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  • HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

    I am really having trouble using this new (Bosch 1590EVSK) jigsaw and could use some help. My old Skil jigsaw was a fairly inexpensive one and old enough that many of today's safety features, etc., were not present. I could see clearly the front of the blade when cutting and could do a decent job with long, straight cuts.

    Right now, I am installing lots of trim pieces on three large composite (ChoiceDek) decks. These boards are quite pricey and I already had some really crooked cuts which may cause these pieces to be discarded. The cuts were straight, the material is either 3/4" thick or 1 1/4" thick, and I consider it to be 'soft'. When I am cutting, either rip or crosscut, I cannot see where the (Bosch 1590EVSK) blade is and I'm also having trouble learning how to pick a 'sight line' using some feature on the front of the jigsaw. When I raised this issue with one of the knowledgeable guys at the HD pro desk, he acknowledged my observations but said that found the DeWalt and Ridgid jigsaws even 'wider' appearing at the front and even harder to 'aim' than the Bosch ..... meaning that he did not see a benefit in a possible exchange for one of them.

    Do you have any tips for me that will help me avoid an impulsive decision to return the 1590 and try to find another solution? I know some of you can use these saws like an artist with a paint brush so I must assume that I am the problem.

    Tom B

  • #2
    Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

    Seems like nobody else has this problem. Maybe I need one of the 'laser' light versions to keep me on track? Perhaps the 1/14" thick composite boards are bending the blade (Bosch T) when I try to correct my line and causing the unusually large variations ....... BUT ... I even had this problem on short (5 1/2" cross cuts!

    Oh well ...............

    Tom B
    Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-07-2007, 03:29 PM. Reason: clarification

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    • #3
      Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

      Making a perfectly straight free hand cut with a jigsaw is not the easiest of things to do. Like anything else, the more you practice the better you'll get.

      On thing you might consider doing is using a board to act as a fence when you make the cut. Measure the distance from the side of the blade to the end of the saws base plate. Once you have determined that, clamp a board that distance away from your cut line and use the board as a guide.

      P.S. That's what you get for not considering the Freud FJ-85.
      Last edited by BadgerDave; 10-07-2007, 05:23 PM.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

        Just curious, what blade are you using. I have had a lot of problems with one particular model bosch clean cut blade which does something like you describe. On boards that are over about 1/2" thick it deflects pretty bad and tends to bend and wander away on its own.

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        • #5
          Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

          Tom first of all congratulations on the new jigsaw

          I've got a couple of tips for you...

          1. Make sure the precision control button in - this will help with blade wander...

          2. Try setting the variable speed dial to #4 - this will limit the top speed, you could experiment with lower settings but read your guide first about heat buildup issues -> http://66.77.255.87/Images/BOSCHPDF/...L/1590EVSK.pdf

          3. Try setting the blade orbit lever to #1 (if that doesn't help try position #3) - this setting has a lot to do with how fast the cut advances...

          Oh and make sure you turn the chip blower on to keep your pencil line clear and easy to see...
          Cheers! - Jim
          -------------
          All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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          • #6
            Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

            Let me add...

            Although I have no experience with your particular model, I do happen to have a sabre saw with a laser. Forget it, the laser is more trouble than its worth, IMO.

            It sounds a bit that you and I are alike in that we've gotten used to seeing the blade and tracking it down the intended path. On my Ryobi, I can see the blade enough to continue to use it that way, but the laser is a total distraction that actually gets in the way. While I would surely hope that a higher priced saw would ensure better quality and accuracy, I would still tend to think the laser to be undesireable. But then, that may just be me.

            CWS

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            • #7
              Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

              Why are you crosscutting and ripping with a jigsaw?
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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              • #8
                Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                First, many thanks for taking time!

                1st _ I just bookmarked the Amazon.com Freud FJ-85 at $109.99.
                2nd _ Bosch T-101D (6teeth/inch) blades. The composite deck mfg (ChoiceDek) recommended the circular saw blades be less than 20 teeth. Further discussions with them on tele suggests 24 teeth is a decent compromise to avoid changing blades all the time when going back and forth to wood cutting. I don't know how to translate that to jigsaw blades (teeth and speed), but these blades seemed to be as coarse as any I saw.

                3rd _ Precision control on (now), slowed speed dial down to #3 thinking to try to reduce the amount of 'fuzz' build-up from the composite boards. I will continue to try different combinations, but right now it's so much I can't see the line 1 inch out. I will try the orbit settings. The blower is on. but not much effect.

                4th _ OK, no laser

                5th _ For the longer (<2 ft) pieces _ and full board cross cuts _ I do use a worm drive circ saw. It's this trim work I'm now doing which is smaller pieces in both dimensions. I'm working on out on the deck itself with a B&D Workmate table and sometimes the clamps get just too close to keep using the circ saw. For really small stuff I'm using a manual pull-cut Sharksaw.

                Since my last post today, I did more trim cuts and continue to struggle. Some which were goofed included triangular pieces for the stairway sides. One was only about 7 inches across but the cut started to go off line within about 3 inches and the result is a 'wavy' diagonal cut line. This is just too small for me to be comfortable with the circ saw or the Sharksaw.
                HD _ locally _ is so easy to deal with that I'm seriously considering a trial buy of the DeWalt 331K. At least I would know in a hurry if I get exactly the same result. Prior to that, I will continue to practice and implement your helpful ideas.

                Best regards,
                Tom B
                Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-07-2007, 09:01 PM. Reason: error correction

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                • #9
                  Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                  From your description of the problem I have a strong feeling the blade might be the problem. I checked the blade model and the T101B and D versions are precisely the ones I've had similar problems with. It looks like they are cutting straight until you realize the blade deflects and starts cutting wavy lines, particularly towards the bottom of the cut. I've tried different speeds but I've never been able to solve the problem. The blade just seems to thin to work well on anything that is too thick. I would recommend before you decide to try a new saw, which is unlikely to solve your problem, try a different blade. Try the T144 series. These are the black color blades which are quite bit thicker and are better for accurate cutting since the will not deflect.

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                  • #10
                    Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                    Originally posted by Velosapien View Post
                    From your description of the problem I have a strong feeling the blade might be the problem. I checked the blade model and the T101B and D versions are precisely the ones I've had similar problems with. It looks like they are cutting straight until you realize the blade deflects and starts cutting wavy lines, particularly towards the bottom of the cut. I've tried different speeds but I've never been able to solve the problem. The blade just seems to thin to work well on anything that is too thick. I would recommend before you decide to try a new saw, which is unlikely to solve your problem, try a different blade. Try the T144 series. These are the black color blades which are quite bit thicker and are better for accurate cutting since the will not deflect.
                    Many thanks for a very relevant comment! My past experience with a much less capable jigsaw made me confident that I was not making some obvious error in operation. I will try the other blades and hope that the positive result is 'immediate'. I really appreciate hearing of your experience.

                    Regards,
                    Tom B

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                    • #11
                      Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                      Another blade that you may want to try is the T234 Bosch Progressor blade. It's a very stout blade which helps when deflection is a problem. It's the blade I use for the vast majority of my cuts with wood although I've never used it with composite materials.
                      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                      • #12
                        Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                        Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
                        Another blade that you may want to try is the T234 Bosch Progressor blade. It's a very stout blade which helps when deflection is a problem. It's the blade I use for the vast majority of my cuts with wood although I've never used it with composite materials.
                        Thank-you .... I will try the T234 as well. I got little 'skilled' help when I just called Bosch Tech Support, but they did suggest T-144D and T344DF. The actual blade specs do not suggest much difference from the T101D I'm using, but I must definitely try these others. I'm surprised that the manufacturers have not recognized the increasing popularity of composite deck materials and the need to recommend specific blades for these applications. I plan on contacting ChoiceDek for their thoughts as well.

                        <EDIT> I contacted ChoiceDek and they suggested a 'downcutting' blade so residue is pushed out the bottom of the cut. This was not a proven or strong recommendation, just their suggestion since their 'capable' support and install people have the same problem using jigsaws on this 50-50 plastic-wood fiber material. I then called Bosch again and they suggested T-101BR for the 'downcutting' blade and also mentioned a newer blade __ T101BIF __ which apparently has almost straight teeth and was developed for Pergo floor material. I am curious, but it sounds almost opposite for what I need since the Pergo material must be quite hard. In any case, I'm learning and that helps.

                        Regards,
                        Tom B
                        Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-08-2007, 11:02 AM. Reason: new info

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                        • #13
                          Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                          Downcutting blades are a little tricky to work with because instead of pulling the saw base down into the workpiece they actually push it up and the saw will want to kick up. You should only use them in situations where you can keep the saw pressed firmly down on the workpiece. The straight tooth blades are a compromise between both style. They leave clean cuts on both ends but are very slow cutting. Make sure to turn of the orbital setting with downcut and straight tooth blades.

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                          • #14
                            Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                            Originally posted by Velosapien View Post
                            Downcutting blades are a little tricky to work with because instead of pulling the saw base down into the workpiece they actually push it up and the saw will want to kick up. You should only use them in situations where you can keep the saw pressed firmly down on the workpiece. The straight tooth blades are a compromise between both style. They leave clean cuts on both ends but are very slow cutting. Make sure to turn of the orbital setting with downcut and straight tooth blades.
                            Thank-you for the important instructions! I purchased one large Assorted Bosch T-blade set and a multi-blade pack at HD. I will open the assorted one and try the down-cut blade on some scrap to see how it behaves. I am planning on a fairly slow speed range and 0 orbit.

                            I must say ..... I sure wish I could get some specific comments from Ridgid users who have or have tried the R883 MaxSelect cordless Jigsaw. I have no illusions about it being comparable to the Bosch 1590EVSK, but if it is fairly close I wold enjoy the 'convenience' of the batt power. Also, contrary to what the 'ProDesk' person at HD stated, I looked more closely at the DeWalt 331K and it has a narrower front 'slot' to aim the saw than the Bosch. Those are my three alternatives since I must use the HD 'Rewards' M/C offer and get the 10% + $100. discount on the one tool. Otherwise I would certainly explore the Freud FJ85 saw.

                            Early status ... first attempts with the Bosch T101BR (downcutting blade) were fairly decent. Very clean cut, able to follow a prescribed or freestyle line, discharge material is far less on the top surface. Using 0 orbit and tried different speeds .... speed range 3 works pretty well .... lower speeds tend to result in the 'bounce' mentioned earlier. These small scrap tests are with the sample clamped securely to the WorkMate top surface. I would not want to try this hand held on a table due to the potential 'bounce'. Will be trying the other suggested blades shortly.

                            Regards,
                            Tom B
                            Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-08-2007, 03:16 PM. Reason: addition

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                            • #15
                              Re: HELP ! .. Right Now I'm a Jigsaw Klutz !!

                              I have the Ridgid 24 volt cordless jigsaw. It is a heavier than the competition but the extra weight isn't as bothersome with a saw as it is with a drill. The blades are a little easier to change than the fiddly Bosch.

                              Regarding cutting straight lines with a jigsaw...I rarely do it. For straight cuts I stick with a circular saw...or for shorter boards a chop saw. They make shorter work of the job, and I don't have to worry about the tool wandering. If I'm making an L cut, i will slice it to the L with a circular saw and then clean the remaining cut up with a jigsaw. Despite using two tools it is faster because the circular saw rips through the wood so much faster.

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