Cut Rafter Profiles
I’ll use a jigsaw to cut all these profiles. The blade can wander so I have found that the cut will start better if I make a shallow groove with a hand saw first.
I ran into a knot on this cut so that’s the source of the bit of smoke there. And maybe that blade was getting dull too. But the cut ended up looking pretty well.
At least then the blade will start perpendicular to the face. After the cut I often check to see how well the blade followed my line by laying the pattern on the other side. With this soft cedar I can cut that side and correct a wonky curve to get it a bit better.
There I’m sliding the blade in the groove I cut with the hand saw. All the cuts on the rafter ends followed the line well. So I was happy with that. You could opt for a simpler profile on these ends as well. On the pergola video I simply cut a 45 on the lower half of the ends of the beams, rafters, and louvers.
Cutting “follow” Grooves for Jigsaw Blade
Next I’ll cut the profile in the ends of the 4×4 beams.
I did also make a shallow saw cut on the end of the profile where the blade exits the wood. If there’s a chip that breaks off at the end of the cut then hopefully it will still look square.
Long Blade on Jigsaw for Beam Cutting
I went a bit slower with the jigsaw due to this deeper cut. And I had to make some cuts from the other side to correct any blade wander. It’s decorative and not functional so as long as it looks pretty close.