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This makes a great DIY project for a Toolmonger, but cutting the angles can be a problem. After reading this post on the All-In-One Clamp, and this post on the MilesCraft Saw Guide, I still had no solution for how to cut long, straight lines that’re at odd angles to the edge of a board. A table saw with the guide set at an angle will do the trick, but here’s a way to manage it if your shop hasn’t grown that big yet.

With a ruler like this six foot monster or a piece of square tube, a couple of clamps, a tape measure, and a circular saw, you can make long, straight cuts at odd angles. Just mark out the angles you want to cut — using the end points and a chalk line is an easy way to do it. Then mark a series of secondary, parallel lines that’re as far away from your cut lines as the distance of the saw’s blade from the edge of the saw body. Now clamp your ruler or square tube on the secondary line, and cut away. This makeshift fence isn’t pretty, but it’ll work in a pinch.

This can save you some time on a project that’s not all right angles. Luckily, a piece of square tube can even span a sheet of plywood along the diagonal.

All-in-One Clamp [E. Emerson Tool Co.]
Ruler [GreatBigStuff]
[Elemental Designs]


5 Responses to How-To: Cut Angles With A Circular Saw

  1. tooldork says:

    I’m confused on why I need all of this stuff to cut a straight line and why it being angled has anything to do with cutting straight.

    A simple jig with an edge and flat surface should suffice. Edge is perpendicular to flat surface which is wider than the distance from the edge of plate to blade. Run the saw across the flat surface to create jig.

  2. DeadlyDad says:

    For a more permanent solution, cut an 8′ strip of 3/4 plywood (or whatever), with your saw angled so that the bottom of the cut is 1/8″ (i.e. the saw’s kerf) shy of the top edge, and the finished edge is flush with the edge of your saw plate. You now have a jig for clamping to cuts on either side of the waste line. To use, place so the angle side is to where your cut marks are, with the long side down if you are clamping on the kept side, and the short side down if you are clamping on the waste side. Once lined up, mark a line on the other side of the jig. Now flip the jig over the line and clamp it down again. Keep your saw pressed against the jig all the way along and Voila! A perfectly guided, no hassle cut.

  3. Michael W. says:

    Bora also makes their Clamp N Cut edge guide that angles up to 22.5 degrees each way. Rockler sells the 36″ model and I think Bora makes longer ones.


  4. Dave says:

    I think that the Festool saws with guides are much more versatile and elegant than a hack like this.

  5. mike d says:

    Just do something like this

    you’ll know exactly where the blade is going to cut.

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