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Track Saw Substitute Cheap

2207 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  gmercer_48083
Track Saw Substitute Cheap

I made a track guide for my 2 old porta cable circular saws, that even though the saws are different they will work interchangeably. I wanted a guide base that could be easily mounted, and would still allow the guard to work and that could be used with my harbor freight clamp and cut edge guides. It is made from 1/2" plywood with a couple of maple guide rails, with the bottoms lined with 1/8" hardboard. To mount the saw I used a leftover piece of hanging rail (used for hanging shelf standards), to clamp the saw at the front of the guide, and a bolt thru a drilled hole in the bottom rear of the base of the saws. I also fashioned an alignment guide out of Plexiglas that adjusts to make sure the saw is positioned correctly, depending on which saw I mount. This idea could be adapted easily to any circular saw. The guide uses 2 cut guides in order space the edge guide correctly (my cut guides are 1-3/4"), and they store under the clamp knobs when I the guide. As you can see in the photos, I used a thin cut finish cut blade...That had a lot of mileage on it...and it still cuts pristeen, clean, no splinter lines, due to the blade running perfectly parallel. I consider this a worthwhile project if you want clean cuts.


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So you set the position of the clamp guide using the two MDF spacers to get the cut in the correct place? This is very similar to what I do, but my straight edge clamps are different, so my guide is shaped to fit the top of the clamps rather than run on both sides of it. Cool! Somebody else like me who can't see paying hundreds for a track saw. My spacers are Lexan instead of MDF, but the technique is the same. Worth doing, wasn't it?

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Why not use something like this PRO-Grip Straight Edge Clamps and make a plate for it? PRO-GRIP SAW GUIDE
This is a great solution. Shows that it's always about the operator and the blade.
I will be making this Thank You !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Gary. I haven't had enough coffee yet to absorb it, but it looks like a great addition to my shop.
Charley, Yes, the cut guides are placed against the rail at either end of the cut to offset the rail to the edge of the blade. I used 1/8" hardboard under the base (glued with contact cement) because I was concerned about scratching the surface of what I may be cutting. I would not want to scratch the plywood as I cut. Besides I could remove the hardboard with an iron to replace them if they show wear.

NOTE: This guide base swallows the rail very snugly and allows the cut to be made with no drift. The rail could be anything...but I am cheap, and wanted to use the harbor freight rails, which meet that criteria. The only drawback is it is limited to a 50" clamping length.

NOTE: My circular saws are placed onto the guide so the center of gravity is directly over the clamping rail, which makes it slide easily.
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