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View Bayshington's profile

Need Help With Getting Straight Edges

by Bayshington
posted 07-11-2017 05:37 PM


25 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3910 days


#1 posted 07-11-2017 05:54 PM

If your straight edge is true, you can cut to size with your circular saw. Buy one sheet of MDF, cut 6” off both sides of it. Cut one side into a 3’ length. This will give you a 3’, 5’, and 8’, straight edge that you can use with your saw, jigsaw, or router. You can even use them to true up the remainder of the MDF sheet. LOL

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1131 days


#2 posted 07-11-2017 06:31 PM

+1 on papadan’s suggestion. I’ve also seen jigs using the 3/4” fence he mentioned attached to a 1/4” base. Cut the base at least as wide as the distance from the edge of the circular saw plate to the blade, and then run the saw along against the fence to cut the base to width. The advantage is that you don’t need to add the width of the saw plate for your jig setup. Just align the edge of the base of the jig to your cut line and it’s set.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4189 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 06:32 PM

I think your crosscutting jig is probably
not as square as you think it is.

If the square you are using to make a
square jig is not accurate, your jig won’t
be either. What kind of square did you
use to make the jig?

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 06:58 PM

Thank you for the suggestion!

I used a piece of plywood and cut it into a 3’’ wide and 18’’ long piece and then attached it 90 degrees to the end of a 1×4 that I cut to 18 inches. I then sawed off one side off the plywood piece to make my guide as to where my blade would cut.

I am starting to think it could be my jig, I made some cuts yesterday in some scrap wood and noticed some waviness from end to end.

I will try the jig mentioned above!

Has anyone had luck with any guides like Kreg or Benchdog for cross cutting?

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3910 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 07:01 PM

The “Pro” jigs are very nice to have and use…....but expensive to buy! I’ve been doing this for a long time with my MDF edge guides.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4189 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 07:14 PM


Has anyone had luck with any guides like Kreg or Benchdog for cross cutting?

- Bayshington

I’m sure they work well but the width capacity
is only 12” or so.

The most effective way to get square crosscuts
on wider boards with a circular saw involves
laying out the cut line to be accurately square
and using some sort of straight edge guide
clamped to the board to guide the saw. In
the old days they used to do this with handmade
wooden squares and hand saws, so it is
possible to get good results if you take your
time. Commercial jigs for wider crosscuts
are available for circular saws but the prices
of such things may annoy you.

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 07:16 PM

Yeah, it seems like they can hurt the wallet a bit! I will for sure be making the MDF guide you use, would it be okay to use a 3/4’‘x2×4 piece instead of a full sheet? I have limited space at the moment but in the future would definitely make some jigs that are 5’ and 8’ long for future products!

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1000 posts in 3517 days


#8 posted 07-11-2017 07:45 PM

How good is your saw? Are bearings tight and edge you are running against jig parallel to blade? For years, I had a junky old B&D circular saw and it made horrible cuts…which was OK for cutting 2X’s to length. When I needed to make more precise cuts in some plywood, the worn out bearings made blade wobble cut horrible. I bought a new Makita 5007MGA and its cuts are much better.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1484 posts in 3391 days


#9 posted 07-11-2017 08:46 PM

When I’m forced to get out my CS jig,
1) I always make sure to EXACTLY mark my widths from good edge to where the cut line will be making sure that the cut falls to waste.
2) I then lay my guide edge on the cut lines and clamp both ends “semi-tightly”
3) Once set up I then go BACK to the tape and recheck the distance from good edge to the cut line

4) I almost always find an error at this point either because of the squeeze jaws on a quick clamp, or the pad turning on an F clamp

5) Once I find my error I use a hammer to tap the guide back onto the lines and then re check everything again and tighten down the clamps.
6) And then I check it again
7) and then I make the cut being sure that I keep a solid base and keep the edge to the guide

I’ll bet a cold one you’ll find your issue at step 4

Good Luck & Welcome to LJ’s!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1131 days


#10 posted 07-11-2017 09:02 PM


I ll bet a cold one you ll find your issue at step 4

- ChefHDAN

Win-win because either way you get to share a cold one with ChefHDAN :)

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2534 posts in 2340 days


#11 posted 07-11-2017 11:26 PM

I have a suggestion buy a jointer. And stay away from cheap pine it’s really not that friendly to work.

-- Aj

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3773 days


#12 posted 07-12-2017 01:32 AM



I have a suggestion buy a jointer. And stay away from cheap pine it s really not that friendly to work.

- Aj2

Jointing the edge of a 61 inch piece would hit my ceiling! :-)

“Makita 5007MGA”

I have that saw. It is a good one. No bent or crooked frame parts.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1345 posts in 1037 days


#13 posted 07-12-2017 01:52 AM



+1 on papadan s suggestion. I ve also seen jigs using the 3/4” fence he mentioned attached to a 1/4” base. Cut the base at least as wide as the distance from the edge of the circular saw plate to the blade, and then run the saw along against the fence to cut the base to width. The advantage is that you don t need to add the width of the saw plate for your jig setup. Just align the edge of the base of the jig to your cut line and it s set.

- RichTaylor

+2 on this. carefully made, this type of jig is extremely accurate as long as you clamp it carefully and take your time with the cut. Here’s mine:

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#14 posted 07-12-2017 11:38 AM



How good is your saw? Are bearings tight and edge you are running against jig parallel to blade? For years, I had a junky old B&D circular saw and it made horrible cuts…which was OK for cutting 2X s to length. When I needed to make more precise cuts in some plywood, the worn out bearings made blade wobble cut horrible. I bought a new Makita 5007MGA and its cuts are much better.

- hotbyte

I have a Craftsman 5 1/2 19.2V, it’s pretty new still and in great condition as I have tried to take care care of all my tools. My friend has a nice Makita CS and it works great when he was doing some work on replacing windows, trim, and cabinets.

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#15 posted 07-12-2017 11:42 AM



When I m forced to get out my CS jig,
1) I always make sure to EXACTLY mark my widths from good edge to where the cut line will be making sure that the cut falls to waste.
2) I then lay my guide edge on the cut lines and clamp both ends “semi-tightly”
3) Once set up I then go BACK to the tape and recheck the distance from good edge to the cut line 4) I almost always find an error at this point either because of the squeeze jaws on a quick clamp, or the pad turning on an F clamp

5) Once I find my error I use a hammer to tap the guide back onto the lines and then re check everything again and tighten down the clamps.
6) And then I check it again
7) and then I make the cut being sure that I keep a solid base and keep the edge to the guide

I ll bet a cold one you ll find your issue at step 4

Good Luck & Welcome to LJ s!

- ChefHDAN

Thank you for the advice!! I am sure that I will be sending a cold one your way after this project is done! Thanks to everyone for all the help!

I will post my jig once I complete it this weekend and eventually the media console.

View Slider20's profile

Slider20

119 posts in 1063 days


#16 posted 07-12-2017 09:18 PM

I’ve never had good luck with a homemade jig and a circular Saw for precise clean rips.

Although I’m sure if I spent enough time and followed the above suggestions I could do it.

Just stating the obvious, but you can get a decent bench top table saw for not much money. They are small and light, easy to store and way easier to use.

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#17 posted 07-17-2017 01:25 AM

Update:

I had some time this weekend and made this nice crosscutting jig from some 1×2’s, 3/4’’ MDF, and a 1×10. It cut pretty decent, my cuts were square, however it seems I have a bevel on my edge. My bevel is set to Zero and everything is square on my saw as well as my jig. What could I do to straighten this out? I do have access to a router, could I just trim it up?

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3773 days


#18 posted 07-17-2017 03:19 AM

I think you need a digital angle thingie so you can determine and fix the saw blade tilt. I use a cheep one from HF.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10859 posts in 2028 days


#19 posted 07-17-2017 05:17 AM

I’d go by a square on the blade and shoe as opposed to the angle pointer

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3773 days


#20 posted 07-17-2017 05:09 PM

I had forgotten you were using a circular saw. Definitely check the angle from the frame to the blade. I had an old 80’s model Craftsman (no offense) but the metal frame was skewed/bent/warped…whatever you want to call it, from being used and abused. Even though the angle was set at zero, it still wouldn’t cut right. I bought the Makita 5007MG and it was like it was heaven sent!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

598 posts in 1161 days


#21 posted 07-17-2017 05:35 PM

I had similar problems when I was starting out and it often ended up that my clamping of the jig was insufficient and I pushed too hard on the jig. That could partially explain your bevel cutting.

-- Sawdust Maker

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

4717 posts in 3663 days


#22 posted 07-17-2017 05:48 PM


Has anyone had luck with any guides like Kreg or Benchdog for cross cutting?

- Bayshington

I love the Kreg one – i have it and it’s accurate but you can only rip up to 24” with it. the cross/rip MDF guide Papadan talked about is spot on. I’d make one of those in an 8” length if I could to rip my sheets down :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4189 days


#23 posted 07-17-2017 08:12 PM

Wiggly base plate maybe. Happens on cordless
saws.

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#24 posted 07-19-2017 02:12 AM



I had forgotten you were using a circular saw. Definitely check the angle from the frame to the blade. I had an old 80 s model Craftsman (no offense) but the metal frame was skewed/bent/warped…whatever you want to call it, from being used and abused. Even though the angle was set at zero, it still wouldn t cut right. I bought the Makita

5007MG and it was like it was heaven sent!

- MT_Stringer

Thanks! I will have to check out this weekend and see what the issue is. What do you suggest to correct the bevel?

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 862 days


#25 posted 07-19-2017 02:14 AM



I had similar problems when I was starting out and it often ended up that my clamping of the jig was insufficient and I pushed too hard on the jig. That could partially explain your bevel cutting.

- Dan Hulbert

That is something I will definitely have to work on and correct if needed! Practice and attention to detail make perfect!

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