A jigsaw table allows you to make bandsaw-type and table saw-style cuts without dedicated equipment and a larger workspace. But how do you go about making one?
You make a jigsaw table by mounting the jigsaw to the underside of a table top sized for your space. The base of the jigsaw (or “shoe”) is attached to the table itself, then a hole is created for the blade to pass through.
The rest of this article will explain how to make a basic jigsaw table. I’ll also look at how to determine the necessary measurements, jigsaw table assembly, and other features you can add to customize the table.
How To Make a Jigsaw Table
1. Gather the Necessary Parts
To make a jigsaw table, you’ll need the following.
- Material for the tabletop. The material needs to be thick enough to support workloads, and it needs to be able to receive screws for mounting the jigsaw and table legs.
- Material for the table legs. The table legs should support the combined weight of the tabletop, the jigsaw, and the cutting material.
- Screws to mount the jigsaw. The table top will replace the base plate, requiring longer screws.
- Glue and screws for the legs. Using glue and screws to secure the tabletop reduces issues from jigsaw vibration.
2. Determine the Measurements
- Measure and cut the size of material you’ll need for the tabletop. The jigsaw blade will come up through the center of the table, so the top needs ample space around the blade to balance the cutting material and maintain the proper cutting angle. Mark the middle of the tabletop to provide a reference point for centering the jigsaw.
- Remove one screw securing the jigsaw’s base plate to its shoe and measure its length. Add the screw length to the tabletop thickness to derive the total thickness. Since you’ll insert the screws through the top surface of the table, you’ll need to ensure that the screw heads sit below the surface once tightened. Subtract the difference in the countersink distance from the total thickness to calculate the new screw length.
- Cut the legs and optional side pieces. To determine the height of the jigsaw table, add the leg length, tabletop thickness, and desired clearance between the mounted jigsaw and the surface on which the table will stand.
3. Mark the Table Top Drill Holes
- Remove the jigsaw blade and stand the saw upright on its shoe, flat against the underside of the piece of wood that’ll serve as the tabletop. Center the blade guide over the marked table underside to position the jigsaw.
- Trace the outside of the shoe onto the surface and mark the spot through which the blade will travel. Mark the width and depth of the blade on the surface. You’ll drill holes in them for the blade.
- Remove the screws fastening the jigsaw base plate to the shoe. Place the base plate within the shoe outline just traced, and mark the screw holes. Set the original base plate and its screws aside. You’ll need these for later reassembly of the jigsaw.
- Drill holes for the screws, then drill the countersink holes. Insert the screws to check if they’ll sit below the table surface.
- Drill holes where you marked the blade hole. Check that the blade will have enough room to move on all sides.
4. Mount the Jigsaw to the Table Top
- Use the longer screws to fasten the tabletop to the bottom of the jigsaw shoe. This way, the bench top becomes the new jigsaw base plate and vice versa.
- After tightening all the screws, verify that they won’t interfere with the material making smooth passes across the surface by sliding a piece of material across the tabletop. The material shouldn’t come into contact with the screw heads.
- With the jigsaw mounted to the table, insert the blade into the jigsaw, checking for room around the blade. If the blade rubs against the opening, make the hole bigger.
- Steady the table top on its side on a flat surface with one hand. While pointing the blade away from you, run the jigsaw with the other hand, checking for sufficient clearance between the blade and tabletop.
5. Attach the Table Top to the Table Legs
- Check that the mounted jigsaw and tabletop height matches the required leg length by placing the legs on a flat, even surface and dry fitting the tabletop. The power cord should run clear of obstacles and not interfere with the blade. Keep the cord free of pinching or crimping.
- Stand the legs on the end where they’ll attach to the table and trace their outline onto the table underside. Drill pilot holes for the screws into the table top and apply the glue to the legs where they meet the table. Hold the legs in place while screwing them to the tabletop.
- To further strengthen and secure the jigsaw table, cut another piece of material like the table top and affix this to the bottom of the legs, creating a simple box. You can clamp this base onto other surfaces for added stability.
Other Tips for Making a Jigsaw Table
- To reduce noise, attach side panels around the table, creating an enclosure for the jigsaw. Leave an opening for the cord and power switch access.
- To reduce sawdust buildup, cut a hole in the side or bottom to attach a hose for a vacuum system. Builder Dan Pattison shows you how to make a vacuum system for your shop, even in limited space.
- For a cleaner and more precise cut, add a blade guide to the tabletop via an adjustable arm extension fastened to the table side.
- Attach an adjustable table saw-style fence for making long, straight cuts. This article from the DIY website I Build It details how to make a wooden table saw fence.
- To minimize vibration that could move the table, add rubber footings to the bottom of the legs.
- For protection from the jigsaw blade, make a simple guard using a thick plastic bottle, which you then lower over the blade from the side.
With the right tools and a few hours, you can make a jigsaw table in no time. If you want, you can also customize the table to fit your personal preferences or add your own flair to it. Happy building, and have fun!