Circular Saw Cross-cut Jig

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Project by SebringDon posted 03-01-2013 01:15 PM 61005 views 30 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As the son of a woodworker who lost a couple of fingers to a table saw (and with very limited shop room), I’ve been exploring alternative ways of ripping and cross-cutting. I’m using homemade tracks for ripping, and as long as I measure twice and cut once, I’m very happy with the results. I’m cutting parts for a horizontal panel saw, so my rips will soon be faster and cleaner.

Smaller pieces, however, get tricky with a large track overlaying the piece. That meant I was really happy to discover this jig plan from Wayne of the Woods. I made a few modifications to the design, generated my own .skp, and built my own version. One of the reasons for this jig is to cut some of the small pieces needed for the panel saw I mentioned above.

I extended the track to hold the saw when it’s not in use and changed some materials to make sure it was as accurate as possible. I also widened the track enough that my first cut trimmed the edge, so between the edge of the track and the edge of the saw kerf, I have a precise cut line defined. It turned out pretty nice. I still need to notch the track so the blade guard is down when the saw is “parked” outside the cutting table.

Thanks to the depth of the design, I can also use it to true up matching pieces. I got in a hurry making sides for a two-step dog stair, and one of my track cuts went a little wide. In the first picture you can see the two sides mounted in the jig, where I trimmed the oversized piece to match the other one perfectly.

With stop blocks, my cuts are as repeatable as a table saw, and it feels a whole lot safer to operate.

I have a SketchUp model if anyone’s interested; I just haven’t figured out how to attach it to a project post.

-- Don

8 comments so far

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2622 days

#1 posted 03-01-2013 11:45 PM

Good job. I wanted to build one of these but mounted on the wall and angled slightly. You can even do the 5 cut method to make these super accurate. Thanks for posting.

-- Jay -

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 2864 days

#2 posted 03-02-2013 12:26 AM

Basically, you have build a nice cheap version of the Festool MFT top-side table saw. Good job.

Note that you can also use a similar jig for top-sided routing. The guide would just need to be closer to the cutting edge (router radius minus largest bit radius) and you could eventually add a second guide on the other side to stabilize the router. If you rest your router on a plexiglass sheet, you can even spread the guides a little more to increase the visibility of the bit.

Have safe & fun woodworking.

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

644 posts in 2697 days

#3 posted 03-02-2013 01:09 AM

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

98 posts in 3209 days

#4 posted 03-02-2013 02:55 PM

You should check this out.

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

View wrightly's profile


59 posts in 2455 days

#5 posted 03-03-2013 01:59 AM

i like this, this was how i managed until i got my tablesaw. if you go onto google books (its free) you can pull up tons of the old popular mechanics magazine. one in particular had a very nice circular saw jig. what i really liked about it, in the back was a pivoting mechanism/fence for angled cuts as well. done right, it would be extremely accurate.
there is the link if you’re interested in seeing it.

-- WRIGHTLY (Bristol, TN)

View SebringDon's profile


95 posts in 2484 days

#6 posted 03-03-2013 02:33 AM

Thanks David and Wrightly. I’ve watched the video and I’m reading the articles now, and I’m making notes. :)

-- Don

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2692 days

#7 posted 07-04-2013 01:41 PM

I never would have thought of this. Thanks for sharing.

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3232 days

#8 posted 07-04-2013 01:55 PM

:))) that is great :)))
I’m smiling because this was how I rip or cross cut before I even made my multi-tool bench.
My design was a bit different and it allow me to cross cut by pushing the saw or rip by pushing the wood.
Unfortunately I have no photos of it as it was dismantled for its parts.
But I do have the sketchup files so here are a couple of photos.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

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