Apartment Projects #14: Of Circular Saws...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 07-01-2012 11:36 PM 8249 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: A Quick Fix, Et Cetera... Part 14 of Apartment Projects series Part 15: Details... »

I have the simplest of projects to do, a boarding-up of the basement windows. Since I’ll be using plywood, I thought it would be a great time to demonstrate an answer for an old Forum topic here…
I can’t remember who it was, but 3 or so years ago somebody asked how they would go about cutting Plywood to size on their garage floor.
I was a little surprised at the time that the generally agreed upon answer was to lay down some Hard Pink Insulation, and cut right through and into it…
I’ve used a different way for many years, and wanted to tell them then, but thought it would be easier to show rather than tell… This is the first opportunity I’ve had…
Those of you who do this for a living… Please, bear with me!
But, also bear in mind that there are every type of skill sets on LJ’s… Things that are utterly routine for you, might be beyond someone else’s experience…
Anyway, I took some Measurements and drew a quick sketch…Some measurements...

Then I secured a good size piece of 3/8” Plywood… (Lucky Me!! Someone painted it pink!!)Some Plywood

When I was cleaning down in the basement, I came across a couple of 2”X6”s that were water damaged on the ends… A basement find...

These will be perfect for a pair of Poor Man’s Sawhorses!!
First, I set the Circular Saw fence deep enough to cut just-through the 2”X material…Setting the depth of cut...

Then, after marking the plank, I place it atop the other and make the cut…First Cut...

If you look closely, the sawhorses are already in use as I cut the other end and then the other plank…Flip it and cut the other end...Repeat with other 2"X 6"...

Now I’ll mark my Plywood Sheet at the measured 35”... (Ah, the Wonder of Chalk Lines!)...The Wonder of Chalklines...

The next step I can’t stress strongly enough!
It is absolutely essential, to re-set the the Circular Saw’s fence to the “New” cutting thickness, i.e., the thickness of the Plywood!...
If I didn’t, working here on the concrete floor, I would likely be bombarded with carbide teeth…Reset Depth of Cut!!

It’s then a simple matter, using the new “sawhorses”, to make the cuts…Make cut...

Of course for this project, accuracy is not critical so I’ve been free-handing. But I could just as easily have used an either store bought, or home made, straightedge to get the cuts right on…Cutting for width...

So long as the cut-offs fall off, and you keep them out of your way, and use a sharp blade, and work carefully, this works just fine…
I found a great place to stash the Poor Man’s Sawhorses too… Up, and out of the way between the floor joists…A place for Everything...

I’ll get to attaching these to the windows sometime this week…To be attached later...

Not having a Table Saw the size of a Billiards Table might slow you down, but it should never stop you my Friends!! :)
1 July 2012

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

15 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3111 days

#1 posted 07-01-2012 11:57 PM

there is only one thing wrong with the poor mans sawhorses ….. I canĀ“t get up again :-(
though they are great in a pinch and using four take the stress away from the last
inches of the wood you cut


View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3299 days

#2 posted 07-01-2012 11:57 PM

good show mike, i was hoping for some pop corn here, but i could see this was a poor mans budget…lol..good show…makes me wanna go out and cut something….....tomorrow…today i rest…tomorrow i cut…good demo

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3497 days

#3 posted 07-02-2012 12:07 AM

Dennis: I’m a little closer to the ground then most, so it’s not a far trip down… or back up either… :)
Grizz: Thanks Bob! I was hesitant to even blog this because it’s A-B-C type information for most of us, but if it will help somebody starting out, and possibly keep them from getting hurt, then it was worthwhile…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3336 days

#4 posted 07-02-2012 12:17 AM

catch as catch can michael
there is always a way
sometimes we just have to wait
to find the need

good thinking
and demo

look forward to your take
on working in pink light

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#5 posted 07-02-2012 12:41 AM

Some good tips, here, Mike!

Love the ceiling storage idea. Been using it for awhile myself.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 07-02-2012 04:48 AM

Like David, said there is always away to get the job done. The basics are always an important lesson. Looks like
you might have a nice high ceiling in the basement.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3227 days

#7 posted 07-02-2012 05:39 AM

I do something similar with 2×4s… I need to redo my cutting guide…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#8 posted 07-02-2012 08:20 AM

Hi Mike. This is really a poor (and young man’s) sawhorse. I could only do production work this way, as I could get down there but not back up with my bad knees and back. A good method nevertheless for those without bone problems.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4295 days

#9 posted 07-02-2012 12:51 PM

Hi Mike!
A great use for scrap 2X material.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3032 days

#10 posted 07-02-2012 06:28 PM

Thanks for the tips, Mike.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3085 days

#11 posted 07-03-2012 10:04 AM

Smiles here Mike.
When the going gets tough the tough get going!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3142 days

#12 posted 07-17-2012 03:41 AM

How about a poor mans track saw made with 1/4” hardboard for the base 3” wider than your saw base then a super straight fence to slide the saw base against to make a cut. They are on u tube (I can’t find a pencil) They say that you screw the fence to the underside so as to relocate it as the base gets worn. The first cut with the track should cut a little off the base and now you have an exact line reference to lay the track, also as the blade cut is supported by the hardboard base chipout is minimal. The track can then be used mostly for breaking down plywood and at any angle too. I have a tracksaw now which is great but I used to amaze folks at the jobsite with this tablesaw jig in 5 minutes. I can still get up from the floor but hate to wear out the knees in my new (1 year old) Carrhearts.

-- $tudie

View tom_c's profile


5 posts in 2252 days

#13 posted 07-17-2012 05:46 PM

I cannot begin to tell you all how much research I’ve done to find ‘the best’ sheetstock cutting solution for myself. At 65, I have the bad lower back and old legs, as well as having had a full bi-polar hip replacement. So lifting and wrangling sheet goods in of itself, as well as the ‘up and downing’ of working on the floor…well…sucks. This alternative made it to the top of my ‘best’ list:

I’m sure that many of you already know about this. I haven’t built it yet—but it’s next up on my project list.

View peterlonz's profile


7 posts in 2228 days

#14 posted 07-18-2012 02:18 AM

Looks like I am a bit thick because I could not quite follow.
My interpretation was that the 6×2’s are used as “off floor spacers”, but that’s a bit obvious.
To prevent them moving around under a large sheet would you not want to connect them?
As for ceiling storage or under floor storage – again is it not helpful to “enable” this space to store all sorts of length & size material; the best part is it’s really dry.
For me I’d just use an old long pair of traditional saw-horses with some scrap timber fixed atop then set the blade to just cut thro’ the plywood & any excess cuts only into renewable scrap.
Then you do save the old knees but the back is subject still to some strain.
Yes you do end up with the need to store the sawhorses, although these days there are available some handy collapsible designs that “sort of do the job”.

View KOVA's profile


1363 posts in 2374 days

#15 posted 09-01-2012 06:46 AM

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