Circular Saw Crosscut Jig
Getting a straight, square crosscut with a circular saw can be a little time consuming and somewhat challenging even for an experienced user. One of the best ways to get better crosscuts in less time is to make a crosscutting jig.The time you spend making the jig will easily pay off in time saved on all sorts of projects. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Tools & Materials
- Circular saw
- Drill/driver with bits
- Tape measure
- Combination square
- Router (optional)
- Dust mask
- Medium density fibreboard (MDF)
- 1 1/4" Screws
- Wood glue
Constructing The Jig
Predrill for and countersink all screws.
- Lay the bed flat on your workbench, measure 36" from the bed's right end to left and mark the bed's top face. Use a square to draw a straight, squared line across the bed's top face through the mark.
- Stand the side pieces on edge and align them centered on the line drawn across the bed's face. The inside faces of the sides should abut the bed's edges. Mark the sides for screws at 1/2", 4" and 8" in from each end. Glue and screw the sides to the bed. Extend the line drawn across the bed's face up the inside face and across the top edge of each side.
- Measure the width of your circular saw's shoe or foot. Subtract 1" from the measurement and divide by 2. Example:If the foot measures 6 3/4" wide 6 3/4" - 1" = 5 3/4", 5 3/4"/2 = 2 7/8".
- Using the result from step three, measure and make a mark to the left of the line on the top edge of one of the side pieces. Use a square to transfer the mark to the second side piece.
- Lay a saw runner across (perpendicular to) the sides. Align the runner so its inside edge (the edge with the rabbet) is flush with the mark you made on the top edges of the sides and its far end is flush with the outside face of the far side. Use a square to ensure the runner is square to the sides and glue and screw the saw runner to the sides.
- Place the saw so the left edge of its foot is in the rabbet on the first runner. Place the second runner across the side pieces as you did the first. Slide the second runner under the right edge of the shoe so the two runners form a channel in which the saw will ride. Screw and glue the second runner in place.
- Set your saw's depth of cut so it cuts approximately 1/16" into the beds top face. Set the saw in the jig and cut through the sides and top of the bed.
Good idea: Wax the runners to reduce friction and allow the saw to slide freely in the jig.
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Using the Jig
Mark your stock where it needs to be cut, slide the stock into the jig and butt its near edge against the jig's near side. Position the stock so the saw cuts at the mark. To cut multiple pieces the same length, clamp a stop block to the jig, slide the stock tight against the block and cut.