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Cutting doors with jigsaw?

Posted by weirded (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 20, 09 at 9:12

We are putting carpets into several rooms in our home and need to trim the particle board doors on the bottom. Unfortunately, I don't own a circular saw. I do own an expensive Milwaukee jigsaw, though.

Will I be able to cut the door using the jig saw, assuming I use masking tape to prevent chipping, a guide to assure a straight line and a fine saw blade at high speed? Or should I invest in a circular saw?


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

Will I be able to cut the door using the jig saw...

I think that depends entirely upon your skill level. The only thing I would add is to cut the veneer on the good side of the cut line with a sharp utility knife.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

A jig saw is not the best item for trimming doors.

A plain old cross cut hand saw would be a better choice.

Doors are thick enough that the blade can easily wander enough to not leave the cut perpendicular to the face of the door.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

Using tape and a straight edge will help. It may not be enough.

The better made the saw, the better the result should be----operative word is should.

Reason is the jig(or sabre) saw is suseptable to changing the angle of the blade (from 90 degrees) with small mistakes. Tension of the operating hand can push the blad sideways---this will not be noticeable on the saw side of the stock---the wander will show after the cut is made. The gotcha here is the fact that with this saw, the good side must be on the bottom of the cut----which means the wander will be on that side and look terrible(if it happens)

Knots/grain changes can cause the same problem.

The only way to find out is to try. I would recommend trying to cut half the amount on a closet door. If it comes out straight---and do the scoring as Bobs said.

If it does not work, try to find a friend with a good circular saw---and a plywood blade. That combination can easily cost over $100.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

Or rent a circular saw, making sure it has the appropriate blade. On second thought, I would think that an average circular saw should do the job, so maybe buying one is the better way to go. The blade, however, is critical - make sure it is appropriate for veneer and then, I would still use masking tape to keep splintering down. Average saw, really good blade.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

>Average saw, really good blade.

Yep, this would be my recommendation. Cheap stereo and a good set of speakers. While _you_ _might_ be able to do it with a jig saw, this is really a better choice.

Check with a local rental or hardware store. You might be able to get one for $10 a day.

Using this, I would clamp across a straightedge or straight board for a guide. Make the first past just barely knicking the surface, maybe 1/16" deep. This will score the veneer. Then go full depth.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

Just buy a circular saw. This is a no brainer. Why do you even have a nice jig saw? A circular saw is like the most basic tool in the world. Recently I forgot to bring mine to a job, and just bought a $60 Skil or Milwaukee circ saw at HD. I used it for the day, dusted it off, and then put it back in the box and returned it. I was surprised it cut almost as well as my worm drive Mag 77, just lighter weight and less power.

For cutting doors, use a straight edge jig clamped to the door bottom. I have one made of two pieces of 1/4" ply stapled together, a thin strip on top of a wider strip. The thin strip is the guide for the base plate of the saw, the wide strip marks the cutting edge of the saw blade, and also protects the surface of the door from being scratched by the base plate of the saw. Before clamping the jig to the door, put a piece of masking tape across the veneer where you will make the cut. Clamp the jig and then skor the tape and veneer with a knife following the edge of the jig. The circ saw with a sharp blade cuts through veneer cleanly on the bottom side.


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RE: Cutting doors with jigsaw?

I'd use a circular. A jig saw isn't appropriate for this kind of work. I've had good luck on newer doors with a fine tooth Freud blades (40+ teeth), a clamp-on straight edge, and some green painter's tape to prevent chip-out. With an older door, I'd probably score the top first by setting the saw just to nick the surface and running it backwards across the door.

You don't need the fancy edge guide, the factory edge of most sheet goods is accurate enough.


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