How to use a Circular Saw To Cut Plywood and Lumber in Various Ways
There are a few ways to use the circular saw to work on plywood or lumber and this guide will show you different ways on how to maneuver this incredible machine to your favor. Working with such machinery takes a step-by-step approach to accomplish a job as smooth as possible.
1) The Circular Saw Freehand
- Mark the plywood accurately
Precise cuts can only be made if there’s are marks that are just as precise. Before starting with circular saw projects, start with marking it first. Using a measuring tape, spread it across the plywood and mark the correct measurement with a “V” pointing to it. Use the tip of the V to mark the line to be cut using a square. Draw an X on the side of the board that you are going to cut along. A ⅛ -inch difference may or may not cause any difference.
- Stabilize the wood
Get the piece of plywood and fasten them to the saw horses. When fastening nails, make sure to stay away from the area where the blade will be cutting. Hammer the nails near the ends of the board. Take a piece of narrow sheet of plywood even if it’s a light project and use it on a circular saw which is more accurate but not as smooth as a table saw. With continuous practice, you’ll be able to use the circular saw to create accurate cuttings to be used on more circular saw projects.
- Nail the plywood down
Finish nails are used to hold the plywood to the table and cut 2” to 4” strips. Hammer down 4d finish nails to ¾ inches of wood. Do the same thing to 1 ½ inches of boards using 8d finish nails. Create a mark for the width and cut it. Boards take on a consistent form despite the original form of the wood being irregular or straight. If you want to smoothen out a jagged board, use a straightedge line on it. Extend your forefinger and your thumb until it reaches both ends of the wide area of the saw shoe and grip the ends. Make the forefinger be your guide as you make the circular saw focus on the line to be cut. In case the saw is straying from the line, hold it back a little for a few inches to align it inside the kerf. Hold the board firmly to make sure that it won’t bounce back. Finish cutting until it reaches the line.
2) Using a straightedge tool with a circular saw
- Fasten a straightedge to a piece of wood and make sure that it is aligned with the line. Run the circular saw by the straightedge while cutting and make sure that the blade is just outside of the cutting line. Reposition the straightedge a little if the cutting needs a bit of adjusting then clamp it on again. To start cutting, weigh down on the saw shoe’s front and cut along the straightedge and making sure that the back is stable until the saw finishes cutting.
3) How to cut precise angles
- Cutting angles can be challenging but using this crosscut technique will allow you to create right-angles for square cuts at a width of 18 inches. This is for setting up the edge of the guide so that the circular saw will run along its side to make the cut by the fence. Using a medium density fiberboard, or MDF, cut in into a 22-inch square and a strip with a width of 3 inches from the sheet.
- Next, make two strips from that last 3-inch wide strip. Measure 22 inches and cut. Use a drill to create a ⅜-inch hole at the end in one of the 3” x 22” strip. Get the other strip and drill a 1.8-inch hole. These pieces, when assembled with a swivel screw at a 90-degree angle that should be exactly to the fence, will serve as the adjustable stop under the base.
- Create a cut and check with a framing square after building a guide. Make a loose adjust at the screw if the cut that was created isn’t square then prod the top gently a little. Do another test cut after another retightening of the screw. Draw a mark by the stop right before adjusting to asses the distance. Go over the process to make sure that it will produce consistent cuts of squares. Lock the stop by putting a screw through it right into the base right by the adjustment screw.