Wow! Appreciation for Good Tool and Neener

I have been attributing my inability to get a square edge cut on panels using a circular saw to poor technique, lousy blade, sunspots, phase of the moon...and the big one - just not enough attention to adjustment. Well, I'm starting a cabinet project using plywood and damn it, these edges need to be RIGHT! I have two circular saws, one of which I mistakenly assumed to be good quality because it belonged to my grandfather who (almost) always bought professional quality tools. The other is a nondescript Ryobi that was in my wife's garage when we first met.
Anyway, after an entire morning screwing around with these two saws, I figured out that the shoes on both of them were absolutely worthless, flexing around like cardboard. I have several cabinet projects in the works, and just not enough room to set my table saw up for 4 x 8 sheet stock, so armed with that justification and about $100 in Borg gift cards, off I went to get a real saw.
I was pleased to find that they had the Skil Mag 77, and right along side it was an obvious copy by Ridgid. The Ridgid looked very good, and more ergonomic. The scales on the Ridgid were more granular and much easier to read, and the clamp levers were rubberized and much more comfortable to operate. The Skil was just more "industrial" and about $20 more.
I went with the name and the history and came home with the Skil. It was less than I expected at $189. Spent 15 minutes checking the adjustment and making one cut with the blade going the wrong way (you know, that left-hand, worm drive thing) and after reversing the blade went to town on my $60 a sheet plywood. BEAUTIFUL! Cuts like a dream and perfectly square edges.
WOOHOO! Highest recommendation for this tool. I'd bet the Ridgid is very good too.
Tom
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Nice, but I'll bet you burnt the blade. I have a left hand porter cable and put on a ply blade and did the same thing... burnt it to toast..
Glad to hear your new saw is all you hoped it to be.
tom snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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Good tools are nice to have. If you are doing plywood work with a circular saw then you need one of these if you don't have one already. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID=16448 The pictures aren't too good but you'll get the idea.
Or you can make a panel cutting jig like this one http://wayneofthewoods.com/circular-saw-cutting-guide.html
Good luck.
On Mar 9, 5:06 pm, tom snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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Great minds think alike. I have been looking at that Rockler guide for a long time, and I would have bought it if it was long enough for a 8' cut. I read the same (or similar) article about the homemade guide and built one yesterday from memory. That was actually the first real cut with the new saw. It works extremely well.
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Mikey likes it, bet you do to..
Great minds think alike. I have been looking at that Rockler guide for a long time, and I would have bought it if it was long enough for a 8' cut.
If you build guide above, then 48" lg covers the shorter stuff.
Add a 4'x8'x2" sheet of styrofoam and you are good to go.
Let the saw blade cut into the styrofoam instead of something else.
Have fun.
Lew
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On Mon, 10 Mar 2008 07:11:53 -0700, tom_murphy wrote:

I made one years ago too, and have used it many many times.
If you're careful with the sizing you can cut the other side off to suit another tool - I set mine up for my router with a 2" long x 1/2" diameter straight bit, for trimming edges - but it could easily be a different circular saw if you have one.
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Quality tools can make life much easier in the shop. Congrats on both a new tool and the valuable lessons learned. I am not much of a worm drive fan. That type of saw does not work for me very well. It just doesn" "feel" right. But most people I know seem to prefer it.
One thing I do If I cut any plywood with a circular saw is to buy a new plywood blade for each project. I want that cut to be glass smooth. A simple, steel plywood blade does a good job. They just don't last that long. The split second it starts to dull, off it comes and gets replaced by a new/newly sharpened blade.
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wrote:

About how long is that? Say, if you were cutting 4x8 sheets of 3/4 ply into eight 1 foot by 4 foot pieces for some reason, how many sheets do you think you could cut with one blade?
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Guessing here, it would depend on the blade and plywood, several sheets. I have only needed a second blade on one project. But I rarely use more than two or three sheets per project.
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