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Make square crosscuts and flawless 45° miters effortlessly with a circular saw by building this adjustable guide. With the circular saw tight to the square, loosen the wing nut to slide the scrapwood fence over until it overhangs the saw's blade. Tighten the wing nut and trim the fence to exact length. You can then align the fence's edge with the workpiece's cut mark for a precise starting point. -John Stahr, Chicago
Circular Saw Crosscutting Guide - The Family Handyman Circular Saw Crosscutting Guide. Get perfect 90-degree cuts with a circular saw with this jig. Glue and screw two 3/4-in. plywood pieces together and rip them to 12-in. wide (or larger). Screw the base sides to the base. Rout rabbets on each runner. Finally, screw one runner to the base sides at exactly 90 degrees and then align the other runner parallel and just far enough apart for the saw’s base plate.
Been frustrated by poor-quality cuts using your portable power tools? Following these pointers will ensure wander-free machining and reduced tear-out. ■ Clamp a straightedge to the workpiece as a guide for the tool. You don’t need a fancy guide—the factory-cut edge of a piece of MDF or melamine panel works great, as shown. ■ Use sharp, clean blades and bits. ■ Clamp a backer to the workpiece on the appropriate face to avoid chip-out. ■ Use a slow feed rate, but be careful not to go too slowly...
A new angle on sawing panels
Try this strategy for making clean, consistent, and repeatable angled cuts. On one panel with the appearance side down, mark a line precisely where you want your final cut. Using a straightedge and a circular saw or jigsaw with a plywood-cutting blade, cut to within 1⁄8" of the line on the waste side, as shown. Then reposition your straightedge, and use a router with a top-bearing straight bit to trim the panel to your marked line. This piece now becomes the template for the remaining parts. ...
I added a 1⁄8" hardboard auxiliary zero-clearance plate to my circular saw to improve the cut quality, but I didn’t like that the retracted guard left the blade exposed. Then I realized that the workpiece only needs zero-clearance support where the blade teeth exit the workpiece at the front of the cut. So I used a jigsaw to widen the back two-thirds of the blade opening to allow room for the blade guard to snap back into place, just as it was made to do. —Rob Price, Watkinsville, Ga.