How to Crosscut and Rip with a Circular Saw
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Getting accurate crosscuts and ripping cuts with a circular saw are fairly easy tasks if you take your time, cut at slow speeds and use a guide.
This guide highlights the procedures for operating the circular saw to get straight crosscuts and ripping cuts, along with instructions on how to make a ripping cutoff jig.
Cutting along the length of the board (ripping) is accomplished with the help of a rip attachment or by clamping a board in place as a guide. The rip attachment, shown here, is fine for making narrow cuts. For cutting wider pieces, make a cutoff guide.
- Make the jig from two strips of 3/4-inch plywood, each 8 feet long. One piece should be about 5 inches wide; the other should be as wide as the saw base plus 5 inches. Have the home center or lumberyard cut them so you'll get straight cuts, then screw them together so that the edges align.
- Guide the saw along the fence piece, cutting the wider piece to width in the process.
- Place the cut edge of the jig along the line and clamp or screw it in place. Guide the saw along the narrower piece to cut along the line.