Table Saw Cutoff Sled & Circular Saw Guide

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Blog entry by gubawatts posted 03-10-2012 09:36 PM 5499 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m making progress, slowly but surely, on the twin storage beds. To help cut some of the plywood parts to size, I took the time to make a couple of jigs, using some great ideas I’ve seen here on LJ.

The first is the cutoff sled for table saw. I had one previously, but I was never happy with it’s accuracy, and I had to fiddle with the brass screws in the side of the runner to keep the fit adjusted to the miter track.

So I started over, beginning with a piece of 3/4” melamine faced particle board I had, and chose to purchase the Kreg adjustable miter bar. The sled is 36×24, and has an even longer front fence.

I used pocket hole screws to secure the fence to the base, starting with just two initially. One at the end nearest the blade, and the other at the opposite end. I drilled a larger clearance hole through the fence for the screw furthest from the blade, to allow for adjustment. Using a framing square to set the starting fence position, I then did the 5-cut test to check how square I was. I don’t recall the measurements, but I measured each end of the cut off piece with my digital caliper, and decided that the difference when divided by 4, over the length of the piece, wasn’t worth chasing any further. At that point I put a few more screws in to lock it down.


The other jig I wanted to make after seeing several here on LJ, was my own copy of the circular saw guide, or track saw.

The one I made is only 4’ long, but I plan to make an 8 footer as well. For the base I used a piece of 3/4” birch ply I had laying around, and for the track I used a piece of aluminum extrusion that is sold as edging for 3/4” plywood. I ran a dado into the base for the track, then secured it down with countersunk screws. Because the height of the extrusion was about 5/8”, I didn’t want to cut the dado that deep, so I left it sticking up out of the dado and planned to trim it flush with the router. Trimming it flush worked OK, but next time I’ll try to find a thinner extrusion as that part of the process was a mess, and it was difficult to prevent the bit from catching on the soft aluminum.

For the guide bar on the saw I used a piece of 1/4” phenolic, flat stiff and easy to cut. I drilled an counter sunk clearance holes in the bar first, then positioned it on the saw base to locate holes. Holes were drilled and tapped into the saw’s shoe. I initially did just the center hole, then the outer holes once I fine-tuned the distance to the blade at each end of the guide bar. On the outer holes, I oversized the clearance holes and counter bores a bit so i could fine tune the alignment to the blade before snugging them down tight.

My Ryobi saw is a cheaper model that I’ve had for a number of years, and I’ve previously noticed that the base shoe isn’t very stiff. This results in an unwanted bevel cut if you put too much downward pressure on the handle. Since I rarely make bevel cuts with this saw, I made a brace for the back of the saw to fix it at 90 degrees. I drilled and tapped the brace into the saw’s base, and fastened it to the height adjustment knob at the other end.

So far I’m really please with how it works.





-- "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

3 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19878 posts in 3219 days

#1 posted 03-11-2012 12:02 AM

Looks like they will work out very well for you. I really like your version of a track saw. That idea is going in the “plans file” for my veeeery loooong to do list!

I need to make a circular saw guide & a crosscut sled. That is, as soon as I finish adjusting & tweaking my new to me TS.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DaddyLongLegs's profile


10 posts in 3006 days

#2 posted 03-12-2012 01:06 AM

i like the track saw too, I’m a bit confused on the sled, but I might just be tired

View gubawatts's profile


7 posts in 2832 days

#3 posted 03-12-2012 03:27 AM

Thanks. The pictures of the sled aren’t very good, it’s standing on one end leaning against my saw. I was in a bit of a hurry when I took the pictures since it was really cold in the garage that day. If I get a chance, i’ll post some better pictures of the sled.

-- "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

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