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Project Lab: Can a jigsaw compete with a CNC plasma cutter? Making the DiResta portable bandsaw stand

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Do you really need to spend thousands of dollars on a computer-controlled plasma-cutting table to make intricate cuts in incredibly hard steel?

Well, if you’re in a hurry, then yeah, you should probably buy one of those tables (or find someone else who already has one).

But if you’ve got some time, such as, let’s say, a year or so, then good news: Such metalwork is totally doable on your own with simple tools.

For proof, consider this: A copy of Jimmy DiResta’s portable bandsaw stand, which I made primarily with a jigsaw.

DiResta portable bandsaw stand

DiResta is a prolific maker and artist who has found quite a following on YouTube. He revealed his portable bandsaw stand back in April 2017. It's clearly designed to be built with a CNC plasma cutter, which is a computer-controlled tool that precisely melts steel and then blows it away with compressed air.

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I really wasn’t sure this would be doable with simple tools. But the jigsaw came through for me again, hogging out the bulk of the metal in those cuts, leaving cleanup work for the files. Then I could use the amazing Eastwood 135 MIG welder to stitch it all together, paint on some Montana Gold black, and it was done.

It of course wasn’t that simple! There were some major screwups along the way. But it was nothing that a few months of procrastination couldn’t fix.

See the full build in the video above. Thanks for watching!


Wisconsinite Andy Reuter writes and shoots video about whatever DIY project is holding his attention at the time. For more, follow him on Instagram, find him on Twitter, or subscribe to his channel on YouTube.

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