigsaw Table (Step-by-Step)
Step 1: Build the jigsaw table desk
For the table desk, you will need a 12 mm and 9 mm thick plywood board (in total 400 x 500 x 21 mm). Start with the 9 mm thick board.
Place the jigsaw on the board and outline the outer shape of the jigsaw base (without the jigsaw shoe).
NOTE: Take into account the length of the jigsaw and whether your model is corded or cordless.
Glue the two boards together (9 + 12 mm) and additionally fix them with screws to avoid any wobbling.
Unscrew the jigsaw’s base plate, tape a double-sided tape on it, and insert it in the cut area. Then mark the holes for the screws on the board and remove the base plate again.
Drill all 4 holes for the screws (I am using a 4mm drill bit) and a larger hole (15mm) for the jigsaw blade. Insert the jigsaw in and attach it with screws. Make sure the screws are flush with the table.
NOTE: The hole for the jigsaw blade should be wide enough so the blade is free and does not touch the outer edge of the hole in any way. Also, you should be able to freely insert blades of varying sizes without restrictions.
Attach the legs to the stands(400 x 130 x 12 mm) with glue and screws. The position of the legs is 2 cm from the edges of the base stands.
Mark the position of the legs on the jigsaw table. I cut a precise square slot (5 mm deep) in the table, added glue, and pushed the legs in. Additionally, I secured the legs with screws from the other side of the table, making sure the screws are flush with the table.
NOTE: You can also use an adjustable router template guide to cut squares that precisely copy the shape of the leg. If you don’t have a router or don’t want to sink the leg in, you can always attach the leg directly to the table.
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Step 3: Make the arm attachment
Cut the following plywood pieces to size (100 x 110 mm) and glue them together. They don’t need to be necessarily square. (I am using 3 pieces, two of them 12 mm thick, one 9 mm thick – this thickness is sufficient for the blade).
Add aluminum guide rails on top (100 x 15 x 15 mm), leaving a 50 mm distance between them. They serve as guiding rails for the adjustable arm. Place the rails on the attachment and fix them with screws.
TIP: I am using double-sided tape to first attach the rails on the stand and then fix them with screws.
Drill 4 ø6mm holes in the corners of the stand and cut a hexagon for the screw head.
Drill 2 ø6mm holes on the center line (between the aluminum guide rails) and insert a t-nut on the opposite side of the attachment. Make sure they are flush with the surface.
1. Jigsaw Table Arm – Rear Attachment
Place the arm attachment on the center line of the back of the table and make sure the center line of the aluminum rails points towards the jigsaw blade. Fix the attachment with clamps and drill 4 holes through the jigsaw table. Then fix the attachment to the table with screws and nuts.
To make the sliding adjustable arm cut 2 plywood pieces (380 x 50 x 12 mm), glue them together, and cut a slot on the center line of the piece. I used a router dado jig to cut the slot but you can use a jigsaw as well (drill a hole on each side of the slot and then cut the slot with a jigsaw).
Sand the outer sides of the arm and make sure it fits and slides nicely in the guide rails. Fix the arm to the attachment with wooden knobs. You can make those with a simple wooden knob jig.
Build bearing guides for the blade
Cut a plywood piece (50 x 30 x 12 mm) and drill in 2 ø6mm holes 2 cm apart. Insert t-nuts and make them flush with the surface.
Then attach the bearings with bolts and washers and adjust them as necessary to easily fit the jigsaw blade between them.
TIP: I am using bearings with an inner diameter of 8mm. Thus, the 6mm bolts have space for fine adjustments.
2. Jigsaw Table Arm - Side attachment
To mount the adjustable arm from the side of the jigsaw table you need to add a plywood desk on one of the sides of the table to which the arm attachment can be mounted. I am reusing the already-created attachment from the previous build.
Cut 2 plywood pieces (460 x 120 x 12 mm; 120 x 130 x 9) and fix the pieces together with glue and screws. Then attach the board to the side of the jigsaw table. It is important that the board is firmly attached to the table in order to prevent any vibration and wobbling.
Fix the attachment to the board in the same way as in the case of the rear attachment.
Make a wooden support for the adjustable arm. The support will be fixed to the side attachment and the adjustable arm will be fixed on top of the wooden support.
Glue 2 plywood pieces together (190 x 50 x 12 mm) and cut a slot along the centerline. Attach it to a plywood piece with 2 inserted t-nuts (110 x 50 x 12 mm). Use corner supports and screws to increase the strength of the connection.
Attach the support on the table and set the desired height. Mount the arm on the support and adjust it so that the bearings surround the blade.
Step 4: Make a simple jigsaw table fence
I made a table fence using an aluminum L-angle and plywood. It has a simple locking mechanism at one of the ends. Nevertheless, you could as easily clamp a straight edge guide on the table and use it as a fence.
And this is what the finished jigsaw table looks like.
If you want to build a similar alternative to a scroll saw then a simple DIY jigsaw table can do the job. There are a few setups of the adjustable arm that will allow you to cut both short and long workpieces. Together with the right type of blade, you’ll be able to make different types of cuts and cut through different types of materials, such as wood, plastic, and even ceramic or metal.
How to set up and use a jigsaw table
The following steps describe how to set up and use a jigsaw table. Keep in mind to use the right jigsaw blade for the job. Different types of materials and different types of cuts require a matching blade. Using the right blade is one of the most important things when using a jigsaw, both in terms of quality and safety.
When using a jigsaw upside down for every upstroke the jigsaw is pushing the workpiece away from the table. For that reason, it is better to use a standard jigsaw blade since the jigsaw will naturally be pulling the blade against the table. A reverse tooth blade for fine cuts can be used as well but keep in mind how the blade behaves.
Cutting With a Jigsaw Table (using jigsaw upside down)
- Place the jigsaw table on the workbench and secure it with clamps
- Make sure nothing is wobbling and everything is fixed
- Insert the blade in the jigsaw and make sure it is well positioned in the jigsaw roller guide
- Secure the blade in position
- Mount the adjustable arm on the back or the side of the jigsaw table depending on the size of the stock and the cut
- Adjust the height of the arm so the jigsaw blade is well positioned between the guiding bearings and stays between the bearings even in its lowest position
- Turn on the jigsaw table
- Slowly make the cut and let the jigsaw do the work
Cut slowly and steadily to get the best result, there is no need to rush. Let the jigsaw do the work and follow its rhythm.
How to Mount a Jigsaw to a Table Video
If you want to see how to build a jigsaw table saw, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide.
Is jigsaw the same as scroll saw?
There are many similarities between a jigsaw and a scroll saw, and these two types of saws are often confused. They work on a similar principle, nevertheless, they are two different tools whose uses are also different.
- A jigsaw is a handheld portable power tool that is often used for all sorts of different curved and intricate cuts. And although a jigsaw can be also used for straight cuts, its advantage is mainly found in cutting irregular shapes. A Jigsaw is equipped with quite a narrow blade, that can cut through a wide range of materials. When operating a jigsaw the reciprocating blade is pushed into the workpiece.
- A scroll saw is a fixed stationary power tool. The blade is usually smaller and narrower than in the case of a jigsaw and is gripped by the machine from both ends. Such a thin blade allows for more delicate and intricate designs without breaking or binding. The kerf is very narrow and cutting interlocking pieces like a puzzle is very easy. When using a scroll saw the workpiece is pushed into the blade.
A jigsaw table is very close to a scroll saw, nevertheless, a jigsaw is more powerful and uses different types of blades.
Safety precautions while working on a jigsaw table
Generally, a jigsaw is safer in comparison to other saws. Nevertheless, using a jigsaw as a standalone tool or in a table setup requires following all the necessary safety precautions such as wearing safety glasses or goggles (full-face mask), hearing protection, or wearing adequate clothes.
Apart from standard safety precautions, there are a few areas to watch out for specifically when using a jigsaw table.
- The hole for the blade in the table should be large enough to keep the blade free and not be squeezed by the table. If the blade does not move freely, there is a higher risk of blade breakage
- The jigsaw needs to be firmly attached to the table
- The entire build needs to be solid and firm. Mounting the jigsaw table on a bench top gives the jigsaw table better stability and reduces vibrations
- The jigsaw blade should be running between blade guide bearings all the time, even in the lowest position of the blade
- An easily accessible switch should be in place in case of need in order to quickly turn off the jigsaw
- Use the right jigsaw blade for the job. A jigsaw blade that cuts on the upstroke is a better option
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I hope the information was helpful and you can start with your jigsaw table endeavors. 😉