!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice  (Read 240 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 28183
  • Posts: 322
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« on: September 21, 2019, 02:19:07 PM »
 :helpneededsign:

I'm beginning to plan a new layout taking lessons learned from my first effort, and this time I'm going to build a "test" layout to try out some new concepts and check geometry, gradients, radii and what-not before I dive in to the real build.

I'm going for an open-top baseboard construction this time, and I'm wondering about cutting the inside curves on the (1/4" ply) trackbed. I could use a hand coping saw, but there's going to quite a lot of curves on the "big" layout and I'd prefer to use something a little more efficient. Would a regular (cheap!) power jigsaw like this Black and Decker do the trick? The minimum radius of the curves would be 12", so I'd need to cut approx. an inch inside. I'm thinking particularly about the width of the blade making it difficult to cut curves with a small radius?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/BLACK-DECKER-4-5-Amp-Keyless-T-or-U-Shank-Variable-Speed-Corded-Jigsaw/1000601429

Any advice gratefully received!

 :thankyousign:

Online Dorsetmike

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 2365
  • Posts: 3508
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Grumpy old fart
    • Skype
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 02:31:17 PM »
Had a quick look on Amazon UK for jigsaw blades, both Bosch and DeWalt have one or two narrow blades in their 10 packs, I would expect similar offerings from USA outlets.
Cheers MIKE
(Sorry, but you are not allowed to access the gallery)


How many roads must a man walk down ... ... ... ... ... before he knows he's lost!

Offline Innovationgame

  • Larger Gallery
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26531
  • Posts: 3027
  • Country: gb
    • The innovationgame
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 03:53:35 PM »
That looks fine to me Steve.  I have a similar one that's years old and it has served me well.  I've not tried cutting track bed with it, but if you draw out all the curves with a pencil, it should make the cuts by following the pencil lines without any problem.  A tip might be to buy a few spare blades because they can sometimes distort under heavy usage and I have even broken one.   But I bought my saw in 1995/6 and it is still going strong.  Mine has mainly been used for cutting flooring grade chipboard, which is a lot heavier load then 1/4 inch ply.   I have to say, I would favour 9mm ply myself (that's about 3/8 inch in old money), but obviously it's your choice.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
Coventry Corporation Transport Society: www.cct-society.org.uk
Hessle: www.hessle.org.uk

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3372
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 04:26:24 PM »
Yes no problem, just use a narrower bodied blade to allow taking the curves.  I tend to use a metal cutting blade rather than a wood cutting blade, I get a cleaner cut.

Must admit I don't normally bother cutting smooth curved pieces out of a sheet, I find it wasteful. I just cut the sheet into pieces of strip and angle the joints at the supporting risers.  If an edge then really needs cutting to a curve I'll cut that with the jigsaw.

Ps - another vote for 9mm ply here, it's what I always use.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 04:28:19 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline exmouthcraig

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 707
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 05:09:11 PM »
Might be A bit extreme steve BUT bosch do a brilliant set up for their professional range and I'm sure Dad had something similar years ago by where you could buy an attachment that fastens onto the base plate of the jig and fix it at a set point and cut continual circles. Once you know your radius measurements for your inside cut mark the guide work out the width of the plate you want to cut, mark the guide again for the external cut and cut notches into the rail to allow you to use it again next time without any measurements or trial and error :thumbsup:

There must be some cheap universal set ups out there somewhere
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 05:10:45 PM by exmouthcraig »

Online emjaybee

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: Yes
  • 2mm Association Number: No
  • Posts: 1844
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
  • Grumpy, and proud.
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 05:41:19 PM »
I'm going to impart my point of view from my property maintenance experience. I've used a Makita mains jigsaw for many projects for clients.

A good quality jigsaw will give you better control as it will be better balanced and have smoother oscillations, variable speed control enables you to match the speed to the work piece. Some materials cut better at a slower speed, it depends on the flexibility of the workpiece. A narrower blade will not give a better cut on curves. If you are actually manufacturing a jigsaw then yes, use a really narrow blade, but on model railway curves a normal width blade will be fine, you can get quite small radii curves with a standard width blade. Slow your forward progress on the curves, let the blade dictate the speed, you shouldn't need to 'push' it through the workpiece.

Use a 'wood' blade, not a 'metal' blade, you'll need the slightly bigger tooth offset to prevent the blade snatching on the timber. The more teeth per inch, the finer the finish, but the slower the speed of cut. On thin materials try to clamp it down, or even screw it to a sacrificial piece of timber. The more rigidly held, the better the cut.

There's always the option of hiring in a jigsaw if you want a better quality machine rather than spending a fortune. Cheap blades will give you a poor cut.

Finally...

Mind your fingers, and the power cord and DO wear safety glasses, it's amazing how far the chips fly. Been there done that, it's not nice.

Here's hoping this is the newly enlarged plan as authorised by the management.

 :D
Sometimes you bite the dog...

...sometimes the dog bites you!

----------------------------------------------------------

I can explain it to you...

...but I can't understand it for you.

Offline Innovationgame

  • Larger Gallery
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26531
  • Posts: 3027
  • Country: gb
    • The innovationgame
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 06:22:51 PM »
I apologise about my jigsaw.  It is actually a Bosch 650E mains model.  But it still works extremely well.  And it wasn't expensive.
With kind regards
Laurence
My personal website is a bit of a mish mash: www.innovationgame.com
Coventry Corporation Transport Society: www.cct-society.org.uk
Hessle: www.hessle.org.uk

Online PeteW

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
  • Country: england
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 07:19:59 PM »
Some additional thoughts (and to echo much of what emjaybee said):

* Tight curves for a jigsaw are less than 3" radius; 12" will be fine and I wouldn't bother with narrow blades.
* For finer cuts, more teeth in the blade are better (up to a point). Look for 10 or 12tpi (teeth per inch) blades, not the standard 6tpi. 15-20tpi blades can be too fine and likely to bog down in the cut.
* Figure out a system for clamping the ply to a workbench or sawhorses - you don't want it vibrating like mad while you cut.
* If you're tempted to do it on the dining table be extremely cautious - the blade is mostly under the ply and you can't see when you're cutting through said dining table. Domestic harmony will suffer.
* For best accuracy you want your eyes directly over the blade, so eye-protection is a must (worth thinking about ear defenders, too).
* Rehearse each cut before you make it - ideally you want to 'walk' the saw easily from one end to the other. Having the saw jerk when you reach the limit of the cable, or snag on something, is bad.

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 28183
  • Posts: 322
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2019, 01:25:47 PM »

Here's hoping this is the newly enlarged plan as authorised by the management.

 :D

Indeed it is. I thought I'd better get cracking before management decided on a policy shift, not unknown around these parts.

Offline LASteve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 28183
  • Posts: 322
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2019, 01:26:55 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, a lot of food for thought and great advice here.

 :thankyousign:

Offline exmouthcraig

  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 707
    • Awards
Re: Jigsaw/Dremel Advice
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 01:54:02 PM »

Here's hoping this is the newly enlarged plan as authorised by the management.

 :D

Indeed it is. I thought I'd better get cracking before management decided on a policy shift, not unknown around these parts.

Now its appeared on here Steve its actually a written contract with a few hundred witnesses  :laugh3:

 

Please Support Us!
October Goal: £100.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: £74.00
Below Goal: £26.00
Site Currency: GBP
74% 
October Donations


Advertise Here
anything