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Forum topic by nikko18 posted 01-24-2011 09:02 AM 1296 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2863 days

01-24-2011 09:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: work bench circular saw even cuts

Total newbie here,
I am working on my 1st big project, a workbench. I decided to go with the torsion box work bench
from Tom Caspar:
Except I have made some modifications, probably not wise at my level, but what the heck. Anyway
cutting the 2×4’s for the base torsion boxes, I am getting 1/8th in variations in length. I have been using
a speed square to do the cross cuts with my circular saw (don’t own a table or chop saw). Is there a goos way to trim them to size, so the but joints for the boxes work out correctly?


-- Time flys like an arrow, fruit flies like a bannana

6 replies so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 01-24-2011 12:46 PM

How to trim 1/8” from the end of a board, basically with hand held power tools? Very carefully. I’m sorry I don’t have a very good (safe) way to do that. For future reference though, I think I know why you have that variation. I may be wrong, but every time I’ve ever seen someone have 1/8” variations in cuts, especially with inexperienced wood workers, it was because they didn’t pay attention to kerf. Most saw blades make a 1/8” kerf (unless you’re using something like a thin kerf blade).
When laying out stock for any project, measure your stock. Mark your line with a fine tipped pencil. Some use a knife or other means. I just keep my pencil very sharp. When you make that cut, cut with the side of your blade that is towards the piece you intend on keeping on the oppposite side of the line. I hope that makes sense. I don’t know of a better way to explain it. What happens though to get the variations you describe is, if you cut the middle of the line, or the wrong side of the line, the 1/8” of material the blade take out (kerf) throws your measurement off.


View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3856 days

#2 posted 01-24-2011 05:15 PM

I have a couple of ideas, but you should you should only attempt to do what you are comfortable with.

Idea 1. Clamp all four legs together securely—side to side—and use a straight edge to cut them all at once.

Idea 2. Leave them alone and go buy some adjustable table-leveling feet. They’re pretty cheap, yet effective.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3330 days

#3 posted 01-24-2011 05:44 PM

Ditto what Tbone said…take all your boards and clamp them side by side. Cut off each of the ends with a straight-edged pass with your circular saw.

-- jay,

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3820 days

#4 posted 01-24-2011 05:56 PM

+2 for clamping them together and using a straight edge to cut them all at the same time.

either that, or cut them individually – and use a hand plane to trim them all to match perfectly (using something like a shooting board).

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

View swirt's profile (online now)


3301 posts in 3144 days

#5 posted 01-24-2011 07:22 PM

An easy way to get accurate and square cuts with a circular saw is to make a guide. It is basically two strips of wood fixed at right angles to each other. the one piece is held along the length of the board, and the other one creates a fence for the saw’s foot plate to run against. The first cut with it is a scrap cut as the blade will cut the long runner to exact length and thereby make a reference for making all future cuts exactly to a line.

Sorry… that explanation is bad, let me find a photo.

Here is a plastic version that is adjustable for all kinds of angles, but really the 90 version is pretty easy to make.

-- Galootish log blog,

View nikko18's profile


15 posts in 2863 days

#6 posted 01-25-2011 09:19 AM

Thanks for the tips:
@william I was trying to pay attention to kerf. I did notice my cuts got better as i went.
@swirt I was using a speed square and a try square. Try square set to distance from blade to edge of sawbase to place the speed square. 2×4’s seem a bit small for that jig

@others When I clamp them should it be short face or long face? Short face will be a long cut, long face, my blade won’t go through, though it may be more accurate. I could just cut 3 in and do the last 1/2 in with a flush trim bit on my router? Though I may be making this more complicated than it needs to be.


-- Time flys like an arrow, fruit flies like a bannana

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