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Tip #143
Portable Circular Saw Straightedge

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Use your portable Circular Saw and this shop-built straightedge when you're alone and need to safely cut full sheets of plywood, MDF, hardboard or particleboard.

Start with a 2" wide x 4' long piece of 3/4" plywood...with at least one straight-cut edge.

Next, rip a piece of 1/2" thick x 4' long plywood that is exactly 2" wider than the distance between the outer edge of your widest Circular Saw blade tooth and the right-hand (or outer) edge of your Saw's "shoe" or baseplate.

Attach the 2" x 3/4" strip to the top surface of the 1/2" thick piece with finishing nails (or screws) and the outer edges of both plywood strips are perfectly flush.

To use the guide, clamp it to the top of the plywood or sheet goods you plan to cut, with the edge of the 1/2" plywood lined-up with your intended cut line.

Turn on your Circular Saw and guide the inner edge of its "shoe" against the straight edge of the 3/4" x 2" guide strip as you move through your cut.

If you often make rip cuts on full sheets of material, you might also want to make a second Guide that's 8' long.

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