Some jigsaw manufacturers offer zero-clearance inserts that pop into place in a saw’s base to hug the blade, minimizing tearout by holding down wood fibers at the edge of the saw kerf. If a commercial version isn’t available for your particular saw model, you can make an auxiliary base plate with a zero-clearance blade slot to do the same job. Begin by cutting a piece of 1/4"-thick clear acrylic or polycarbonate to roughly the size of your tool’s base plate. Then lay out and saw a blade slot using the bandsaw or your jigsaw, lightly sanding away any melted plastic burrs at the edges afterward. Attach the new plate to the bottom of your saw with double-faced tape, and you’re good to go for splinter-free cuts. When making my base plate, I took the opportunity to extend it 1/2" forward of the existing base to provide more workpiece contact when starting a cut.
—Andy Rae, Asheville, North Carolina