Precision cuts with circular saw: is it possible? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Default Precision cuts with circular saw: is it possible?

Hi there - A table saw is not an option at this point, so I am wondering what would be the best way to make precision cuts with a circular saw?

Currently, I am using two jigs, depending on the length of the cut I need to make. One uses a guide in form of a simple strip of wood screwed to a piece of hardboard, which was cut at the proper distance the first time I ran my saw along the guide. The other is a cut-off box dedicated to cutting 2x4ís (yeah, I donít have a compound miter saw either...). Itís a bit more elaborate in that it has two guides, with the saw plate fitting nicely between them. The guides are mounted on a large piece of plywood that has additional guides to accept the 2x4ís.

Even when using the more elaborate version and carefully placed stops, I am not really getting identical cuts. There is still a bit too much jiggle room in the jigs (maybe thatís why they are called Ďjigsí?). I can fix that by sanding or routing, but it is another step and simply annoying.

Is a system with the saw plate mounted to a T-track-style guide any better? None of the systems I have seen so far gets really good reviews (except perhaps the Festool system, but I am not going to get me a whole new saw for mega-$$$). If it helps, I have a Makita 5007FK saw.

Any help appreciated. Thanks! MM
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 10:17 AM
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Hi MM

YES

I have a jig I use that works very well for that type of job it's not a Festool systems but it's works the same way and it's a easy one to make and used..
It's just some thin alum.angle stock that locks into the clamp bar...to keep it dead on track..

I also have a setup for the router ..

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Originally Posted by xvimbi View Post
Hi there - A table saw is not an option at this point, so I am wondering what would be the best way to make precision cuts with a circular saw?

Currently, I am using two jigs, depending on the length of the cut I need to make. One uses a guide in form of a simple strip of wood screwed to a piece of hardboard, which was cut at the proper distance the first time I ran my saw along the guide. The other is a cut-off box dedicated to cutting 2x4’s (yeah, I don’t have a compound miter saw either...). It’s a bit more elaborate in that it has two guides, with the saw plate fitting nicely between them. The guides are mounted on a large piece of plywood that has additional guides to accept the 2x4’s.

Even when using the more elaborate version and carefully placed stops, I am not really getting identical cuts. There is still a bit too much jiggle room in the jigs (maybe that’s why they are called ‘jigs’?). I can fix that by sanding or routing, but it is another step and simply annoying.

Is a system with the saw plate mounted to a T-track-style guide any better? None of the systems I have seen so far gets really good reviews (except perhaps the Festool system, but I am not going to get me a whole new saw for mega-$$$). If it helps, I have a Makita 5007FK saw.

Any help appreciated. Thanks! MM


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 11:13 AM
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Mischa..

Woodsmith mag. has a good article in a recent issue: Vol 31/No. 185.. And WOOD mag. did a review of Rail-guided saws in its September 2009 issue #192. Comparing the DeWalt, Festool and Makita systems. As usuall the Festool kicked butt, however, the DeWalt made for a good showing...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 11:42 AM
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Hi Mischa,

This is the one I have used for over 5 years and I have been very happy with it. Very accurate and easy to use with outstanding repeatability.

The EZ Smart Woodworking System by Eurekazone, Inc.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 06:32 PM
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I've always used my long straight edge, (metal ruler, 8'), clamped down to the project piece and cut. I do recommend NOT using a thin kerf blade in a circular saw for precision cutting, atleast not without a support disc installed.

Ken

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 09:53 PM
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I have used a circular saw a lot in the field to make cutts and I get repeatable results with the aluminum ruller or my 4 foot levle clamped to the plywwood. I use a portacable saw boss because it is light and easy to handle and keep tight ageanst the fence.

For small stock I just hold my speed square and run the saw ageanst that. I allows you to quickly eyeball the blade to the cut and is easy to hold still. A little tougher on hardwood.

If you look at second hand stores you can find one of the older miter boxs that hold the saw and give fairly good results. Look for one that is tight and has a good saw with it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the good replies.

I think I am going to make my own version of a precision guide using a track for a sliding door and a perfectly fitted piece of UHMW plastic that glides inside the track. The saw base will then be attached to that piece of plastic. I got that from looking through Nagyszalanczy's book on jigs & fixtures.

The problem with all other guides (straightedges, rulers, speed squares, etc.) is that they don't give me the precision I am looking for, particularly not when it comes to repeatability. The cuts vary by about Ī1 mm in length, which is not acceptable. Maybe I'm trying to get too much out of a puny circular saw...

Thanks again. MM
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 10:46 AM
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hi Mischa

"Maybe I'm trying to get too much out of a puny circular saw"

It's not a table saw many have tried to reinvent the table saw with just about every jig you can think of...but the table saw is make to cut precision...

But the bottom line it's not a table saw


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