Thin, sturdy wood that jigsaw can easily cut in curves


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Old 05-11-23, 07:04 AM
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Thin, sturdy wood that jigsaw can easily cut in curves

I am looking for a wood that's not too thick but also not "flaky" like particle board.
I want to use a jigsaw to cut out at shoe pattern out of wood, then sand/smooth the edges of the wood so it can be used to trace out the outline onto the fabric.
If the wood is too flaky it won't sand nicely.
If it's too thick then it becomes harder to drill small exact holes into (that are straight and even)

any recommendations?

TIA
 
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Old 05-11-23, 08:32 AM
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Lauan
 
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Old 05-11-23, 09:14 AM
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Anything cut with a jigsaw or scroll saw is likely to have jagged edges due to the up-down motion of the blade. A band saw that only moves in one direction would be better. A router will leave a smooth edge.

Masonite or even a piece of formica should not chip as much as plywood. Cutting through masking tape on the cut line can also reduce chipping/splintering.

A drill press is the best tool to make straight even holes.
 
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Old 05-11-23, 09:42 AM
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If you want cheap there are various types and qualities of "luan". In general though most tends to be pretty poor quality. It is typically sold in 4' x 8' sheets so you'd need a truck to bring it home.

If you want quality I would look at hobby plywood like used for building model airplanes and boats. It is available as thin as 1/32" but is available in many thicknesses and layer counts. There are no knots and no voids. It is some of the flattest, best quality thin plywood you can find. It is also typically sold in small pieces so it's easy to order online and have shipped.

Then there is aircraft and marine plywoods. You'll probably have to order it so shipping cost will become a major issue but it is often sold in less then full size sheets. It's available in a multitude of thicknesses'. These ply's tend to be higher quality and have no interior voids and usually have nice looking faces.
 
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Old 05-11-23, 10:15 AM
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Which would give me better control for a more "exact" cut, especially on the curves?
This:
1/3 HP, 9 in. Benchtop Band Saw (harborfreight.com)
or this:
Benchtop Router Table with 1-3/4 HP Router (harborfreight.com)
?

I'm also looking at this for the formica:
FORMICA 4 ft. x 8 ft. Laminate Sheet in Brite White with Matte Finish 004591258408000 - The Home Depot
But
it doesn't say how thick it is, hopefully it'll be thick enough to not be flexible.

The masonite, if it's what I'm thinking, can get fuzzy around the edges thereby affecting the precision when I use it as a template to draw around.

What about 1/4" plexiglass?
 
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Old 05-11-23, 10:28 AM
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Anything cut with a jigsaw
I got a small Crapsman jig saw from my FIL, the blades on that are very fine, it doesn't leave jagged edges at all.

​​​​​​​t is typically sold in 4' x 8' sheets
BBS sell is full, half, and quarter sheets

 
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Old 05-11-23, 10:31 AM
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Plexiglass seems like a good choice. Probably 1/8 inch or 3/16 would work. Slightly tricky to cut when the blade or bit heats up.

Bandsaw will leave blade marks to be sanded out but doable.

Freehanding curves on a router table can be done but a moving router on the surface is probably better especially if you have a guide piece for it to follow.
 
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Old 05-11-23, 12:19 PM
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1/8" or 1/4" tempered hardboard. It's like pegboard without the holes. Should be available in small 2'x2' handy panels.
 
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Old 05-11-23, 02:21 PM
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Tell us what you are trying to do/accomplish. Is this just for making tracing templates?

As for jagged or fuzzy edges, you will have that with almost anything and will have to sand or do some final finishing to get it nice and smooth. Wood can flake and splinter, plastics can gum or leave hairs or a burr. Masonite might be a good choice and it's inexpensive.

A band saw will allow you to make scrolly, freehand style cuts. A router can leave a pretty clean edge but can be a runaway monster if you try to freehand through solid material.
 
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Old 05-13-23, 07:54 AM
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Yes, this would just be for making tracing templates.
I don't mind sanding.
I'm thinking the bandsaw is better since the blade itself is in a fixed position and I can rotate the Masonite around it.
I used a hand router once and it was a runaway mess, I figured a table router may provide better control/precision but who knows, I've never used one
 
 

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