Template Cutting with a Jig Saw
It’s much easier to rough cut large pieces using a jig saw. The trouble is trying to stay close to the layout lines. To make things a little easier, I came up with a way to guide the saw along a template (photo below).
The guide is nothing more than a ¼" plywood base with narrow sides that cradle the saw foot. (It’s held in place with carpet tape.) A guide pin mounted ahead of the blade follows the edge of the template and keeps the blade from drifting into the template and damaging the workpiece (drawing below).
To use the guide, I steer the jig saw with one hand and place the other hand on the base to keep the guide pin in contact with the template. When you’re finished cutting, you’ll have a thin amount of waste to remove with a router.