I've posted about this before, but one of the handiest and most
accurate cutting guides is made from scrap. In my case, I used
1/2" plywood for a couple of the long guides and 1/4" scrap for
the shorter ones. As I recall, they were 8', 7', 4' and 2' long.
In all instances, I sized them for BOTH of my circular saws.
To make a guide, rip a piece of plywood to the required length and
make the piece about 12" or so wide. Don't worry about the cuts
being too straight. Then, get a piece of hardwood that is as long
as the plywood and around 3/4" or so thick. Approximation is
fine. First, run it through a joiner to get one edge as square
and true as possible. Then, rip along the trued edge about 3/8"
in, making a straight strip the thickness of the board by 3/8" by
the length of the board.
On the plywood, snap a chalk line or use the straightest thing you
have in the shop to make a line down the middle. Apply glue to
one of the 3/4" sides of the hardwood strip, then place it along
the line. Sight along it and use brads to make sure it doesn't
move when drying. The strip should be as straight as you can make
it and extend the length of the plywood.
Then, put your favorite rip/combo blade in the circular saw, place
its base on the straight strip and rip off the excess plywood from
the side. Magic Marker an ID for which saw/blade you are using.
Then, if you want to use a second saw, do the same thing with it
on the other side of the strip. If you will only use one saw,
just do that other side with the same saw, or with a different
blade. For instance, one side could be with a combo blade and the
other with a pure rip or crosscut, depending on what you normally
Since a circular saw cuts upward, the edge of the shooting board
will act as a break-off for splinters as you rip or crosscut. To
use it, clamp the edge on the marks you make for where the cut is
to go and just grab your saw. There's no guess work, the cut will
be clean and your accuracy will be improved.
Suppose you were an idiot.
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