If you would like to have a part-time scroll saw or electric coping saw and already have a jigsaw, you need to check out this 𝐣𝐢𝐠𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 with a zero-clearance base for the harbor freight folding workbench. In many ways, this is a continuation or a part 2 to an earlier video where added an isolating spindle sander to the 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐛𝐨𝐫 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐅𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐛𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐡.
There are many videos and articles on the internet converting jigsaws to scroll saws or electric coping saws. I have a problem with many because they often give up some functionality of the jigsaw and or only serve a particular task! The goal with this 𝐃𝐈𝐘 𝐣𝐢𝐠𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 with a zero-clearance base for the Harbor Freight folding workbench is not not only to add scroll saw or electric coping saw functionality to my woodworking workshop but to maintain all of the functionality of the jigsaw. If anything, improve it by adding a zero-clearance faceplate base.
Why is a zero-clearance faceplate base important? Zero-clearance inserts or faceplates improve cut quality. Jigsaw doesn't do a very good job cutting things like plywood and even some plastics. By putting pressure on the material closer to the blade, you get a cleaner and more precise cut. In many instances, when cutting a large piece like a 4X8 sheet, the added width of the faceplate improves safety as well!
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐉𝐢𝐠𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐒𝐚𝐰 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧?
Since ancient times the coping saw has played an essential role in woodworking. With the invention of electricity, the electric scroll saw opened an entirely new world for woodworking professionals and hobbies alike. Today you can buy a scroll saw or electric coping saw at places like Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon, and even Walmart for as little as $100. That is not the issue. That issue, at least for me, is space. Not only do I not need a full-time scroll saw, or electric coping saw, but I don't appreciate tools that take more space and bring more clutter to an already small woodworking garage. That was the primary reason for upgrading the Harbor Freight folding workbench. I designed an insert for the larger deck that would hold multiple tools like the spindle sander, as shown in the last video (https://youtu.be/BbkoQkYdzVs).
With this build, we'll be adding a 𝐣𝐢𝐠𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 and, very shortly, a high-speed electric cutout tool to use with spiral cut bits. These are supposed to make better cuts than jigsaws, but I have never owned one, so I couldn't tell you.
𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐲 𝐉𝐢𝐠𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐀 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐒𝐚𝐰!
The foundation for this jigsaw to scroll saw conversion is the modification I did to the Harbor Freight Folding Workbench (https://youtu.be/YbZqrwkXpFs). That paved the way for implementing the oscillating spindle sander, and now to this jigsaw to scroll saw conversion. Since we already have a faceplate insert that fits perfectly into the folding Harbor Freight Folding Workbench, we are just going to make a copy. I cut a piece of ½ inch HDPE (high-density polyethylene) board, slightly larger than the master, stuck the two together using mounting tape, and make a copy using the router table and a flush bit.
Then we need to make the opening for the window. Is this needed? Perhaps not, but if you want to use the jigsaw as a jigsaw with a zero-clearance faceplate, you need to see where and what you are cutting. The opening I made is four inches wide by three inches deep. That should be big enough for the high-speed electric cutout tool. For the window itself, I am using ¼ inch GE Lexan. With a ½ inch rabbet bit, I open a ¼ inch deep by ½ wide recess for the plexiglass. To get the piece to fit correctly, I had to round the edges. I did this with the band saw and after checking for fit. I drill and countersunk five mounting holes. I also cut and removed about a half-inch of the protective nylon and sprayed flat black so that the groove under it does not show through. To make the grove for the blade, I used the ban saw as well. I set a straight edge to one side and made a single cut about 2-inches deep.
With the zero-clearance faceplate complete, all that is left to do is mount the jigsaw! But after a dry fit and some consideration, I opted against using the OEM footplate or shoe, as some people call it! That is not a big deal, but it does come with some side effects. For one, I will not be able to make angled cuts with the zero-clearance faceplate, but switching to the factory one takes less than 30 sec.
I made the new footplate from HDPE (high-density polyethylene) board scraps. That is nothing more than a piece of the same ½ board cut down to 3-inch by 1.125-inch. I was concerned about the jigsaw moving side to side under load or cutting something hard, so I added to small pieces. One on each side to make it stays in place. My friends, that is it.
I look forward to showing you the jigsaw to scroll saw conversion in use in future videos.
#DIY #JigsawToScrollSaw #Conversion #Convert #JigSaw #Scrollsaw