I finally made a pair of spacer blocks to use with one of my circular
saws; another case in which I have "discovered" a technique first
discovered a century or so ago. I made them out of scrap oak.
They proved very handy, making my setups both quicker and less prone to
error. But it occurs to me that I have made a measurement device out of
absorbent material. Should I worry? I'm not using them to line up a
surgery laser, and they are only 3" long, but I'm wondering what you
more experienced folks do. Make them from plastic? Finish the blocks? Or
not worry as the expansion and contraction (in the with-the-grain
direction) is negligible over such a small distance?
You might want to consider making a guide with auto spacing so you don't
have to mess with separate blocks and straight edge...
1. Fasten something like a 1x2 to a piece of 1/4" hardboard that is wider
than your saw is from blade edge to shoe edge.
2. Run your saw down the 1x2, cutting off the excess hardboard.
You lose 1/4" of cutting depth, no big deal IMO.
You can refine it by fastening another 1x2 under the thing at 90 degrees to
the other 1x2. That is used to square the cut jig to the work. The jig can
be any length you want... if mostly cross cutting sheet goods, 48"+ is
You can make jigs in the same manner to guide a router. You have to always
use the same diameter bit as that used when you cut off the excess
I made mine using a length of U channel aluminum (from Lowes) fastened
to a piece of 3/16 Plywood using flat head (countersunk) bolts. Make
sure you leave a tab on the other side of the guide for placing the
clamps. If accuracy is required, the guide needs to be placed on the
good side of the cut, otherwise the result will be a saw blade
I have one 8 foot one and one 4 foot one and have used them for years.
Picture on ABPW.
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