Cutting down large sheets of plywood without a track saw or without a straight edge clamp can be difficult to accomplish. On top of that no matter how great you are with using a circular saw it is damn near impossible to cut a perfectly straight line without using some kind of an aid to ride you saw against. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to create a zero clearance guide for your circular saw that is both fast to setup and accurate. You will no longer struggle with the use of this particular tool and after you use it a few times you will wonder how you managed to go so long without one. I contemplated building one for what seemed like forever and to this day I don’t understand why I didn’t do it sooner. I guarantee that you will see the benefits of having this jig in your shop immediately after using it for the first time.
Since I already had some half inch birch plywood laying around from building my air compressor cart I decided to use that. You however can use any material to get the job done. In the past I have even used OSB plywood to make one of these jigs and it did the job just as well as any other material. I used my table saw to cut two strips of plywood which make up both the base and the edge guide of this jig.
I attached the two pieces together with brad nails and glue. This jig will be under little to no external pressures when in use so this will be more than adequate. Two to three inches of material are left on the edge opposite of what will become the cutting edge in order to leave room for clamps when using this guide.
To prevent any unnecessary chipout of the veneer of this plywood I am using some blue painters tape shield the veneer when establishing the cutting edge of this guide. I apply tape to both the top and bottom of the guide.
Clamping the jig to my worktable I use the circular saw this jig is intended for to establish the cutting edge. It’s crucial that you go slow and do your best to prevent the saw from tilting in any way. If it tilts the cutting edge may be damaged and the effectiveness of the jig will be reduced. Because most circular saws differ in construction a new jig will have to be made for each saw you need this jig for.
I tested this jig by squaring the edge of the plywood sheet it was mad from. The results were flawless and I could have been happier with its performance. This is a super simple jig to build and can be built in a few hours. I highly recommend you make one if you find yourself constantly breaking down sheet goods in your shop. If you enjoyed this video please let me know how I did in the comment section of this article or directly on YouTube within the comment section of the video linked above. As always thank you for reading and if you have some time to kill please head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe if you want to be notified of future project videos.