Circular saw straight cut jig

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Project by Newfounlandwood posted 03-06-2010 03:27 PM 9215 views 13 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Guys,
This isn’t my original idea, I seen it in a FWW mag or something along the way. I do not own a table saw yet so ripping sheet goods was quite challenging with my circular saw. This is the result.

I bought two 3/4” x 15” wide panels of MDF at HD for $3.99 each. The only other materials needed were screws and glue. I left about 6 inches of the bottom sheet peeking out when attaching the panels to allow an over hang for my saw to cut into. When I made the first cut my saw cut into the MDF creating a cut line to follow when clamping the jig onto a sheet of plywood. Note to self: cut MDF outside next time!

The only thing I would do different next time is use 1/4” thick material for the cutting guide on top of the MDF. Luckily my saw motor made the clearance over the 3/4” thick material but it was close! It works great though, I just ripped up two sheets of birch plywood using this jig with no issues.

Thanks for reading!

-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

17 comments so far

View clieb91's profile


3396 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 03-06-2010 03:34 PM

Nice quick project that will be used a lot I am sure. I really need to make one of these myself as I have to do a lot of my sheet good cutting in my garage before taking stuff into the basement.
Thanks for the reminder.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View deon's profile


2395 posts in 2115 days

#2 posted 03-06-2010 04:48 PM

I do the same thing with my router

-- Dreaming patterns

View azor's profile


58 posts in 2533 days

#3 posted 03-06-2010 07:05 PM

Even after you get a table saw you will still be using this jig for cutting big sheets, etc.

-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2431 days

#4 posted 03-06-2010 07:24 PM

i was out in california 15 years ago ,
and found 2 ’ PLY-MATE ’ brand ( texas straight edge ,they call them on a jobsite ,
every carpenter makes one for their own saw ) ,
made from aluminum and a 1/4” hard board shoe ,
the guide has slots sideways , and you can adjust it over , as the cut line gets frized out ,
i have made new shoes for them , when they get worn out .
i have ’ googled ’ them , with no luck .
never seen them before or since !

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

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 2125 days

#5 posted 03-06-2010 07:34 PM

I would second the 1/4” material. There’s no need for the extra weight.

Also, there’s no need for glue. One thing that is nice about using only screws is the ability to use the same jig for different blades and/or tools. I have a couple circular saws and a router—the same jig can be used for all. If you glue, you’re stuck (pun) with one tool.

It’s also nice to be able to rip a new edge when it gets dinged up. Loosen the screws, tap the guide over a bit, tighten screws, rip a new guide line, good as new.

View Newfounlandwood's profile


63 posts in 2125 days

#6 posted 03-06-2010 07:58 PM

Thanks for the pointers guys!
Patron:That sounds interesting, I like the idea of being able to adjust it to clean up the cut line.
Mikedrums: Yep, I’ll be taking all this into account when I make my next one


-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 2105 days

#7 posted 03-06-2010 09:31 PM

i use a similar jig, and have used them of all sizes, and included a 90 degree stop at the end.
I find they don’t last long as a few nicks from teh blade and they lose accuracy.

-- Daniel -

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 2120 days

#8 posted 03-07-2010 12:44 AM

These are very useful. I have several in different sizes.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View missingdigitworkshop's profile


148 posts in 2218 days

#9 posted 03-07-2010 02:04 AM

This jig is extremely useful.
I have a 2’, 4’ and 8’. I use them all the time to cut down sheet goods.

-- Do not be discouraged by those who don't. Be inspired by those who do.

View cutmantom's profile


351 posts in 2125 days

#10 posted 03-07-2010 02:25 AM

i re new my jig by trimming the straight edge on the table saw, just dont cut too deep, then a pass with the circular saw and the edge is new

View rpete's profile


19 posts in 2105 days

#11 posted 03-07-2010 03:29 AM

Just got in from my garage cutting down a sheet of birch ply for my router table. I should have read this post before I went out. I could have really used this. Thanks for the post!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2763 days

#12 posted 03-07-2010 03:33 AM

Nice project!

View Splinterman's profile


23059 posts in 2451 days

#13 posted 03-07-2010 09:13 AM

Versatile project…good job.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


719 posts in 2599 days

#14 posted 03-08-2010 10:22 PM

Good job.
That’s where we all get started before we get table saws. the good news is, even if you get a table saw, you’ll still be using that jig. it is safer to use the ripping jig first instead of trying to balance a large sheet on table saw.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View Mijohnst's profile


45 posts in 2110 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 12:55 AM

I have one of these too…it’s the best way to cut wood too large for your tablesaw and I use mine on almost every project. I really need to make a new one and I like your design.

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