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Need Help With Getting Straight Edges

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Forum topic by Bayshington posted 07-11-2017 05:37 PM 883 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bayshington

8 posts in 75 days


07-11-2017 05:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: straight cut router clean edges wide boards pine question

Hello All,

I am new to the forums but have used it in the past and it has been a very resourceful tool!

I am a beginner woodworker and have recently decided to tackle a media console center for my wife which she wants in the living room.

I have done some beginner projects such as picture frames, a blanket chest, and some other small
projects. I have a CS, jigsaw, sanders, Miter Saw, and some other basic tools.

For this project I am using some edge glued pine boards that are 1×16x96. The boards factory edges are pretty clean and straight, however, I am finding difficult to make straight clean cuts with my circular saw and a cross cutting jig I made. Some of the pieces I have to cut are up to 61’’ long which makes it a bit difficult.

It seems I am 1/16-1/8 of an inch off. I have checked to make sure that my jig and blade are square but I cannot figure out a way to get the edges straight.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have read to cut a little wider than the intended cut line and either clean it up with a TS (my father in law has one but it would be a hassle to drag all the wood there) or to leave about 1/16 inch and clean it up with a router (which I would like to buy one for future use).

Thank you for any help!


25 replies so far

View papadan's profile (online now)

papadan

3573 posts in 3124 days


#1 posted 07-11-2017 05:54 PM

If your straight edge is true, you can cut to size with your circular saw. Buy one sheet of MDF, cut 6” off both sides of it. Cut one side into a 3’ length. This will give you a 3’, 5’, and 8’, straight edge that you can use with your saw, jigsaw, or router. You can even use them to true up the remainder of the MDF sheet. LOL

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

View Rich's profile

Rich

1552 posts in 345 days


#2 posted 07-11-2017 06:31 PM

+1 on papadan’s suggestion. I’ve also seen jigs using the 3/4” fence he mentioned attached to a 1/4” base. Cut the base at least as wide as the distance from the edge of the circular saw plate to the blade, and then run the saw along against the fence to cut the base to width. The advantage is that you don’t need to add the width of the saw plate for your jig setup. Just align the edge of the base of the jig to your cut line and it’s set.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9300 posts in 3403 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 06:32 PM

I think your crosscutting jig is probably
not as square as you think it is.

If the square you are using to make a
square jig is not accurate, your jig won’t
be either. What kind of square did you
use to make the jig?

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 75 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 06:58 PM

Thank you for the suggestion!

I used a piece of plywood and cut it into a 3’’ wide and 18’’ long piece and then attached it 90 degrees to the end of a 1×4 that I cut to 18 inches. I then sawed off one side off the plywood piece to make my guide as to where my blade would cut.

I am starting to think it could be my jig, I made some cuts yesterday in some scrap wood and noticed some waviness from end to end.

I will try the jig mentioned above!

Has anyone had luck with any guides like Kreg or Benchdog for cross cutting?

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papadan

3573 posts in 3124 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 07:01 PM

The “Pro” jigs are very nice to have and use…....but expensive to buy! I’ve been doing this for a long time with my MDF edge guides.

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9300 posts in 3403 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 07:14 PM


Has anyone had luck with any guides like Kreg or Benchdog for cross cutting?

- Bayshington

I’m sure they work well but the width capacity
is only 12” or so.

The most effective way to get square crosscuts
on wider boards with a circular saw involves
laying out the cut line to be accurately square
and using some sort of straight edge guide
clamped to the board to guide the saw. In
the old days they used to do this with handmade
wooden squares and hand saws, so it is
possible to get good results if you take your
time. Commercial jigs for wider crosscuts
are available for circular saws but the prices
of such things may annoy you.

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Bayshington

8 posts in 75 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 07:16 PM

Yeah, it seems like they can hurt the wallet a bit! I will for sure be making the MDF guide you use, would it be okay to use a 3/4’‘x2×4 piece instead of a full sheet? I have limited space at the moment but in the future would definitely make some jigs that are 5’ and 8’ long for future products!

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

987 posts in 2731 days


#8 posted 07-11-2017 07:45 PM

How good is your saw? Are bearings tight and edge you are running against jig parallel to blade? For years, I had a junky old B&D circular saw and it made horrible cuts…which was OK for cutting 2X’s to length. When I needed to make more precise cuts in some plywood, the worn out bearings made blade wobble cut horrible. I bought a new Makita 5007MGA and its cuts are much better.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

966 posts in 2605 days


#9 posted 07-11-2017 08:46 PM

When I’m forced to get out my CS jig,
1) I always make sure to EXACTLY mark my widths from good edge to where the cut line will be making sure that the cut falls to waste.
2) I then lay my guide edge on the cut lines and clamp both ends “semi-tightly”
3) Once set up I then go BACK to the tape and recheck the distance from good edge to the cut line

4) I almost always find an error at this point either because of the squeeze jaws on a quick clamp, or the pad turning on an F clamp

5) Once I find my error I use a hammer to tap the guide back onto the lines and then re check everything again and tighten down the clamps.
6) And then I check it again
7) and then I make the cut being sure that I keep a solid base and keep the edge to the guide

I’ll bet a cold one you’ll find your issue at step 4

Good Luck & Welcome to LJ’s!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Rich's profile

Rich

1552 posts in 345 days


#10 posted 07-11-2017 09:02 PM


I ll bet a cold one you ll find your issue at step 4

- ChefHDAN

Win-win because either way you get to share a cold one with ChefHDAN :)

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1092 posts in 1553 days


#11 posted 07-11-2017 11:26 PM

I have a suggestion buy a jointer. And stay away from cheap pine it’s really not that friendly to work.

-- Aj

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3081 posts in 2986 days


#12 posted 07-12-2017 01:32 AM



I have a suggestion buy a jointer. And stay away from cheap pine it s really not that friendly to work.

- Aj2

Jointing the edge of a 61 inch piece would hit my ceiling! :-)

“Makita 5007MGA”

I have that saw. It is a good one. No bent or crooked frame parts.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

608 posts in 250 days


#13 posted 07-12-2017 01:52 AM



+1 on papadan s suggestion. I ve also seen jigs using the 3/4” fence he mentioned attached to a 1/4” base. Cut the base at least as wide as the distance from the edge of the circular saw plate to the blade, and then run the saw along against the fence to cut the base to width. The advantage is that you don t need to add the width of the saw plate for your jig setup. Just align the edge of the base of the jig to your cut line and it s set.

- RichTaylor

+2 on this. carefully made, this type of jig is extremely accurate as long as you clamp it carefully and take your time with the cut. Here’s mine:

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 75 days


#14 posted 07-12-2017 11:38 AM



How good is your saw? Are bearings tight and edge you are running against jig parallel to blade? For years, I had a junky old B&D circular saw and it made horrible cuts…which was OK for cutting 2X s to length. When I needed to make more precise cuts in some plywood, the worn out bearings made blade wobble cut horrible. I bought a new Makita 5007MGA and its cuts are much better.

- hotbyte

I have a Craftsman 5 1/2 19.2V, it’s pretty new still and in great condition as I have tried to take care care of all my tools. My friend has a nice Makita CS and it works great when he was doing some work on replacing windows, trim, and cabinets.

View Bayshington's profile

Bayshington

8 posts in 75 days


#15 posted 07-12-2017 11:42 AM



When I m forced to get out my CS jig,
1) I always make sure to EXACTLY mark my widths from good edge to where the cut line will be making sure that the cut falls to waste.
2) I then lay my guide edge on the cut lines and clamp both ends “semi-tightly”
3) Once set up I then go BACK to the tape and recheck the distance from good edge to the cut line 4) I almost always find an error at this point either because of the squeeze jaws on a quick clamp, or the pad turning on an F clamp

5) Once I find my error I use a hammer to tap the guide back onto the lines and then re check everything again and tighten down the clamps.
6) And then I check it again
7) and then I make the cut being sure that I keep a solid base and keep the edge to the guide

I ll bet a cold one you ll find your issue at step 4

Good Luck & Welcome to LJ s!

- ChefHDAN

Thank you for the advice!! I am sure that I will be sending a cold one your way after this project is done! Thanks to everyone for all the help!

I will post my jig once I complete it this weekend and eventually the media console.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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