Introduction: How to Make a Track Saw Guide for a Circular Saw

Picture of How to Make a Track Saw Guide for a Circular Saw

In this Instructables I will be making a track saw guide. This guide is very stable and extremely accurate. You too can have the same experience, if done right. Hopefully my instructions are clear and easy to follow. Please for give me for any typos. Enjoy :)

Check out the video for a more in depth take
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Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

Tools I used for this build

- A router

- A Tape measure

- Drill

- Combination Square

- Circular saw

1st thing Line the saw up on the plywood. Then mark a line along the base of the saw, on the end that's the furthest from the blade. Measure the line from the edge of the plywood to the mark that was just made. Carry that same measurement the distance of the plywood.

Take a straight object to make a straight line. In my case I used a Aluminum tubing. Now trace the line from end (Im still referring to the very 1st line from the edge of the saw base)

Next move your straight object (aluminum tubing). Now measure from the router bit to the end of the router base. That's the distance you want to set your straight object from the line that I drew out first.

Since im working a 8ft section I place a piece of wood in the center of the tubing to resist flexing.

Step 2: Routing the First Track

Picture of Routing the First Track

Set the router bit to take approx an 1/8th of an inch at each pass. Do this multiple time to achieve the depth of the bar you are using for the track.

Step 3: Marking the 2nd Track

Picture of Marking the 2nd Track

Find a location on your saw for the placement of the second track. Then transfer that to the plywood.

Step 4: Routing the Second Track

Picture of Routing the Second Track

Just the like first track use your straight object to help guide the router to make the second router cut.

Now the two bars should move freely in the track. If there is any tension take sander paper and lightly sand the track out.

Also add some wax to help with the friction.

Step 5: Adding the Bars to the Circular Saw

Picture of Adding the Bars to the Circular Saw

The bars im using was salvage from an audio video rack. You can go to your local hardware store to find bars to attach to your circular saw. I would suggest bars with the minimum of 1/8th thickness.I drill and tap the hole all the way though both the saw base and bar. Then counter sink the hole for the screw head.

Now add the second track. Its real important to maintain the same gap between the tracks. If you fail to do so you will have tension with the slide of the saw.

Then cut off the track at the end of the saw base.

Step 6: Cut Off the Track

Picture of Cut Off the Track

Now cut the track off from the plywood.

I also attached a piece of wood to end of the saw track. This should help with lining up the track on to the work surface. This piece was glues and screw in place. Then cut off the overhang .

Step 7: Extra

Picture of Extra

At the point the track is done.

I don't feel what im doing is necessary but I wanted to experiment. I used Aluminum tape. This only made it look cool. I can't say it made a huge difference.

Step 8: Making the First Cut.

Picture of Making the First Cut.

Clamp the track down and make the first pass through.

Comments

mosmond (author)2016-09-22

Nice work. Attaching runners to the underside of the saw is a clever idea. Thanks for sharing. :)

andre_costa74 (author)2016-08-14

OMG! Thanks so much for this instructables. I'm looking for a track like this one.

Yonatan24 (author)2016-08-11

Hi, I've added your project to "The Ultimate Collection of DIY Workshop Tools" Collection

Here is the link If you are interested:

https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ultimate-Colle...

Pa1963 (author)2016-07-19

If you glue something like milk bottle plastic on the saw base it might glide a bit more smoothly. Also I'd probably build a shorter version (about 5' long) for cross cutting sheets just to break them down, since I have a table saw. Also I believe a product like a rubbery shelf or toolbox drawer line glued to the bottom of the plywood would allow it to grip the material you're cutting. You could also use some adhesive backed sandpaper in a medium grit. Or pound some nails through the top of your wooden guide and cut them off so that they protrude just a bit and they will give your guide some bite. Great 'ible!

HariKarier11 (author)Pa19632016-07-21

Even with the nails cut off you risk damaging your work surface.

MadeInBerkeley (author)2016-07-14

I have made several versions of this for many projects. You were on the right track with the aluminum tape. There is a product called glide kote. It's a modified silicone spray. It dries super fast and is cleaner than a silicon spray. I'm not selling it or anything but I do use it all day long in the shop. If you spray both the footplate and the fence the saw feels like it's on wheels. Crc silicone spray us the closet thing I have found in a regular hardware store. Nice build and have fun with your new toy.

Thanks never heard of this glide kote definitely going to look into it.

jbh123 (author)diycreators2016-07-20

FWIW, it appears to be "Glidecote" (one word, with a c instead of a k). Not sure if it will let me add a link, but if so, try this: https://www.amazon.com/Glidecote-V207501-Woodworki...

Also, nicely done Instructable. Thanks for posting.

P.S. When I first saw the thumbnail for this, I thought you had made it out of clear plastic like Lexan or some such. The metal tape looked like reflections off a clear surface! :-)

chrisjlionel (author)2016-07-20

Awesome work

Cheese Queen (author)2016-07-19

*smacks self in the middle of forehead*

Awesome. Exactly what I've been needing forever.

pauliegirl123 (author)2016-07-19

AWESOMENESS!!! I am left handed and have a TERRIBLE time getting things straight. I have tried making a jig, of sorts...but I am just ALWAYS having a hard time!! That being said......Would you make me one?? HaHa!! I will eventually figure it out!! GREAT VIDEO!!

Pa1963 (author)2016-07-19

Liked your video, too, BTW. Well shot, concise and no annoying music.

rfielder (author)2016-07-19

P.S. - what was the thickness of the plywood you used? It looks like 3/4".....

rfielder (author)2016-07-19

Very nice! This is something I need.

As to applying something to make it slippery - why not a little paraffin wax (or somesuchlike) to the base of the saw and the runners? They never touch the wood being cut, so there won't be any unwanted transfer of wax to your project.

Pricklysauce (author)2016-07-16

Really good, recently made a more basic version though will upgrade to something similar I think.

Instead of clamping down have you though to put something on the base of the track, like foam strip or maybe even abrasive paper pads, so it stays in place without clamping. Think the Festol ones have something like this.

diycreators (author)Pricklysauce2016-07-16

Thanks, yep im looking for a non skip material to add to the bottom. I was just tallking this option.

yellowcatt (author)diycreators2016-07-19

Maybe some foam door seal strips, you would need to rout a couple of channels to put the strips in otherwise they would be slightly too thick. I used this method to make a long cutting edge from an off cut of 8mm perspex I salvaged from the scrap bin of a local sign-maker.

impaco3 (author)2016-07-17

Beautifully done. I needed something like this for a project of mine. One question though, does the bars that are screwed to the underside of the saw get caught up or get in the way when making other cuts where you don't need the guide?

drofnasnhoj (author)impaco32016-07-19

Since they are tapped, you can simply unscrew the guides and take them off when not in use with the track guide. Or you can go down to your local "we got cheap tools" store (Harbor Freight in my area) and buy one that is only used with the track.

razorblade73 (author)2016-07-19

Great job, I better get cracking!! What an awesome Instructable!! Thank you.

LionelC1 (author)2016-07-19

Great build! Going to make one. Don't rip plywood often but when I do.....

Marchalis (author)2016-07-19

Really great idea, so glad I saw this. And very clear, well illustrated instructions. Bravo! Gonna have to do this!!

dante marasca (author)2016-07-16

expectacular, felicitaciones

steve12 (author)2016-07-14

Nice idea, and clear instructions, I have made a couple of rails in the past using just a raised edge on a runner, but that needs to have the saw pushed against that edge. I never thought of adding guides to the saw base. Thanks for the idea I'll be making one of these when I get the time.

diycreators (author)steve122016-07-15

Great! Thank you.

trustmefada (author)2016-07-15

And there goes my Saturday morning. I love this project, such a cheap solution to an expensive tool. Now can you modify the saw to make it plunge on a trigger like the real track saws?

diycreators (author)trustmefada2016-07-15

Never thought about that but sure ill see what i can come up with.

Yonatan24 (author)2016-07-15

Great idea! It looks like a great and safe alternative for a Table Saw.

Just to let you know, I think you got a bit confused when posting the links to your Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook :)

diycreators (author)Yonatan242016-07-15

Thank you. lol yes I did Thanks for the heads up.

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