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  • jig saw-zall

    Ok, so today I was looking for a compact jig saw and I saw a Rigid compact sawzall type tool. It's small enough for my toolbox, but of course it takes the common sawzall type blades. What I'm looking for is a similar machine, but that takes the T type jigsaw blades.

    Of course this doesn't exist, since I'm actually looking for it

    I want a jigsaw where the body of the machine stands tall above the blade and not swaying out the back such that you can't get around corners in tight quarters.

    I bought a similar sawzall a while ago and converted it to a table-top edge-chewer type machine, which I'm relatively happy with. With the right blades mounted, I can bring a piece of aluminum plate up to it and chew away at the edge to shape it to the layout line. I often do this on the bandsaw, but the blade is too thin and it's slow and not easy to get a good result. So this turned out to be a decent 're-use' of the sawzall type machine. Now I want to modify another sawzall to be able to use typical jigsaw blades.

    What I'm proposing is making an adapter which will fit the sawzall and take the standard T type jigsaw blades. There is some, but little difference in thickness between the blade types, although the width of the tang is about half for the jigsaw blade. I could take some used sawzall blades and grind the holder end off, then grind a slot in it to take the jigsaw blade- silver soldering it in place. That would work, but it would be some work, and when it comes to blade changes- well I might as well forget the whole thing and take up knitting. At any rate, I'm trying to think of a way to make an adapter that would work without destroying the spindle for using the standard sawzall blades. Any ideas?

    By the way, it's the Rigid R3030 I'm looking at.
    Last edited by darryl; 03-31-2012, 01:47 AM.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Look at a Bosch barrel style(no top handle). I have one with serrations in the head where you can put it in a vice upside down. When freehanding it turns on a dime. A have an AEG just like it. Both have lots of power. Also a slide swith that locks on & the varible speed is a thumbwheel on the back.
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison

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    • #3
      On all the sawzalls I have seen, they have considerable space between the blade holder and the shoe, Why not make a clamp style jigsaw blade holder that has a tang on it like a normal sawzall blade? (Maybe just cut the end off a used blade and silver solder it into a slot?)

      (edit) Oh, maybe not that one.. I guess you could make a larger metal shoe for it however?
      Last edited by Black_Moons; 03-31-2012, 02:31 AM.
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        I was just thinking that a few minutes ago. I could take a sawzall blade and cut the shank off short, then silver solder a holder for the jigsaw blade to either the front or the back of it. If I had it in front, I could saw pretty much right up to a wall with it. It would be my option to set the angle the blade takes. The sawzall blade is angled forwards quite aggressively- much more than I think the jigsaw blade should be. A little would be good since I wouldn't have the option of a kick feature like the bosch jigsaw has.

        I have used both styles of Bosch jigsaw, the D handle type and the barrel type- both are good, though I think I prefer the barrel handle. Those are very good machines- among the best I'd have to say, though I haven't tested any other 'premium' saws. Haven't had the need or desire to look for anything better.

        The advertising says the Rigid machine has a stroke of 1/2 inch- that's less than typical jigsaws, but in one sense it's an advantage- you can cut a blade short to use where the depth is too shallow for the standard length of blade, but you still need to keep some of the blade within the thing you're cutting.

        I just measured the thickness of both blades- they are the same, and so is a piece of heavier bandsaw blade I have. Now I'm seeing a couple of ways to make the adapter- blade change would require loosening, but not removing, two button head cap screws. Hmm- now that I know how I can do this, I need to see the machine running. I hope it's not a piece of crap-
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Humph, you are describing (sort of) a very aggressive power filer. As I recall, they worked better if both ends of the tool/blade were supported. Easier to get a square edge on the work piece.

          Finest regards,

          doug

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          • #6
            Not an endorsement, but you are pretty much describing one of these.



            https://www.rockwelltools.com/us/Bla...aw-P1564.aspx#

            --Doozer
            DZER

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            • #7
              WEN from Chicago basically invented the recip saw with one that looked like a jigsaw but used recip blades. They're cheap & not HD but might give you some ideas. By the way WEN is NEW spelled backward. That's how the names the company.
              Last edited by flylo; 03-31-2012, 09:51 PM.
              "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
              world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
              country, in easy stages."
              ~ James Madison

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              • #8
                It exists... I have a small Bosch that takes jig-saw blades.

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                • #9
                  Well, I decided to go for it. After getting it home, I ran it for a while just to make sure it's working normally. Then I took it apart. Seems well enough made, so I set up the gearbox/spindle housing in the mill and trimmed off about 15 thou from one side to get a flat place to mount a home-made foot. There's a size of aluminum box tubing that I have that's just right to make this from, so after dinner I'll make that up. I'll put a uhmw foot on the end of that as a base. I had to cut some plastic away from the cover to allow for this (there goes the warranty ) So far all this is pretty easy and straightforward.

                  I'm not particularly happy with the looseness in the quick-change mechanism which holds the blades. They all do this to some extent, and this one seems no worse than other full-sized sawzalls I've used. So I'm thinking of scrapping those parts and making up my own clamping system. Some that I've seen use the setscrew method, which requires that you have an allen wrench. I don't have a problem with that, so I'll be looking at making two collars with setscrews- one to take sawzall blades, and the other to take the T type jigsaw blades. I think that will be better than making an adapter and staying with the quick-change mechanism.

                  I'm considering putting the jigsaw blade ahead of the spindle shaft instead of basically inline with it. Because the sawzall blade shank width is the same as the spindle shaft diameter, it's probably best to keep that centered within the spindle shaft as it normally is.

                  Well, I'm hungry so off I go to eat.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    Ok, you can go and have a meal, but when this project is done , we need a few pics though!!

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                    • #11
                      I have a super HD industrial scroll saw that hasabout a 3/4 HP motor, 24" throat, 4 step pulleys I;ve been wondering what to do with & this may be the answer. I can adapt it to use 5T blades & files also. It already has a large table & a good hold down devise so all I have to do is adapt the blade file/holder. Stay tuned!
                      "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                      world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                      country, in easy stages."
                      ~ James Madison

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                      • #12
                        I will post some pics when it's done. At this point I have the new leg or foot made and mounted, with all plastic trimming done where needed. Next is the uhmw sole, which shouldn't take long, then a new blade holder.

                        It will be a split collar design with two screws to clamp it around the spindle shaft. The screws will come through very close to the spindle shaft, , so a recess for the shank of the jigsaw blade will be milled into one side of the collar, ahead of the front screw. The collar will be longer towards the front to accommodate that. A setscrew from one side into the existing alignment hole in the spindle will keep things aligned. When it comes to using the sawzall blades, the jigsaw blade is removed, the collar screws tightened, then the setscrew is used to secure the sawzall blade.

                        The teeth on the jigsaw blade will come pretty much to the front edge of the machine, so I'll be able to saw right up to a wall with it if need be. The new leg is only two inches wide, slightly narrower than the body of the machine, so I'll also be able to saw parallel to a wall and within an inch or so of it. The sole will be three inches long, and nothing longer sticks out past that, so I'll be able to make a U turn very close to a wall as well. This was actually my first need.

                        Should be a good tool to have. Pictures will be forthcoming.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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