Problem: How to Make Straight Cuts or Dados with Hand Power Tools
Solution: A Straight Cut Track Guide for Portable Power Saws and Routers
There are a number of “straight cut” guides on the market, however I feel that this design is innovative and provides more flexibility than those currently available. Additionally it provides for foolproof straight cuts since the tool cannot veer away from the guide.
I constructed my original model, a 10 foot long unit with which I can cut a diagonal across a sheet of plywood, some 30 years ago, and it still serves me well. I have since made a 5 foot long version which is easier to use for plywood cross cuts and smaller work pieces.
The unit utilizes two aluminum angles (1”x1”x1/8“), bolted together back to back to form a “tee”. The resulting 1/4” “tee” leg provides excellent stiffness to the jig. Two such “tee” sections are used and when bolted to the end cross rails, which I made of oak, form a track in which the tool slides on its base to perform the cutting or routing operation. The inside track is covered with Woodworker’s Supply, Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) plastic strip (Part # 836-990) to provide smooth movement of the tool. I have multiple holes drilled in the end cross rails, which allows the track width to be changed for use with different saws and routers.
To use, simply align the unit on the work piece to place the cut or dado as desired and secure each end with any suitable clamp. I usually use vise grip welders clamps, but small quick grip clamps work equally well.
The following pictures show how the unit is constructed.
| Saw in the Track Jig
|| End Cross Piece Showing Extra Holes for Use with Another Tool
|Overall View of the Five Foot Jig
|| Close Up of the Construction