Circular Saw Guide

I do a lot of rough processing of plywood from the back of my truck into my shop. I’ll bet a lot of people do, because plywood is really heavy!  I thought this was going to be a super simple project, and it mostly was.  As always though, there has to be a hitch or two in my simple plans.

My main goal was to be able to cut off segments from the short side of a 4×8 sheet.  I started with a 5 foot section of 19/32″ plywood.  Don’t you love all the bizarre sizes at the lumber yard?  A 7 and 2 inch strip would be glue and screwed to form a guide.  You make a first cut with it, and from there on out, the fence is matched to your saw.  No more guessing, just line up the edge, clamp and go!

The clamping was the problem.  My little battery operated saw hugs close and doesn’t give room for a clamp.  I can raise the saw up to avoid the clamps, but this thing will only cut 1/4″ ply if I do that.

Try try again.  Now, using a 12″ base piece I attached my old guide as a new fence.  The sizing is right now, and it makes processing big sheet goods a breeze.

A few lessons from this for anyone looking to make their own.

  1. Having the guide be longer (mine is 5 feet) than what you are cutting helps align and guide the saw
  2. Make the guid plenty wide enough to clear the motor housing with a clamp installed.
  3. It is ok to go thin, I used 1/2″+ and this sucker is heavy!  3/8 would be just fine

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