I need to make a precise cut of wood to be 24" long and only 4 1/2" wide.
Right now all I really have is a 10" compound miter saw (as far as saws
are concerned) - which obviously won't do.
I did just pick up a very nice Porter Cable router!
So now I am sort of stuck realizing I am going to need to buy yet again
another power tool :)
I am avoiding buying a table saw because I don't want to get the
cheapest one ($99 Ryobi). I would much rather save up and buy one later
on that is nicer.
I have considered buying a circular saw ($50 Skil) that has an
Accu-Sight. Along with that I will setup a fence. Do you think that is a
good plan / option? Any other tips that you guys have for me? This is my
first wood working project and I am anxious to get started with it!
Good plan. Buy good tools, and you cry once when you open your wallet. Buy
crappy tools, and you cry every time you use them.
Depending on how precise you really need it, the circular saw may work for
you (make sure to clamp the wood down securely), or you may be better off
finding a buddy with a table saw who can cut it for you. Also, if you buy the
wood from a real lumber yard (not Home Depot, Lowe's, etc) they will be able
to cut it to size for you, for a fee of course. If you could provide more
specifics about what you're using this board for, we could advise you better
on the degree of precision needed and the best way to achieve it.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
IF you can get it close with a hand saw/jib saw/sawzall/whateverthehellsaw,
then IF you have a straight table edge, you can clamp the material down to
the table and use a trim bit in your router to true up the edge.
I would really suggest that you do NOT, repeat NOT use the kitchen table for
Or...see if a friend can make the cuts for you...
or check Craigs List in your area.
You can make that cut just fine with a handsaw and then clean it up
with a jointer plane. You could also use the router to clean up the
edge if you have something you could clamp on as a guide. A pattern
makers router bit would be useful.
You can do reasonably good work with a skilsaw. Clamp a guide board to
the work and they cut pretty straight. Make sure the blade is at 90
degrees. There is an adjustment that allows miter cuts. Adjust it to
do square cuts. Or, go for used. $99 will get you a decent table saw
or radial arm saw off Craigs List. Or, for just 24 inches, you can do it
by hand and clean up with a plane.
Cool. One of the first things I made was a step stool for our, then,
2-years old girl.
And like the other guy said, you really are smart to wait to get a half
decent table saw. You'll decide, of course, from all the advice but I would
suggest you consider spending a little more than the 50 bucks and purchase a
reasonably good 'skill' saw (not skill brand). You'd be able to make a
reasonably good rip cut with it. Then you could use a wood rasp or, better
yet, a plane to get a rather good edge that would allow you to make that
stool. Then, Bob's your uncle!
It's pretty good to be starting out on what could be a satisfying life-long
adventure in learning and making things with your hands (and tools!).
This is the best straight edge tool guide I know:
I make them double-sided, for a circular saw and router.
So, he'd make the cut with the saw, turn the guide around, and take
the last 1/32" off with a straight bit in the router. Since the OP
dosen't have a table saw, he'd simply make one for each tool, using a
clean factory plywood edge as the straight edge. The edge of the
hardboard is cut the first time, forming a reference to align to the
planned cut line.
I have lots of big tools and hand planes, and still keep some of these
around in several lengths for site work, large sheets, and squaring
table top glue-ups.
A circular saw with a good straight edge can be an excellent all around
tool. Many people use levels as their straight edge, and I'm seriously
considering trying that myself.
Actually, with a straight bit your router can make the cut. You'll need
a good straight edge fence, but you'll need that sooner or later anyway.
Don't buy a cheap table saw, they're not worth it. Mine's practically
worthless when it comes to anything beyond basic ripping. (I'm
surprised I got as good of results as I did cross cutting today.) A
circular saw, OTOH, can be an excellent addition to your shop and
woodworking tasks. I've got a Skil circular saw and it's a very good
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
> Right now all I really have is a 10" compound miter
> I did just pick up a very nice Porter Cable router!
> So now I am sort of stuck realizing I am going to need to buy yet
again another power tool :)
> cheapest one ($99 Ryobi). I would much rather save up and buy one
> Accu-Sight. Along with that I will setup a fence. Do you think that
Build your own straight edge using 1/4" plywood.
Straight from "Ask This old House.
Rip a 12" x 96" and a 6" x 96" piece of plywood.
Glue pieces together with 4" exposed edge on one side, 2" on the
Cut one side and then the other trimming some of the exposed edges.
The cut edges are are not the guide edges.
BTW, use an 8 ft alum angle as the straight edge to make the first
The saw bed plate outside edge rides against the 6" ply and the bottom
of the bed plate rides on the 12" ply.
The short side of the bed plate rides on the short extension and the
long side on the other.
The first pass will cut off the excess ply leaving an edge that will
duplicate the saw cut line which IMHO, makes it idiot proof (No need
to remember the offset which will be 1" on one side)
I have used one like this for years and it works great. Currently
made of plywood but the next one will have a hardboard base with the
shiny side up for the saw to ride on.
In honor of my Scottish ancestors, a parsimonious lot who kept the
Lord's Sabbath and everything else they could get their hands on, I've
always enjoyed the following.
A Highland Guard Regimental Sargent Major (RSM) stopped into an
apothecary (drugstore) one day, resplendent in his regimental kilt.
"May I help you?" asks the druggist. "Oh, aye" says the RSM shyly as
he reaches in to his Sporran (which as you all know is like a small
He takes out a folded handkerchief, places it on the counter and
extracts a used prophylactic from its folds.
"It's sprung a wee leak" says the RSM. "Kin ya repairrr it?"
"Yes" says the shopkeeper "But it will cost you tuppence and I can
sell you anew one for three pence!"
Put off at this news the RSM slowly folds the proph back into the
handkerchief and places it back in his Sporran.
"I'll be back" he says, as he marches out the door.
The next day the RSM is waiting at the front door when the druggist
opens shop and enters the store and once again places his proph on the
"Have you come to a decision?" asks the druggist.
"Oh aye" says the RSM, "The Rrrrrrrregiment has voted to repairrrrr
If you are really worried about it, use the Skil saw with plywood guides
snug against both sides of the sole late and over another piece of
plywood. Lighty tack the piece to the bottom board with thin brads to
prevent slipping. Details are your to figure out in your own particular
case, good luck, I know you can do it.
: I have considered buying a circular saw ($50 Skil) that has an
: Accu-Sight. Along with that I will setup a fence. Do you think that is a
: good plan / option? Any other tips that you guys have for me? This is my
: first wood working project and I am anxious to get started with it!
My first project was done with a Skil circular saw (no accu-sight), a
hand held router, and a shop-mate work table. If you don't need to
work on any long pieces (over 4'), and you are careful, you'll do
I'd recommend clamping pieces of wood or MDF to act as guides for
every cut. Think about how to guide the cut, clamp guides in place,
make a test cut on scrapwood, measure and adjust, and then make your
final cut. If necessary, buy extra wood for test cuts, guides, stop
blocks, backer-boards, etc.
I spent much longer planning the cut than I did making the final cut,
but I ended up with invisible tight joints using hand held tools.
Even when you get a table saw, you'll still find the circular saw
When I replaced my Skil saw, I got a big beefy DeWalt. I find it's a
little too heavy for me. I use it, but I wish I'd gotten something a
little lighter. I don't think the accu-sight will be accurate enough
in this case. You'll need a guide. The accu-sight may help when
Chip and everyone else,
Thanks for the responses. I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong
before, but I used a long straight edge and got a wonderful cut out of it!
Now to figure out how to get 1" off of a 5 1/2" piece of wood! (May be a
little harder doing it with a circular saw than a table saw, but I think
I'll manage :)
Chip Buchholtz wrote:
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