miter cut with circular saw


I need to cut a few 1/4" panels to cover a box so that no joints are visible.
There are 4 ways to make miter cuts with a circular saw:
(1) clamp the keep side and saw with the motor on the keep side (2) clamp the keep side and saw with the motor on the throw-away (drop) side (3) clamp the throw-away side and saw with the motor on the keep (drop) side (4) clamp the throw-away side and saw with the motor on the throw-away side
For simplicity, I'm only interested in choosing between (1) or (2). I experimented with these two and the result was inconclusive. (2) seems to work slightly better but could also be because I gained some practice after doing (1).
What I leanred from the tests is I need to keep the saw absolutely level because slight change in the elevation would cause the cut to become crooked. I wonder if there is some sort of saw guide to help keep the saw on the panel; it is too easy to tilt the saw slightly.
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John wrote:

There are a few types, depending on how wide your boards are. Probably the best and easiest to use (though it would take some time to make) would be something like: http://wayneofthewoods.com/circular-saw-cutting-guide.html
Other possibilities include: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pS802&cat=1,240,45313 (You'd save $ and probably get better results if you made one from a speed square - I have a couple of various sizes) or http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/boomclm.html (there are a variety of these available - see also Amazon, Rockler, Woodcraft, etc.) Good luck, Andy
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I make all of my own guides - some simply using clamps and a straight edge. I also set the saw to max depth. This will give you more control over the saw in general, although it can be dangerous if you are not experienced with a C-Saw.
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John wrote:

If you're speaking literally, you may be setting your expectations too high. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by panel, but if you're talking about sheet goods such as plywood you'll have a tough time making those miters perfect. Repeatability and maintaining perfectly square pieces is tough enough with a table saw. Laying one box over another is even tougher.

(5) Tell a cabinet shop or woodowrking friend, "I'll give you this circular saw if you'll cut these pieces for me." ;)

You don't want the saw to move in planar relation to the piece being cut. I find keeping the clamp and saw on the workpiece the most accurate.

If you have the typical sidewinder circular saw with the motor to the left of the blade, most of the weight of the saw is over the wider part of the base. Just concentrate on keeping the saw base against the fence and pressed down against the panel. Start the saw a bit before you hit the workpiece and cut all the way through on the exit. Sometimes I cheat and let the saw wind down inside the kerf as soon as the cut is completed, but that sometimes leaves saw marks.
R
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John wrote:

Here's a 5th way: http://www.eurekazone.com / This is the best circular saw guide I've ever seen or used and you can accurately make the cut you're talking about. Buy the cabinet makers set up and you'll find you use your table saw very little and you can make most cuts very safely and accurately.
Bruce
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http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 9-567
John wrote:

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