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Woodworking: Straightening wobbly cuts

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  • Woodworking: Straightening wobbly cuts

    Hi all,
    I am sure that I'm not the only one with this problem. I use a straight edge jig with my circular saw to break down 4x8 sheets into usable pieces that I can push through the table saw. The cuts with the circular saw however only seem to be accurate to about 1/16" as the saw is cheap and the blade will cut at an angle slightly depending on where I apply pressure to the handle. I am left with a relatively straight however somewhat wobbly cut, which is unacceptable to push through the table saw.

    I've searched and found a few videos and jigs that can be built relatively easily to make a straight edge so that you can push the stock through the table saw and be left with a clean straight cut. At this point I think the simplest thing to do would just be to get a stick of angle iron or aluminum and clamp it to the board, then use a flush trim bit with my router to straighten the cut. Alternatively take a good straight board and screw it to the stock I want to cut, and use that as a straight edge against the fence.

    I was just wondering what others around here do when breaking down 4x8 sheets to keep a perfectly straight edge. I guess most my problem may be the cheap circular saw, and I should just invest in a better one with a more solid base.

    Thanks.
    "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
    exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

  • #2
    I get decent enough results using a straight edge and a circular saw I keep around just for this purpose...meaning I don't use it for cutting framing lumber and I make sure not to throw it around so it will stay straight. This typically results in a cut straight enough where I don't have any issues taking the piece to the table saw. In the rare occasion where I do need to straighten a wobbly cut, I use a straight edge and a router with a straight bit, offset enough for the router plate to ride against the straight edge. Your idea of using a flush trim bit would yield the same results.

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    • #3
      I use a Skil Classic, at least 20 years old, along with a Freud Diablo blade. I use a 5 foot aluminum level as a straight saw guide, clamped with C clamps. I get very straight cuts. I no longer have access to a table saw. I use the Skilsaw setup for long cuts and a nice old Porter Cable 10" sliding compound miter saw for the short ones. I have made three pair of small cabinets and a tiny subwoofer this way.

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      • #4
        I was just cutting some boards with the circular saw this weekend and had the exact same problem. The base of the saw is wobbly and no matter how hard I try the cuts are never perfect. Eventually I'll have to upgrade to a new circular saw our even better upgrade to a table saw.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the tips guys. I'll maybe invest in a better circular saw eventually. Currently I've been using a cheap old black and decker that doesn't have as solid of a base as I need for speaker cabinetry but is perfectly fine for general household construction.

          I got what I wanted accomplished tonight by using a spare fence board. The sides are flat so I just screwed it to my sheet of MDF with the edge hanging over to ride against the table saw fence. Did the trick only leaving a couple small holes in my MDF that will be easy to fill.

          "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
          exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

          Comment


          • #6
            You might be surprised how fast and straight you can cut mdf with a good hand saw. A quick trip down the edge with a sharp block plane and it's off to the table saw.
            All the mess is in a nice neat row on the floor.. nothing to breath or inhale.

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            • #7
              I just buy the 2'x4' handy boards from Home Depot. It's hard to fit a 4'x8' sheet in a Mini
              See my projects on Instagram and Facebook

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              • #8
                http://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/...uides/view-all

                I use a guide like those linked above. They work well and prevent some tear out, too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The wobbly cuts can get straighten in the table saw. The only time that's been and issue for me is with large pieces where I can't feed it steadily through the table saw. I've add in and out feed tables and a fence extension to help.

                  I've used the flush trim router bit and straight edge but that's been the finish cut for panels that are not going through the table saw.

                  WRT the circular saw, the biggest culprit of the wobble cut is the thin kerf/ thin blades. I've had decent results with the more tooth blades and setting the depth of cut as low as the saw with go.
                  John H

                  Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                  • #10
                    Where possible I would cut slightly oversized with my circ saw jig and then trim to the final size on the table saw referencing a factory edge against the fence... that definitely doesn't work for all cuts but if you're creative and always leave 2 factory (or tablesawn ) edges it can work. Even 1 reference edge should do it if the panel is small enough to fit in a crosscut sled. But I guess none of this applies if it's not a rectangular panel.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Derekj View Post
                      I just buy the 2'x4' handy boards from Home Depot. It's hard to fit a 4'x8' sheet in a Mini
                      Exactly. The price is usually similar to the bigger sheets, and the large sheets just aren't worth the hassle.
                      Eric L.

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                      • #12
                        I use angle iron with C-clamps to break down larger boards with a circular saw. When I put the broken down boards through the table saw, I use an original mfg side against the table saw fence. The circular saw cut is always the scrap piece after the table saw cut. You at least lose 2+ kerfs using this process.

                        Oops: I didn't read all the replies and repeated lowpolyjoe's method.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have no table saw available and do the same straight edge / skill saw technique. Last build I just went with it, and consequently it required lots of filler and sanding.



                          Note that this was before joining this forum... after seeing the craftmanship here this picture makes me sad.

                          Next time I'm doing the straight bit on a fenced router thing after the rough cuts.
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music
                          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Derekj
                            I just buy the 2'x4' handy boards from Home Depot. It's hard to fit a 4'x8' sheet in a Mini
                            Whats the cost of the 2x4 compared to a full sheet? I've previously shopped for 4x4 sheets just so I can lift them easily without a helper, but a 4x4 is $30 and a 4x8 is $35 at home depot. I shop the local hardware store near my house, they'll break down boards for free but only if someone's around to do it which is a 50/50 chance.

                            In my case I am not using the factory edge as it doesn't work for the cuts I need. For loner cuts either trim with a router, or add some fence extensions to the table so the board can pass through straight. This appears to be the best and simplest solution to my problem. Thanks everyone for chiming in.
                            "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
                            exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                              WRT the circular saw, the biggest culprit of the wobble cut is the thin kerf/ thin blades. I've had decent results with the more tooth blades and setting the depth of cut as low as the saw with go.
                              This is helpful, next time I use the saw I'll set it lower and see if I can get a better cut.
                              "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
                              exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

                              Comment

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