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Circular saw track guide

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 07-17-2020 03:54 PM 1016 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while back I saw a guide that MaFe had made for his circular saw at his allotment house. I thought it was a pretty neat idea and now that I have a bunch of cross-cutting coming when I start on my bookcases, I decided I needed one.

It’s pretty simple. A 2×2 foot piece of 3/4” plywood, two 2-foot tubafors, two 2-foot pieces of angle iron, and a few pieces of quarter-inch MDF.

I glued and screwed the tubafors to the plywood. Next, I screwed the angle iron to the tubafors, making sure I had right angles (probably the most important bit). Covered the screws with some MDF I glued down, and then added a couple more layers of MDF so the motor housing on the saw can’t hit the angle iron, no matter how deep I adjust the saw.

The only snag is that this means the saw blade can’t quite reach all the way to the plywood base, so I’ll likely add one more piece of MDF on top of the base to raise the piece of wood I’m cutting. But I want to figure out the stop I’m going to add before I raise the base.

I’ll also add a stop at some point. If I have a lot of pieces to cut to the same length, I’ll probably just screw one down, but I might also put in a sliding stop. Once I figure that out, I can finish off the base, too. For now, I just cut a scrap near to the length I need, then adjust the cut longer or shorter and make a pencil mark on the 2×4 so I know where to align the next piece. It works surprisingly well, and thanks to the metal guides keeping the saw straight, I don’t have to worry about crooked cuts.

-- Dave - Santa Fe





14 comments so far

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

3420 posts in 2069 days


#1 posted 07-17-2020 05:14 PM

Nice project

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3031 posts in 3045 days


#2 posted 07-17-2020 05:36 PM

Nice addition to your shop, should prove very useful.
How do you like the battery powered circular saw? I have a Proter Cable with ni-cad batteries, found it only good for thin stock, quarter inch at most.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5876 posts in 1437 days


#3 posted 07-17-2020 05:57 PM

Thanks, DW.

Tom, The Milwaukee M-18 circular saw I bought also cuts metal. That’s what I initially bought it for, and it goes through 1/8” mild steel like butter… for wood (with an appropriate blade) it cuts all day. As I’ve been putting together my shop, I’ve been doing a lot of tubafor construction, and it’ll do that all day on a battery. It pretty much eats anything I throw at it. And there’s no tail for me to accidentally cut off!

The only real down side is that it makes a heck of a mess. Throws sawdust pretty much everywhere, especially if I’m cutting MDF.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

2292 posts in 2421 days


#4 posted 07-17-2020 06:45 PM

Nice useful Item.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3031 posts in 3045 days


#5 posted 07-17-2020 09:02 PM



Tom, The Milwaukee M-18 circular saw I bought also cuts metal. That’s what I initially bought it for, and it goes through 1/8” mild steel like butter… for wood (with an appropriate blade) it cuts all day. As I’ve been putting together my shop, I’ve been doing a lot of tubafor construction, and it’ll do that all day on a battery. It pretty much eats anything I throw at it. And there’s no tail for me to accidentally cut off!

The only real down side is that it makes a heck of a mess. Throws sawdust pretty much everywhere, especially if I’m cutting MDF.

- Dave Polaschek

Thanks Dave, maybe I’ll have to get me one. My Porter Cable can only cut butter. Well, unless it’s really cold butter.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Thagomizer's profile

Thagomizer

5 posts in 76 days


#6 posted 07-17-2020 10:55 PM

Great solution, much cheaper and more fulfilling than buying over-priced kits.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5876 posts in 1437 days


#7 posted 07-17-2020 11:32 PM

Tom, be aware that the saw is often sold without a battery or charger.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mel52's profile

mel52

1654 posts in 1119 days


#8 posted 07-18-2020 02:35 AM

Looks like it should work well. Good job. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View mel52's profile

mel52

1654 posts in 1119 days


#9 posted 07-18-2020 02:40 AM

Looks like it should work well. Good job. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5876 posts in 1437 days


#10 posted 07-18-2020 03:08 AM

Thanks, guys. Even if all it does is help me get a reliable 30” cut on the boards for the bookcases I’m starting on next, it’ll be worth the effort. But I expect it’ll get used for a lot of different things.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

9662 posts in 2898 days


#11 posted 07-20-2020 04:30 AM

I remember this guide MaFe made. Looks to be a good one. You can’t go wrong with experience. Nice job on yours Dave.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5876 posts in 1437 days


#12 posted 07-20-2020 11:39 AM

Thanks, Dave.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

26627 posts in 4706 days


#13 posted 07-26-2020 12:22 AM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5876 posts in 1437 days


#14 posted 07-26-2020 02:31 AM

Thanks, Grumpy.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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