previous
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Solid Deck-Framing Advice
    Solid Deck-Framing Advice
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Gallery: Custom Flooring
    Gallery: Custom Flooring
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
    Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
next
Pin It

Kerf block speeds the sawcuts

I often find it easier, especially doing built-in units on site, to bring some hand-held power tools to the lumber and plywood pile rather than hauling the material back to the shop. I use a circular saw to make my cuts, and with the help of a kerf block, 1 can make the cuts quickly with accuracy that's around plus or minus 1/16 in. What's a kerf block? Read on.

First, I set the depth of cut on my circular saw. Once it's set, I don't change it, or I'll have to make another kerf block. Next, I grab a scrap piece of wood. A 1-ft. long piece of 1x4 is good for this process. Now, using my square, I start cutting across the block. I stop the cut midway, and with the saw stuck in the wood, I use a sharp pencil to mark the edges of the saw's table on both sides of the cut. The block should look like the one in the drawing.

Now when I want to make a cut in a sheet of plywood, I mark the dimension on the plywood and hold the block on the work so that the kerf lines up with the mark. Then I note the edge of the saw table (whichever side is most convenient) with a pencil mark on the plywood. I use these marks to position a clamped-on straightedge to guide my circular saw. This method works equally well when dadoing with a router.