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Shop-Made Circular Saw Rip Guide

By: Logan Wittmer
It’s not always easy to get a straight cut with a circular saw by hand. Build this shop-made guide and you’ll be making consistent rips and crosscuts easily.

PLYWOOD BASE. This guide starts with a 1/2" thick plywood sheet for the base. The base should be 2" wider than your saw’s base, and the cutout in the plywood base should match your saw’s cutout. A long slot in the base allows a fence underneath to be adjusted depending on how wide you need your cut to be. To finish the base, cut two 1/8" deep grooves in the bottom for the fence keys. These grooves will span from the end of the base to the cutout.

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SECURING CLEATS. The cleats here frame the saw, keeping it in place while you make your cut. Measure out where the two side cleats need to be for your saw’s base and attach them. The front of your saw base will slip underneath the hardboard lip of the front cleat while the rear cleat, held in place with a threaded knob and T-nut, can then be tightened down to secure the back of the saw. The base of each cleat is simply made from scrap to match the height of the saw base.

Screenshot 2021-09-06 115121

FENCE GUIDE. Finally, add a 2" plywood fence with two grooves in the bottom for the fence keys. A guide strip is added for a smoother surface to ride against the piece while cutting. The keys keep the fence parallel to the blade, and as long as the fence stays flat against the workpiece, your cuts will stay straight.

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Published: Sept. 6, 2021
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