Cutting Plywood is a Cinch With These Circular Saw Jigs
These circular saw jigs are called several names, including:
- circular saw cutting jig;
- circular saw measuring jig;
- circular saw rip cutting jig; and
- panel cutter.
But no matter what the name, these jigs will make cutting plywood, and any other 4' by 8' material so much easier and more accurately.
We are going to show you how to make a 4' cutting jig. If you make a lot of projects from plywood, you will want to make an 8' circular saw jig, as well.
Start with a piece of plywood that is at least 4' long, 15 inches wide, and 1/2 inch thick. The 4' long side needs to be a factory edge. Even then you need to check that the factory edge is straight.
Measure to make a line that is 3 inches from the factory edge, and then cut off that 3" wide piece. This piece will be called your jig top. The remaining wide 4 foot long piece will be your jig bottom.
We have marked our factory edge in black, so that we will know which edge to line up in the next step.
Measure the distance from the left edge of the blade of your circular saw to the left edge of the base plate. Add 1/2 inch to that measurement. (Ex. 3 1/2 inches for left portion of base plate plus 1/2 inch = 4")
Using the 4" from our example, measure to make a line that is 4 inches from the right side of your bottom jig.
Align your jig top so that the factory edge is along the line you just made on your bottom jig. Clamp the jig top securely to the jig bottom.
Use 3/4 inch wood screws to attach the jig top to the jig bottom.
DO NOT GLUE! We will explain why a little later.
Remove the clamps. Securely your new circular saw jig to your workbench or other flat surface so that a couple inches of the right side are hanging over the edge.
Place the left side of your circular saw base along the factory edge. You will now trim the jig bottom by cutting off the excess wood to the right of your circular saw blade.
This jig will work only with the circular saw that you just used to cut off the excess. The distance from the factory edge on the jig top to the right edge of the jig bottom is the exact width of the left side of the base plate of your circular saw.
So mark your jig so you know what circular saw it was made for.
How to Use These Circular Saw Jigs.
Now you are ready to cut a piece of plywood that is 4 foot long or less.
Measure how wide you want your piece to be. Mark that measurement on each side of your plywood.
Put your new circular saw cutting jig just to the left of each mark, and clamp it securely to the plywood. Now doublecheck for two things. First, check that your clamps will not be in the way of your saw. Then, doublecheck that your jig is still next to your marks.
Set your circular saw next to the factory edge. When you do that, your saw blade will be just to the right of bottom jig. Guide the base plate of the saw along the factory edge, and your will have a straight and accurate cut.
Once you have used these circular saw jigs, you won't want to make any cuts without a panel cutter jig in place!
The other chapters in the WOODWORKING JIGS section include:
“Simplest to Make Cross Cutting Jig.”
“Woodworking Support Jigs”
“Circular Saw Spacing AND Cutting Jig”
Go from 'Circular Saw Jigs' to 'Start With Free Woodworking Plans' home page.
Go from 'Circular Saw Jigs' to an Introduction to 'Wood Working Jigs'.
To learn about the Kreg pocket jig, click here.
Kreg has made some easy wood projects to make with your Kreg pocket jig.