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Doin' the "Circular Saw Rip Jig"

I need to make a number of semi-precision cuts in some birch plywood on my next project.  I've been eyeing up table saws for a while, but I just don't have the room to store one at this time.

I do, however, have a reasonably decent circular saw, and I have internet access.  On the Internet I found that there were people in the same situation as Yr Fthfl Blggr (me).  The solution to No Table Saw seems to be: make a jig and use your circular saw.

So I went about making two jigs - one for rip cuts and one for crosscuts.  As we will see, Gntl Rdr (that would be you), I had mixed results.

For the rip jig, I had a long piece of pine that was a shelf on my workbench - I just redid my shelves and this one is now excess.  I went to the Despot and procured an aluminum strip that is four feet long.  I cut the board to four feet, and then set about positioning the strip on it.

The idea here is that the strip will serve as a guide/channel to run the saw against.  If you try this, be aware that the channel needs to be shorter than the motor side of the saw, otherwise it will foul the saw.  (Tweeeeet!  Blocking foul on Dook!).

I got the seemingly bright idea to countersink some holes in the channel so I could drive screws in it so that, in theory, the saw would magically and smoothly pass over the channel.  More on how this worked out in a future post.

That countersink looks not-to-bad, eh?

Then I made sure the channel was square on the board, and drove screws into the newly drilled and countersunk holes.

The final step is to run the saw down the channel and cut the excess board on the right of the saw off. 

What this does is make the right edge of the board a guide to use to line up with a rip mark on a board.  Pretty clever, huh?  I have to say this is not my idea exactly - I was inspired by others on the net. 

So, I made the cut, and was left with a seemingly nice, square jig that I can now use for rip cuts - of boards four feet in length or under.

This is a shot looking down the jig.  The saw will be coming toward the end of the board in the foreground. 

We will put this homebrew device to work shortly!


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