previous
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Classic Cabinets
    Classic Cabinets
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
next
Pin It

Minimize circular-saw tearout

As a one-man trim-carpentry crew, I often use a circular saw to cut full sheets of cabinet-grade plywood to manageable sizes before making final cuts with my tablesaw. To minimize tearout, I've devised the zero-clearance circular-saw base.

I start by measuring the saw's baseplate. Then I cut a scrap piece of 1/4-in. hardboard slightly shorter in length and width so that it doesn't protrude beyond the saw's baseplate edges (they need to slide against my straightedge guide during cuts).

Next, I retract the blade so that it no longer extends through the saw's base, and I adhere the hardboard to the saw's baseplate with double-sided tape. With the blade in this fully retracted position, I clamp the saw to my workbench with a sacrificial block thicker than the stock I plan to cut sandwiched between the saw and the bench. I turn on the saw and slowly lower the blade through the hardboard and into the block until I've reached the necessary depth. The saw is now ready to go.

When I'm finished making my cuts, I pop off the zero-clearance plate by inserting a flat-bladed screwdriver or putty knife between the two baseplates and twisting.

Magazine extra: Watch a video where Chuck Miller demonstrates this tip.