Use a Common Job-Site Tool as a Quick Rip Guide - Fine Homebuilding
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Theres a Better Way

Use a Common Job-Site Tool as a Quick Rip Guide

comments (2) January 4th, 2013
grateful.ed Chuck Miller, editor at large

Video Length: 1:25
Produced by: John Ross and Chuck Miller

If you need to make a quick rip on a piece of lumber, you could hunt around for your tablesaw, but there's a better way.

Mike Sloggatt of Levittown, N.Y., uses Vice-Grip-style locking pliers clamped to the baseplate of his circular saw to create a quick, easy, and smart rip guide. Here's how he does it:

First locate the cut line-the notch or mark on the baseplate that denotes where the edge of the blade will travel. Measure from that mark to the width of the cut you want, and then clamp the vice-grip to the baseplate at that point. The vice-grip will ride along the edge of our piece of wood, guiding the saw blade.

Another way that people do this is to grip the baseplate and use their finger as a guide. that works too, but it's a good way to get some splinters in your finger.

Let's make a cut to see how this works. Great tip, Mike. Thanks for sending that in.

Editor's note: A small quick-grip bar clamp also works well as a circular-saw guide if your saw's baseplate has a flat enough surface to fit the larger foot of one of those clamps. 

posted in: measuring and marking tools, saws

Comments (2)

hartzy2 hartzy2 writes: The throat of the Vise Grip is less than the distance from the front of the saw back to the blade, so I don't think this is dangerous. You would have to cut real fast, not notice that the Vise Grip fell off and then cut over the top of the Vise Grip.
Posted: 12:33 pm on January 7th

David_Stranz David_Stranz writes: This has got to be the most dangerous thing I have ever seen posted in any woodworking forum. The last thing I would ever consider doing is clamping a piece of heavy metal in the path of my circular saw blade, ready to be knocked loose and either destroy the saw and blade or become a flying weapon.

The "better way" is to take the time to the job safely. You can knock together an edge guide from a piece of plywood and scraps and screw it securely to your saw's baseplate faster than you can get to the hospital.
Posted: 11:47 am on January 7th

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