Circular Saw Guides


Anyone had a chance to use them? Which one would you recommend? I am partially blind and a newbie at wood working and would appreciate your feedback. Working without one is out of the question for the obvious reason.

Guy Castonguay
Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada
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Hi Guy, The one I like the best is home made. I bought a piece of 1" square aluminium tubing at Rona and attached it to the centre of a piece of 1/4" plywood which was about 14" to start. I than ran the saw down the side of the tube against the saw's foot to cut the plywood to the exact distance from blade to side of foot. To use the guide, line up the cut edge with the line you want to cut, clamp in place and cut. Hope this helps. Cheers, JG
Guy Castonguay wrote:

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Hi JGS,
I have a 96 inch piece of Aluminum angle (2 inch x 2 inch) that I would like to use as a sawboard guide. How exactly did you attach your metal tubing to the 1/4 inch ply? I was thinking of epoxy/bolts or something, but the 1/4 inch seems a bit thin to do this right.
Maybe 1/2 inch would be better?
How did you do yours?
Thanks!
Lou
P.S.
I glued an oak strip to 1/4 inch ply and that's what I am currently using. Would like to "upgrade" to something better/heftier.

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Hi Lou, I used screws. They look to be #6 about every foot. It has worked well for 5 years with a lot of use. With my saw, to get most of the foot to ride on the plywood the motor rides over the aluminium tubing. This limits me to cutting 3/4" max otherwise the motor hits the tubing. You might want to check yours before using two inch tube. Cheers, JG
loutent wrote:

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Not sure of the name of it, but I borrowed one from a friend that was fantastic. It has a flush, sliding clamp system built into it, so you don't have to mess with C-clamps.
I've looked for one for myself, but it's not available at the big shops. He says he got it at a retail woodworking supply store (I can't find the name of the store or the product). They come in several different lengths and are well worth the money in my opinion.
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Best commercial cutting guide Iknow of: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pA707&cat=1,240,45313 Can be used shortened, or at its full 100" length.
Be warned. It is NOT cheap.
Rockler makes one that is similar to what you describe. I've got one--not the Rockler--out in the shop, which is probably the one you describe. I use it, but don't like it much. Hard to clamp with the small levers if you really want to pull it up tight. And it was not cheap. It's only a 50".
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I suspect these:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Squanklin wrote:

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Pat's link to the Griset guides look to be the product I was trying to describe above. Thanks!
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I have a Festool Saw Guide System and they make my circular saw 'a tablesaw in a box'. It's way better that a sawboard as mentioned by another poster, because the saw can't go anywere, only straight ahead. I measure, place the guide on the wood (no clamping necessary because the guide has rubber strips on the underside; you can use clamps however that fit in the guide and slide to the length of your work piece), align it with my pencil marks, and saw. And the cut is dead on, every time, and as straight as my table saw. But it's not cheap and the profile only fits the bottom plate of Festool saws (and routers). Festool saws are the best circular saws on the market and well worth their (high) price, but that's another subject.
<http://www.festoolusa.com/category.aspx?id=8
Recently there was mention here of a copycat product that is usuable for other saws. If you don't want to buy a new saw I'd probably buy that if I were you. Here is a review, although I don't know how unbiased it is. Most reviews on this site are very positive...
<http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/ezsmart.htm
(No I don't work for Festool, but I'm just a very happy customer.)
--
mare

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Clamping guides made by TREND. Available in various lengths. I have 2 -- a 3 foot and a 5 foot. Excellent but VERY expensive.
Malcolm Webb
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I've never found anything that works better than a sawboard and a circular saw with a good blade on it. Check out this link:
http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
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I have three pieces of 1" by 2" steel tube I bought at a metal supply house. One is 30", one is 50" and one is 100" long. I clamp them to the plywood (or other sheet material) with quick grip clamps. From the edge of the guide to the saw blade is 1 and 7/16 inches. (that's from the edge of the shoe to the blade) I just measure accordingly. My son uses the same method but he bought aluminum instead of steel. It's even better...... lighter. But it cost quite a bit more!!
Max
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Guy Castonguay wrote:

go with the saw board. I have one of the aluminum saw guides and it works ok, but you have to figure out the distance to clamp it to saw on a line. It works ok, but the clamps are a bit weak. I plan on making a saw board as I have to cut a bunch of doors to width. And I suggest that you make your own. Lots of instructions, but basically you start with a 4x8 sheet of good 1/2 plywood. The manufactured edge will be straight so you cut off a 2-3" strip (doesn't have to be a real straight cut, which will form the basis for your straight edge. You will still have an 8' x 30" (or more) piece of plywood to make another 8' saw board which you can cut into a 3' and a 5' piece. So now you have 8', 5', and 3' saw board for the price of sheet of 1/2 plywood and far handier than an aluminum guide and you set edge directly on the line to cut. If you don't quite understand someone here will send you to a site that gives detailed instructions.
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