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What I mean is something that I can set the jig into so that the bottom surface is longer, like what the wings do on the K5. If I'm using larger pieces of wood I can't keep them from tipping to one side or the other. I put stuff underneath to prop them up but I don't have anything the right thickness so I always still have to struggle to keep them level. I don't really have the ability to make one myself-is there something I can buy?

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My husband has a small table saw (it's not his but right now it's here-it belongs to his dad) but for larger cuts it's not very easy to use. The fence that is to the side can only go to about 16" I think and the pusher thing about 20" in front of the blade. When I needed a drawer bottom cut 23 x 22 it was quite a chore getting it just right (since it needed to be as near to perfect as possible). We ended up having to use a plane on an edge or two but finally got it. So for things bigger than the table saw can handle I thought the rip cut and his circular saw would be easier.

Gale,

Clamping a straight-edge, metal or wood, to a work-piece and using a circular saw or jig saw, can be used successfully, to make straight-line cuts.

This method is a standard practice with many who do not possess a table saw or rip-cut saw guide.

A hand saw is another method---either cross cutting or ripping.

I learned working wood, using hand tools, before going to power tools.  Today, I still prefer to use hand tools vs power tools for many tasks.  Infact, some tasks can ony be performed efficiently using hand tools.

When making cuts with a hand saw, make the work-piece slightly over-sized, and finish the work-piece to size by planing.  A block plane for small objects and cutting end-grain, and a finish plane for long and larger objects, as well as flattening or thinning thicker materials, and smoothening rough-cut surfaces smooth.

NOTE: A planer blade needs to have a keen edge, to make thin cut shavings.

Set the blade cutting depth to make very thin cuts or shavings.  It's easier to make thin cuts than trying to take too deep of cut at one time.  Thin shavings will result in smoother and easier planing.

A rasp or sandpaper on a support block can also be used.

Thanks for the tips. I'm definitely a beginner. I need to cut the front out of a cabinet and had planned to clamp a straight board onto it, and then cut along it. We'll see how it goes. The only times I've used a jigsaw so far were on outdoor projects (rabbit hutch, planter) where it didn't really matter if the cuts were perfect so I freehanded it. This will be the first time I try it on something where I want it to look decent. Only thing I need to figure out is where to drill the starter hole and how to make it look like I didn't use a starter hole. Hand sawing isn't an option. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in one hand and the wrist on my other was injured a few years back and I can only hold it in a couple of positions without pain.

Does a planer have a blade that is replaceable? If so I may get a new blade for the one my husband uses. His is probably from the stone age.

Gale,

Don’t feel alone---we were all BEGINNERS at one time.

 

When using a power tool or hand saw, it’s necessary to clamp a straight-edge to make straight cuts---akin to having a fence on a table saw.

 

A flush-cut fine-tooth handsaw can be used to make smooth cuts---followed by hand planning to make it super-smooth. 

 

A hand plane will make a surface smoother than sanding.  Adjust the plane blade cutting depth to make very thin shavings.

 

Replacement blades are available for hand-planes.  Take the old plane with you when purchasing a replacement blade, so as to get the proper size to fit your tool.

New planer blades need to be sharpened and honed, so as to obtain a keen shaving edge, to produce thin curls when shaving the wood.

 

Some stone-age planes are better over the cheap newer models of today.

If an old plane blade is damaged it can be squared, sharpened and honed.

 

I have a few old planes, with a stropped cutting edge, that will produce a glass-like finish. 

 

A starter hole can be drilled in the waste area of the work-piece, before using a jig saw, or the like.

It’s beneficial to wear slip-resistant work gloves, with a “padded palm and fingers”, when using power tools that produce vibrations.

Especially for those who have carpal tunnel.

I have bicycling gloves that have the padded palm and fingers. I can wear those under some regular work gloves. Thanks.

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