No Straight Cuts For Me...

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Forum topic by Mark828 posted 03-11-2013 10:24 PM 1924 views 1 time favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 1922 days

03-11-2013 10:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Over the last few days I’ve been getting materials together to build a little rolling cabinet for my garage. Not because I need one but just to see if I could. Fact of the matter is, I can’t. I can’t make a straight cut to save my life. I’m not using a table saw because mine is useless. What I am doing is using a 48” level as a guide as I cut with the circular saw. the measurements between the guide and the cut line are equal but I always end up a blade width or so off at the end. It’s terribly discouraging. My level appears to be straight. Could is be the saw?

What I’m asking of you all if possibly some hints and tips to a good straight cut. are those circular saw tracks worth the money? I need back upppp! I’m a little frustrated now so I’ve stopped and am going to go at it again tomorrow, hopefully with more confidence.


30 replies so far

View Tugboater78's profile


2743 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 03-11-2013 10:28 PM

Levels may look straight but rarely are. I usually use a good boars that i know is atraight for a guide. But i recwntly bought a 52” alum self clamping guide which helps a lot

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2270 days

#2 posted 03-11-2013 10:31 PM

Circular saw straight edge guide…. and it works !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3083 days

#3 posted 03-11-2013 10:44 PM

Mark828: Very expensive, but worth it:

I have also seen where people have made homemade versions of the track saw using a regular circular saw. The problem is that you need to start with a straight cut…


View pintodeluxe's profile


5653 posts in 2807 days

#4 posted 03-11-2013 10:58 PM

I use the Emerson clamp straightedge guide. It comes in 24, 36, and 50” lengths – or you can get the three piece kit.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2481 days

#5 posted 03-11-2013 11:04 PM

It’s easier to just buy a piece of extruded aluminum angle of a pretty heavy gauge the length you want.
It’s sold at hardware stores and home centers and anyplace that works with metal.
Clamp it to your work piece and run the edge of the circular saw shoe against it, not pushing too hard.

I have a piece of aluminum channel I use that I got from and old RV awning. It’s about as straight as I need it.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Thalweg's profile


97 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 03-11-2013 11:05 PM

I used to have a circular saw that the blade wasn’t parallel with the edge of the foot. It made unpredictable curves. Also it tended to burn the wood. You might check that.

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1898 days

#7 posted 03-11-2013 11:31 PM

I’d highly recommend making something like what kdc68 recommended. I have one made from hardboard and poplar. Took about 4 seconds to make and it has served me well for 6 months. Before that my circ saw was pretty much useless as well (and my table saw MIGHT be even worse!). Also, not sure if you’re using a good blade, but that’s a worthy incvestment if you’re aiming to cut straight with your circ.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2557 days

#8 posted 03-12-2013 12:45 AM

it sounds really stupid, but in the past when i’ve had a wandering blade its been because the blade was dull. put a new one on and i got straight lines

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Mark828's profile


95 posts in 1922 days

#9 posted 03-12-2013 01:37 AM

Thanks you all for the suggestions. I actually did just buy a new blade for the saw. I might try that guide that kdc68 first recommended. If I run to HD do you all think I can count on a factor edge to give me a straight enough edge?

View Tony_S's profile


866 posts in 3076 days

#10 posted 03-12-2013 01:43 AM

It doesn’t sound stupid…you could be right.
Three things to check(providing the level is straight) are, as said above, make sure the base is in line with the blade. Make sure the blade is sharp. Make sure the blade isn’t warped.
Particularly if the blade is a thin kerf, a dull blade or even a chipped tooth can make the blade drift significantly.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2270 days

#11 posted 03-12-2013 01:45 AM

While your at Home Depot check out these Diablo 7-1/4” circular saw blades….pretty good bang for the buck….

Good luck with those straight cuts !!

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Mark828's profile


95 posts in 1922 days

#12 posted 03-12-2013 02:16 AM

That’s the type of blade I got, the 40 tooth fine blade. cuts very clean. Gonna go at it tomorrow with a refreshed mind. Hoping for the best! Thanks again ya’ll.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3224 days

#13 posted 03-12-2013 02:52 AM

Kreg makes a cross cut guide that works pretty well. Check it out.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1956 days

#14 posted 03-12-2013 12:28 PM

This thread came along at a convenient time. I need to get a straight edge that’s about 12’ long to clean up the face of a long countertop with a flush-trim bit. After that, I can chop it into 8’ and 4’ lengths for plywood cuts. I’m going to make that jig from Popular Mechanics.

Like others, I don’t have a big enough shop to run 4×8 sheets thru my table saw, so it’s skilsaws, sawhorses and the great outdoors. I’m quite sure my ancient 7 1/2” Craftsman saw is ready to be replaced and was wondering if there are better saws out there for this kind of work (3/4” sheet goods) without breaking the bank. Seems like a cordless saw with some kind of zero-clearance insert would be the way to go.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2363 days

#15 posted 03-12-2013 12:45 PM

I also second making a guide like kdc posted. I had to make some cabinets for the garage and one for the kitchen, I made one with one side a guide for the circular saw, and the other side a guide for my router with a undersized plywood dado bit. Having a lip on either side also helps because it gives you a place to clamp that won’t interfere with the saw’s motor. It certainly takes all the guesswork out of breaking down sheet goods into manageable sizes (I have a Bosch 4100 so it’s much safer to break them down with the circular saw).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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