Cheap tools (except for the Starrett combination square – left over from my metal fabrication days) are getting the job done for now.
My saw cuts are getting better. Fairly square – they need to be since I haven’t dug out my jack plane and my block plane needs sharpening, and I don’t have a solid place to hold anything down yet.
I’m using my Swiss Army knife to mark my cut-lines and putting a shallow kerf line on three (or sometimes four) sides before making my thru-cut. Much better accuracy this way.
These four braces came out relatively equal in length with saw cut only (no planing – just a bit of sanding of burrs off the ends).
-- Rodney, Arkansas