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I know there are a number of other post on this, but I thought I'd join in anyway. I made this track saw earlier this month.

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The 5' track is made of a 1/2" birch plywood base with 3/16" plywood attached. I could have routed a slot in a 3/4" piece as well - I just didn't have any.

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I wanted a dedicated circular saw that I could leave on the base. I found an older Makita at the thrift store for $15. It looked to have hardly been used. This thing is heavy, at it's all in the motor - so I expect it to last.

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I used High-Density-Overlay plywood for the base. It's really slick, and slides easily on the track. It make a nice zero-clearance set-up for the blade.

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I mounted a hardwood guide on the base, parallel with the blade. Glued and screwed.

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I used paste-wax in the slot to make the saw slide easy. Gratuitous shot of my wood stove…

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I cross-cut this plywood with zero tear-out - good result.

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I like projects like this - a couple of hours and it's done. For the amount if times I'll use it, I think this is the right tool. If I were a contractor, I'd buy a commercial one - but I can't justify hundreds of dollars for something I'll use no more than once a month.

What's left to do:
- I think I'll make a second track that's 3' long with a perpendicular leg so it has a built-in square. Easy for cutting base cabinet plywood.
- I'm going to add a dust collection port to the outlet that's already on the saw.
- I would be a good safety feature to have the saw stay up and push it down for each cut - like the commercial ones. I'm going to fiddle with it and see what I can come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ohtimberwolf,

Thanks and sure. Here is the concept - combination of a track and a square.

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Very nice job.
I made one, the simple kind with a straight strip of wood attached to a wider flat piece, but I like the fact that yours prevents the saw from drifting in either direction. Mine will allow the saw to wander off if you let it slide away from the fence. Gonna build one like yours.
 

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Looks like a great alternative to a track saw. I like the idea of the smaller one but looking at the concept image I couldn't help but wonder if a t-square style might work as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kenshu,

I thought the same thing about a t-square - then I realized I would cut T-leg off the first time I used it and make it an "L".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Toolie - I loose 1/2". The saw has a 2 1/2" depth of cut, so with the track I get 2". Way more than I will ever need. I'm not going to be cutting lumber with this thing, only plywood.

daddywoofdawg - here is an easy way to line the two up. Rip a scrap of wood to the distance you want, clamp it to the blade, clamp the runner next to it, glue and screw (or air nail) it. Make sure the scrap wood is not leaning against a blade tooth, but fully flat to the blade. I used 1/4" plywood.

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Good luck.
 

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I somehow lost my marbles and only thought of the saw base plate. Yes, I loose 1 3/16" - leaving an effective max cut depth of 1 5/16".

The only plywood I've ever cut over 3/4" was 1 1/4" decking on a house - and I have a regular skill saw for that. Also, I would not cut two sheets at a time. It would take me twice as long to line them both up exactly and clamp them, than just to cut them separate. Anything over 1" cut depth is plenty for my purposes.
 

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I somehow lost my marbles and only thought of the saw base plate. Yes, I loose 1 3/16" - leaving an effective max cut depth of 1 5/16".

The only plywood I ve ever cut over 3/4" was 1 1/4" decking on a house - and I have a regular skill saw for that. Also, I would not cut two sheets at a time. It would take me twice as long to line them both up exactly and clamp them, than just to cut them separate. Anything over 1" cut depth is plenty for my purposes.

- TTF
Good job on the track saw set up.

Disregard-> Just to keep your thinker going, sometimes I cross cut two pieces of 3/4 inch plywood when making base cabinets. <-

Tape the line and cut away. I have a Freud 48T blade on my cheep track saw.

Note: When I go to the lumber yard or the big box stores, I have a cutlist in hand and get them to cut the sheets at least once, sometimes twice. Then I do the rest with the track saw and table saw. I am getting too old to be wrastling those full size sheets by nyself! :-(

I also always place a foam insulation panel underneath so I cut into it ever so slightly.
 

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MT - Thanks.

I'm still young enough (52) to grab a full sheet and race the young guys :). But one day I'll be having them cut it down at HD…

The foam sheet is a good idea. I'll have to get one.
 
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