What is the Best Guide to Cut 4x8 Sheets?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 07-26-2013 05:53 PM 5897 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 3237 days

07-26-2013 05:53 PM

I see two options. On is a regular edge clamp in a 99in length. Sold by Rockler and Peachtree for about $114 plus shipping. I just got a free shipping coupon.

The other “uses 50”-56 rails the connect together and use a sort of C-clamp like clamp. On sale at Woodcraft for about $68 plus shipping today and tomorrow.:

It doesn’t seem to have a good way to ensure it is square by itself. However, it has an optional angle alignment tool:

It is about $33 plus shipping with the sale.

So, the second option offers more flexibility (it can cut angles) and be used as two smaller guides. The first is going to be easier to use accurately for ripping. I already have a 4’ version of the first. With the shipping and sales there is aq $4 difference between the two.

Which is the better way to go?

42 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6488 posts in 4057 days

#1 posted 07-26-2013 05:58 PM

I use the Emerson clamping guides (top photo) in shorter lengths, but I built a shop made version for 8’ cuts. It is just a 1×6 MDF fence glued to a 1/4” plywood base. I made mine 10’ long, and trimmed it to fit with the circ saw I use for trimming. It has the added advantage of indicating where the blade will cut.
Mine is similar to this, but the thin 1/4” base maintains more cutting capacity.

Just set the guide to your cutline and trim away.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dorty's profile


20 posts in 3697 days

#2 posted 07-26-2013 06:08 PM

the first track you mention also has accessories for your router and circular saw to be used as a track saw. Never used them but have always wanted to. Might be something to check out and help make your decision.

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 3237 days

#3 posted 07-26-2013 06:15 PM

Dorty, both have the options for a guide that runs in the tracks. However, they generally have bad reviews and I don’t want to cut into CF base of my circular saw.

An alternative is to have HD do the long rips. However, their blade is garbage and has lots of tear outs.

pinto, I could do that with two S4S pieces. However, I would have made the base under the circular saw wide enough for the whole base then cut the slit in the middle…effectively making it zero clearance at top where the tear out occurs.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4215 days

#4 posted 07-26-2013 06:40 PM

Shop made is the best.
Nothing manufactured even comes close.
Well, except for a big slider table saw, but that’s way out of my budget.

View JayT's profile


6431 posts in 3455 days

#5 posted 07-26-2013 06:58 PM

Either a one piece guide or shop-made. Every single two piece guide I’ve seen flexes at the joint so you never get a straight cut.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 3530 days

#6 posted 07-26-2013 08:31 PM

Shop made is the way to go. I have an 8 footer and a 4 footer. I had one for cross-cuts but I took it apart and used pieces of it for something or other. I need to build another one. :)

View hammer6048's profile


13 posts in 3061 days

#7 posted 07-26-2013 08:39 PM

Festool plunge cut saw, nothing else compares. One can use any homemade or other commercial products, but you will get splinters, especially on plywood.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4932 days

#8 posted 07-26-2013 08:49 PM

Having only a small basement shop, the one piece unit would be a storage issue for me, unless I attached it to the ceiling. You’re taking a lot of money for a one trick pony. JMHO : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3192 days

#9 posted 07-26-2013 09:08 PM

hammer you are right and also dead wrong. the festool plunge saw if an absolutly amazing machine. I have used the Emerson clamping guides pictured above for years, and have never had any splintering. I have cut tons of doors and plywood without any trouble. you can also use them for a router.

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 3237 days

#10 posted 07-26-2013 10:54 PM

The Emerson comes in a regular and a wide. Is there a preferences?

Are the saw guides needed, or can the circular saw be reasonably just held against guide?

The wide one is actually less expensive than the narrow one. Emerson says the wide frame adds extra stability in longer lengths.

View Loren's profile


11274 posts in 4892 days

#11 posted 07-26-2013 11:43 PM

I don’t own one of these, but it seems promising…
zero clearance inserts are standard and replaceable.

View Donald's Woodshop's profile

Donald's Woodshop

111 posts in 3358 days

#12 posted 07-27-2013 12:04 AM

One day I realized my straight edge was not straight. I got this and has done very well.

-- Imperfections make it unique!

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 3237 days

#13 posted 07-27-2013 12:11 AM

Loren, I have the Kreg version of that:

The one you pictured looks more robust:

However, with that one I’m wondering if it is tricky to get started with more than half the unit off the work piece. With both I was concerned it would be tricky to keep straight for a 78” or 96” rip.

Am I making this more difficult than it should be? Will the tool I have do the job? I was thinking the clamped edge would be better for the long rips.

View waho6o9's profile


9070 posts in 3821 days

#14 posted 07-27-2013 12:43 AM

When you hit the lotto of course.

Mafell PSS3100e Panel Saw

View waho6o9's profile


9070 posts in 3821 days

#15 posted 07-27-2013 12:44 AM

Mafell 3100

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