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Circular Saw Track (chp fstool)

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Project by billT posted 1936 days ago 15394 views 86 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

1123 posts in 2056 days


#1 posted 1936 days ago

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 1937 days


#2 posted 1936 days ago

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 1936 days


#3 posted 1936 days ago

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 2371 days


#4 posted 1936 days ago

Great idea and nice blog. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2188 days


#5 posted 1936 days ago

Very nice jig.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2270 days


#6 posted 1935 days ago

Nice set up.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View PCorl's profile

PCorl

49 posts in 1977 days


#7 posted 1935 days ago

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

View lou's profile

lou

340 posts in 2040 days


#8 posted 1935 days ago

smart idea.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2419 days


#9 posted 1935 days ago

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

404 posts in 2114 days


#10 posted 1935 days ago

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 2797 days


#11 posted 1935 days ago

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 1978 days


#12 posted 1901 days ago

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 1936 days


#13 posted 1901 days ago

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 1936 days


#14 posted 1901 days ago

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 1900 days


#15 posted 1900 days ago

I like this idea and will definitely try it. Thanks

-- Randy, Allen Texas

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