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Circular Saw Track (chp fstool)

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Project by billT posted 04-05-2009 06:12 PM 15912 views 87 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My poor technique with a single-edged saw guide resulted in many wavy cuts, which led me to develop an improved double-edger.
Admittedly, the concept comes from the Festool saw, but for far less $$.

Basically, the saw is guided between two rails, and rides on a thin hardboard panel that acts as a zero-clearance cut guide.
The overall length is about 54” to allow cross-cutting 48” stock.
Making the end supports at least 2-1/4” thick allows you to cut two thicknesses of plywood at once.
Use with a sacrificial board beneath, and the cuts are superb with zero tearout (40T thin kerf blade).
The guide can be used without clamping – just line up and cut.
And, you do not have to disable the saw’s blade guard!

I have had good results using just the fence for rough cuts – close to 1/16” over 48”.
For more accurate cuts, I use a steel square to mark a pencil line to square up the end of a sheet, and then measure in from both ends and align marks to one edge of the kerf.
The guide can be used to cut on either side of the kerf – just have to keep this in mind when lining it up.

I have a shorter version also which is really handy for crosscutting narrow stock.
This one has a thicker fence so that I can even use it to cut 2×4s.
For multiple cuts of the same size, I clamp a thin strip of hardboard to the fence and then measure and place a binder clip which acts as a stop.

Lots of alternative uses come to mind, for instance: – screw a full-length stop to the bottom of the 54 incher to make thin strips or as a repeatable taper jig – adjustable fence for the shortie to do miter cuts – very similar to a jig someone (apologies to the inventor – I will post a link if I can re-find…) posted for a router w/ adjustable width slot used for dado cuts.

billT





19 comments so far

View interpim's profile

interpim

1132 posts in 2110 days


#1 posted 04-05-2009 06:15 PM

I really like this… Is this jig able to be table mounted much like the Festool Multitask table setup for their tracksaw?

-- San Diego, CA

View flcopper169's profile

flcopper169

179 posts in 1991 days


#2 posted 04-05-2009 06:24 PM

very cool idea… it sure does look like it works…. good job and thanks for sharing…

-- Happy and safe woodworking, Flcopper169@aol.com

View billT's profile

billT

6 posts in 1990 days


#3 posted 04-05-2009 06:43 PM

I suppose you could mount the back-end of this to a table with some hinges – I have thought about it.

But, the advantage of this track is that you can slide the track to your cut line – MUCH easier than trying to muscle a full sheet of plywood to match a fixed cut position. Try it – I dont think that you would miss the hinge feature.

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2426 days


#4 posted 04-05-2009 07:43 PM

Great idea and nice blog. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14125 posts in 2242 days


#5 posted 04-05-2009 07:49 PM

Very nice jig.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13338 posts in 2325 days


#6 posted 04-06-2009 12:05 AM

Nice set up.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View PCorl's profile

PCorl

49 posts in 2031 days


#7 posted 04-06-2009 01:56 AM

Really a great idea. I have to make one of those.

View lou's profile

lou

340 posts in 2094 days


#8 posted 04-06-2009 01:57 AM

smart idea.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2474 days


#9 posted 04-06-2009 03:36 AM

Bill, this is a really nice addition to your shop. I like the idea and will have to make one myself.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

405 posts in 2168 days


#10 posted 04-06-2009 03:53 AM

Another thing you could add to this is to use UHMV tape to make the edges of the guides that the saw slides against very slick. In fact, I guess you could stick some to the bottom of your saw too. Before I got the Festool (I have the older model) I made one similar to this but it only had a guide on one side. I never could cut straight with it and finally decided that I needed a new saw. After using the Festool for several years, I discovered that the Milwaukee was off from the back edge of the saw to the front (this rode against the fence) by 1/8”. A quick lick with a file cured it, but I was still out the $ 375 for the Festool, but it does many things that the Milwaukee could not do because of its ability to plunge.

-- jstegall

View Billp's profile

Billp

784 posts in 2852 days


#11 posted 04-06-2009 04:31 PM

Great Idea, I just can’t bring myself to pay what Fesstool wants for there tools.

-- Billp

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

171 posts in 2032 days


#12 posted 05-10-2009 10:53 AM

I am going to make one of these for sure. I just cut up my first sheet of plywood with a single edge guide and the tear out on the unsupported was pretty bad, I’m sure this would help a lot.

View billT's profile

billT

6 posts in 1990 days


#13 posted 05-10-2009 06:42 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone.
Anyone else make one and have luck with it yet?
Dont forget the thin-kerf 40+ tooth blade – this makes all the difference.
Cheers – BillT

View billT's profile

billT

6 posts in 1990 days


#14 posted 05-10-2009 06:45 PM

BTW – I use a piece of 2’x4’ 1/2” MDF for the sacrificial board underneath – you can buy these precut at Lowes/HomeDepot for $cheap.

View ralmand's profile

ralmand

162 posts in 1954 days


#15 posted 05-11-2009 01:36 PM

I like this idea and will definitely try it. Thanks

-- Randy, Allen Texas

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