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Forum topic by DATAfiend posted 07-04-2010 12:15 AM 859 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DATAfiend

6 posts in 1555 days


07-04-2010 12:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: edge guide

Hi all, I’m getting into woodworking (now that i’ve got space) and hope to learn a lot here. I started my first project – built in cabinet for a entertainment center. I think I bit off more than I could chew!

I’m just trying to make a straight edge cut with my radial saw. I went to sears and bought a $10 edge guide, but that definitely wasn’t worth $9!! My cuts are still a little off. It COULD be also that the wood seems to be a little warped – but I’m not sure.

Any recommendations on edge guide? Maybe I should just spend the money and get a table top circular saw? I’m using a ryobi 7.25” circular saw.

Thanks


10 replies so far

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2422 days


#1 posted 07-04-2010 03:37 AM

There was a good plan in Shop Notes a few months ago. It is exactly what you’re looking for. I’ll try to find what issue it was in and let you know. It was very simple. If I can’t find it, I can probably draw up something that might get you pointed in the right direction.

BUT, if if you are trying to work with “warped” lumber…....... forget it. Until it’s milled square and flat, you don’t stand a chance. Your project will look…. “warped”. I know you don’t want that.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2305 days


#2 posted 07-04-2010 04:01 AM

even with a straight edge there is a learning curve.

1. as long as the straight edge you bought is straight – you should be good to go. otherwise you can use anything that has a straight …well…. edge :) to guide your saw against.

2. warp – as long as your lumber isn’t cupped or twisted you should be ok as the straight edge cut will get you back to square lumber. while at it- are you using hardwood or plywood?

3. make your cut: first thing first – make sure the blade on your saw is not extending all the way down – adjust your saw so that the blade only extends a tad bit more than the lumber you are cutting – if you are cutting 3/4” plywood, then extend the blade to 34/64” (or slightly more than 3/4”, no need to be precise here as long as it’s more than 3/4”) so that the blade will cut through the lumber you are cutting, but not so much that you have a lot of friction between blade and material, this will also help you keep the straight line against the edge guide.

keep a firm grip on the saw, and make your cut slowly keeping focus on feeding the saw against the guide so that it won’t pull away from it. also important – clamp your guide WELL to the material so that it doesn’t move during the cut.

Good luck.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1018 posts in 2015 days


#3 posted 07-04-2010 04:45 AM

Go to a lumberyard and get a STRAIGHT 1×4 in a hardwood. Screw a piece of hardboard to the flat side of the board and leave yourself 5-6” of hardboard on each side. Run your CS along one side of the hardwood and you’ll have a nice straightedge that you’ll be able to set right on your cut line. On the other side of the hardwood, do the same thing with your router and a straight bit and you’ll be good to go for dados/rabbets as well. Note: for the router side, this only works when you’re using the same size bit.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View DATAfiend's profile

DATAfiend

6 posts in 1555 days


#4 posted 07-04-2010 04:47 AM

PURPLEV

1. as long as the straight edge you bought is straight – you should be good to go. otherwise you can use anything that has a straight …well…. edge :) to guide your saw against.

I didn’t buy one – I got a “cheapy” guide from sears – it’s not that good, it doesn’t stay sturdy to the saw.

2. warp – as long as your lumber isn’t cupped or twisted you should be ok as the straight edge cut will get you back to square lumber. while at it- are you using hardwood or plywood?

PINE

3. make your cut: first thing first – make sure the blade on your saw is not extending all the way down – adjust your saw so that the blade only extends a tad bit more than the lumber you are cutting – if you are cutting 3/4” plywood, then extend the blade to 34/64” (or slightly more than 3/4”, no need to be precise here as long as it’s more than 3/4”) so that the blade will cut through the lumber you are cutting, but not so much that you have a lot of friction between blade and material, this will also help you keep the straight line against the edge guide.

I’ve made a helluva lot of cuts – that’s the problem. I think I’ve bought more lumber at Home Depot than the regular carpenters/contractors!! ha ha!!

Thanks for the tips. I’m just going to have to go and look around at HD.

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1555 days


#5 posted 07-04-2010 05:28 AM

any tool is only as good as its operator.

Don’t buy things on first thought, research and use the help of your friend, google.

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2066 posts in 1721 days


#6 posted 07-04-2010 02:37 PM

I agree with sikrap. I saw article on doing that. I made up a couple of them for doing sheet goods. I didn’t set it up for the router though.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5658 posts in 2085 days


#7 posted 07-04-2010 02:55 PM

My Festool wannabe guide works well. But you’d need a table mounted router to make it easily. There are other shop built guides that work well, too. Juniorjock references a good one.
As stated, ya gotta start the process by insuring that your stock is straight and flat. IMHO, straight and flat are not words commonly associated with HD or other big box stores. Those words are just not in their vocabulary, nor do they generally apply to their lumber products.
Any actual lumber yards in your area?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View DATAfiend's profile

DATAfiend

6 posts in 1555 days


#8 posted 07-06-2010 05:53 AM

Hey all,
Thanks for the advice. Gene, I think you’re spot on about HD (and Lowe’s) in that they don’t have very good quality lumber.

There are lumber yards in my area – several (I’m in Sacramento, CA). I’ll do a search and try better quality woods.

Thanks guys

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1555 days


#9 posted 07-06-2010 06:17 AM

At home depot and lowes take your time and search through piles until you find something thats not bowed or warped. Solid wood that has bows you can joint but plywood that is bowed is trash basically, you cannot fix it. If you want exotic wood try woodcraft.

also if you plan on doing this a lot you should get a table saw or track guided saw. However don’t buy any table saw, research,research, and test table saws until you find the one.

View TheWoodNerd's profile

TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 1848 days


#10 posted 07-06-2010 02:57 PM

Yeah, an entertainment center is quite a first project. In fact, I’d strongly advise you to set aside that project and start off much, much smaller. There are so many skills to learn and you’ll make mistakes learning them. Far better to mess up a coat rack than several hundred dollars of cabinet ply and trim.

That being said, I’ve been very pleased with the Emerson AIO self-clamping edge guides. Rockler sells them and sometimes has them on sale as a three-length set (24, 36, and 50”), I got the set for $60 with free shipping, that’s over 50% off!

If you just want a single guide, Amazon has better prices

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

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