Guide stops and guide bars for saws
Saw stops and guide rails are designed for use with circular saws. They are used to accurately cut the workpiece at the desired angle or parallel to the edge.
Let’s see how to use it using a simple example: you need to saw off a part parallel to the end of a flat piece. Without aids, the cut will most likely pass at an angle rather than parallel. Just for precision and accurate work, the circular saw guide rails should be used. First, you draw a line for the trimmer on the surface of the part you are going to make the cut on. Next, it is necessary to position the guide along the line and fix it. usually for this purpose, clamps are used. The saw is placed along the guide and the cut is made. That’s it, the job is done.
What they are?
Essentially, a guide rail is a rail that allows the handheld circular saw to slide back and forth while keeping the tool from deviating from the cutting line. But a properly designed guide not only ensures a straight cut, it also reduces chipping where the saw and material come into contact.
Homemade guide rails have different designs and are made of different materials. For example:
- plywood guide;
- rail jig from an angle;
- Aluminium profile rail;
- a ruler made of a building rule;
- outrigger carriage on bearings.
The mitre and outrigger carriage are the most complicated to produce. plywood guide or aluminum profile guide rail is much simpler by design, but this does not mean that the cut they make will be of lower quality. The difference between these varieties is mostly in ease of use.
Functions of the guide rails
There are several basic functions that these constructions perform:
- Increasing precision when sawing large materials;
- improvement of quality when creating a curved cut;
- simplifying the creation of parts in accordance with a certain standard;
- The possibility of making several parts from a single template;
- Increasing safety when using circular saws.
Also with the help of guides you can make cuts with high accuracy.
How to make a guide bar for a circular saw
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Anyone who has ever cut with a circular saw or jigsaw knows how difficult it is to make a straight cut without a guide rail. No matter how hard you try to guide the tool along the line, it will still deflect and end up with an uneven cut.
It is possible to saw evenly using the old tried and tested method, attaching a guide rail or a panel with clamps. But this is not always convenient, especially with a handheld circular saw. The saw’s motor will engage the clamps.
Picture taken from: http://al-pascom/70050.html
Power tool stores sell guide bars. their cost is approximately from 2000-10000 There are universal and there are those that fit to specific tools or line of tools of a specific manufacturer. (like the guide bar in the first picture)
Since my next home-built project required level sawing (and probably will need it often in the future), and I did not want to spend a lot of money, I came up with the idea to make a handy guide with my own hands.
Wandering around moskvoretskom market, looking for something suitable among the aluminum profiles, it turned out that there is nothing so suitable: Either angles or swivels, or pipes, or bars, but none of these were not suitable without substantial and costly revision.
Totally unexpectedly came across something that I needed in a completely different place. At the tent where they were selling goods for repairing apartments I found such a right-hand rail.
JYC-2000D-2 rule (the tool used for aligning walls). For only 400r
Circular Saw Guide Bar 8 Feet long cutting s
The handles move along the right side of the groove and can be attached anywhere. If you remove them, you can put clamps in their place.
In Leroy Merlin bought these convenient clamps. It only took 98
Unlike the classic clamp, these are very easy to clamp the workpiece, quickly moved apart to the desired size. And another big plus of this clamp for my problem was that it removes the top part. After taking it off it is possible to fix it to the right hand side through the adapter.
Only there are no ready-made adapters, of course. And I made it from a piece of polypropylene.
Although this design is not very suitable as a milling machine, but while my own milling machine I have not finished yet, I had to mill on what was, attached a coordinate table with screws to the previously made drill stand.
I milled the part step by step to the desired size and shape. Unfortunately at the time was a shorter cutter than required. I had to grind in several steps.
(Here is a photo of the new bench vise, which I bought accidentally at the flea market in Novopodrezkovo)
As a result of milling we got the following adapters:
Having drilled the necessary holes in the adapter, I fastened it to the clamps.
This is how the guide will be held onto the workpiece. And there are no unnecessary parts on top that interfere with the saw’s operation.
Inexpensive handheld circular saw guide with your own hands
Full-fledged milling and circular machines are expensive and take up a lot of space in the workshop, so they are not suitable for everyone. If you equip your hand-held power tool with a special guide, then the capabilities of such equipment are repeatedly expanded. The proposed design allows you to work with a hand router and circular saw. With its help it is possible to end the lumber at any angle, carry out longitudinal cutting and prepare grooves.
The process of making a circular saw guide
As for the size of the offered guide design, it is selected individually for the cutting depth of the existing saw, as well as those workpieces that will be further processed. Plywood sheet is used for table top fabrication. Its length can be whatever you want. The width can be made 35 cm, which will be convenient for the vast majority of circular saws. Offsetting 10 cm from the long edge of the plywood must be marked out for the installation of the profile with a T-slot.Preferably, the profile should be shorter than the actual length of the table top, which will make it easier to store the machine in the future. Profile must be set into the groove. It is convenient to choose it with a hand router by setting the parallel stop. When working with plywood it is better to go deeper gradually, making a selection in several passes.To remove defects on the tabletop surface you need to sand the plywood.Profile with a T-slot is pressed into the obtained flush slot. It is fastened with self-tapping screws along its entire length.For the direct guide for the power tool itself, you can find an angle, but it often has the same sides, which is not entirely convenient. It is much better to buy a channel and saw it lengthwise, obtaining 2 perfect angles with a low edge.Now you need to make the stops for the guide. To do this, take 2 boards with a section of 30 mm, the length corresponding to the width of the plywood table top. In this case their length is 35 cm. As for the width of the boards, it should be equal to the actual depth of cut of the circular saw plus 8 mm. Align the boards and mark 7 cm from the edge. From this line the length corresponding to the width of the saw blade is measured. The second mark is made a little wider, taking into account the thickness of the walls of the angle and the gap of 1 mm.After clamping the boards in a vice, you need to saw everything along the marked lines with a hacksaw to a depth of 1 cm, then choose a groove. Now you need to fix the boards to the tabletop. To do this, they are first glued, then pulled out with screws. Note that the second board is fixed at the end of the profile with a T-slot, not the plywood. Before gluing it is necessary to hang in the profile of the T-boltThe posts obtained from the boards need to fix the corners of the channel directly into the groove, thereby adding rigidity. For the construction to be collapsible, it’s better not to screw the screws into the wood, and install the furniture dowel and then use the screw.You can also move the runners of the guide, so it was possible to use it for the router. You need to make a couple more holes and put the furniture dowels.Let’s paint the resulting fixture.For the convenience of further storage of the machine in a suspended state, you can cut a through hole in the plywood that protrudes beyond the working part of the table top.Now you need to put the circular cutter on the slides. It should be turned on and driven from one edge of the countertop to the other. Slightly protruding disk will make a groove of about 2 mm, due to the fact that the grooves of the posts were deepened not by 8 mm, but by 1 cm.To prevent the saw from tilting and braking when moving, you can attach a furniture angle to its sole by slightly turning it. This may not be necessary, much depends on the type of sole.Using a nearly complete machine, you can make guides to hold the workpieces at an angle. First of all the 45 and 30 degree endstops will be needed. To do this, taking 2 slats, you need to drill a hole in them under the sliding T-bolt.Having fixed one workpiece at an angle of 45 degrees and having pressed a nut of manual adjustment it is necessary to cut off the protruding end with a saw. The resulting piece should be glued to the bottom of the slat back, creating an additional stop. It will rest against the side edge of the table top, so later it will be possible to fix the guide without the protractor. You can prepare special guides for other angles in the same way.To the bolt protruding from the T-shaped guide profile you can fix a presser foot, guides and other joinery accessories, expanding the possibilities of the resulting machine. The cost of manufacturing such equipment is low, while its functionality is sufficient for processing small workpieces or accurate rapid facing of lumber.Saw work clearly:
Work with a router:
Required materials and tools
Before proceeding to the manufacture of the structure, you need to familiarize yourself with the list of necessary tools and materials:
- Wooden blanks: boards, plywood, laminate;
- 10 cm and thicker wooden bars;
- self-tapping screws, screws, bolts or nuts;
- Drill with drills;
- Screwdrivers or an electric screwdriver.
Additional information! It is necessary to prepare the above mentioned tools in advance in order to have them ready at hand when guide rail is being made.
Advantages of homemade rails
An important advantage of working with such a device is the possibility to process workpieces of any size. Just remember to keep the facing tool firmly in place, because this ensures a quality result and a high level of safety.
You can buy a prefabricated guide bar in a store. This is the easiest and most expensive option. After all, the cost of a branded fixture is often almost comparable to the price of the circular saw itself. Therefore, it is better to make a guide for the circular saw with your own hands.
Homemade guide rail for manual circular saw Interskol, Makita, Bosch is functionally no worse than the factory-made one, but several times cheaper. It is easy to assemble at home. There are several options for making homemade rails, using different starting materials:
Below is an in-depth look at the process of making a guide rail for each of the options listed.
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Making at home
The main thing is to keep the geometry exactly. The base can be:
A serious disadvantage of wooden and pressed guide bars is their sensitivity to moisture.
Option 1. Tire made of laminate.
- Using the ruler, cut two pieces of material of equal length.
- On one edge we mill.
- Fasten to the base (also made of laminate) with self-tapping screws.
- Check the width of the groove by turning an A4 sheet of paper about 0.11mm thick.
- The guide rail is secured to the circular saw’s underside by a side support bracket. You can drill a hole in the housing if the warranty period has expired.
- The guide bar can be extended as far as possible in front of the hand-held circular saw. The nose of the sole should be a few centimeters behind the guide. Using the laminate circular saw blade, saw the edges of the rails so they are flush with the marks.
This will absorb the depth of cut (about 1.5 cm), but such a device is convenient and easy to make.
Option 2. A construction rule serves as a base. Model with handles that slide along a groove is suitable.
- The handles are detachable and are replaced by spring-loaded, softly clamping clamps. Models with removable top are suitable. After removing the upper part, the clamp is fixed to the rule with an adapter.
- Reducers are made of polypropylene on a milling machine. The result should be parts that resemble the letter “T” in the cut. They are inserted tightly into the groove for the handles.
- Holes are drilled in the “leg” of the adapters and screwed on with screws.
- The rail is placed with the groove down on the sheet and the screws are tightened firmly at the bottom. There are no braking parts on top of the circular saw. Only the length of the rule is limited in operation.
Variant 3. In order to obtain a precise cut, the edge of the base of the tool must be perfectly flat against the guide. Professional tools with molded soles have this feature, but inexpensive molded bases do not. So we offer a variant of the rail. The tool moves along it without resting against the guide rail. At the same time the effort required for pushing the saw is considerably reduced. The rail can be made of aluminum U-profile. You need two pieces with different cross-sections. The smaller profile is inserted into the larger one without any gap, but it has to be able to move freely.
Now you can make your own guideway:
- A larger diameter guide rail is screwed to the plywood. The heads of the screws and self-tapping screws should be chamfered so they can be hidden flush.
- On both sides of the rail, tightly attach strips of plywood 0 and also fasten them with self-tapping screws. Plywood can be replaced by chipboard.
Cut off the extra wide pieces, and the rail is ready.
Prepare the hand saw:
- A small profile is inserted into the rail, the height of the “feet” is removed so that the profile is flush.
- The profile is cut parallel to the saw blade and fastened to the base plate. For this purpose, a pair of M 4 hinge screws are used. If the circular saw’s platform is flat and of good quality, its edge can be held.
- Place the hand saw on the guide rail by inserting a profile into the guide rail. Turn on the tool and saw off the excess width of the strip.
For a perfect cut, the edge of the bar is overlaid on the marking and the guide is attached with screw clamps. With the guide rail the saw moves smoothly and does not wobble, cuts accurately and feeds easily.