Circular Saw Jig: Zero clearance shoe for plywood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Circular Saw Jig: Zero clearance shoe for plywood

I almost added this to this old thread about cross cutting plywood
4 x 8 panel cross cuts
I built Bill's jig, with the modification suggested by sky in the discussion.


I'm really pleased with the little bit of hobby-level cutting I've done with a zero clearance shoe, using a tip from Wood Magazine's "workshop tips". (And I'll be happier when I repair or replace this saw to start cutting at 90 degrees instead of 88!)


DANGER: This jig keeps the blade guard retracted ALL the time, so take extra care spinning down and to set the saw down on its side when it stops.
Finished product before waxing

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I'll over-describe my process for other beginners.

First I raised the circ to retract the blade, and used the shoe itself to set my TS fence, then ripped some 1/4" MDF, and cross cut (four pieces) to length. I did four to have extras for later.

I used a couple dabs of hot glue to "clamp" one of the shoesized 1/4" MDF pieces to my router table, up tight against the 3/4" fence. I used the taller fence as a guide for positioning the saw's shoe for glue up. But first, I also glued a scrap of 3/4" across the front of the 1/4" piece for the same reason. Having built a right angle around the 1/4" zero clearance shoe, I used slow setting hotglue on my saw's shoe, and dropped it into place. Last step was to position the saw on my bench and slowly lower the spinning blade into the 1/4" mdf.

So far, it seems to have really reduced tearout. I gave it a coat of wax and check it for scratch-makers inbetween cuts. And watch out for that protruding blade!

(wear dust mask when cutting the MDF for this jig)

Glue up
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 02:42 PM
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Bypassing the guard on a circular saw is asking for trouble.

I am to used to just setting it down after a cut.

I would not use that saw like that.

JMO

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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, you reminded me of something I left out. I made the extra pieces for future shoes because I plan to rip the shoe off after each use before putting it away..... for the very reason you mention.

As for setting the saw down, I'm already programmed to set it on its side. Two different GCs I hired to help with various projects jumped on me when they saw me set it blade/shoe down. The problem is.... one day when you expect the guard to pop back it won't.... and then you will REALLY have trouble because you weren't thinking "blade exposed! blade exposed!" So to all you fellow beginners.... this makes sense to me anyway.... consider developing that circ saw habit now.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 06:44 PM
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I agree. Leaving the blade guard retracted can cause lots of problems.

I have a shop tip for a skill saw ZCI and it has a cut out for the guard to function, but leaves about 3/4 inch of the front of the blade inside the ZCI. That leading edge of the blade is all you need to have in the ZCI for it to function perfectly and still have the guard operate safely.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's interesting. Any pics?

If I understand right, its basically what I did, except there's a notch cut away from the ZCI material large enough for the guard to operate.

Is that the idea?

(That's a great signature quote by the way)
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 10:25 AM
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Here is a picture of the ZCI for a Skill Saw. I apologize for the blurred image at the far right. My scanner doesn't like doing things that are at the binding of a magazine. This calls for 1/4" material for the plate, but the same idea will work using any material.

I've made this for my saw and it works, plus using machine screws makes it easy to remove when not in use.

Clicking on the photo should give you a larger image. One day I'll figure out the correct size for posted photos.




Hope this helps.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnie52 View Post
Here is a picture of the ZCI for a Skill Saw. I apologize for the blurred image at the far right. My scanner doesn't like doing things that are at the binding of a magazine. This calls for 1/4" material for the plate, but the same idea will work using any material.

I've made this for my saw and it works, plus using machine screws makes it easy to remove when not in use.

Clicking on the photo should give you a larger image.




Hope this helps.
That's a good idea. Simple but safe and effective.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks folks! You've persuaded me that with just a teensy bit more effort the guard can still operate and I'm big on using guards when possible.

Johnnie's approach sure is simple for a single angle (like 90-degrees). I've since found another design for easily adapting to multiple bevels though it does take more set up the first time around..... http://woodworking.phruksawan.com/zc...Saw/index.html
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-15-2011, 08:21 AM
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Steve,on your DeWalt.....see if you have rm to mount the ZC pce on top of saws base.A cpl holes(and really put some thought into their location)drilled/tapped in base may work.This would require screwing them in from top and can be thumb screws.Alternatively they could be counter sunk and screwed "up",but would require a wrench to tighten.The ply insert will be rabbited to set it flush with bttm.Your link's idea is ok,but uses up depth of cut.Above dosen't change that capacity.

Further,the insert only needs to be at leading edge of blade,well an inch or so back.Shimming gaurds to keep them retracted will get a warning on my jobs,the first time.......its reason for dismissal on the second offence.They simply have to work,any misuse or alteration is gonna raise some serious pi$$ed-off-ness....just sayin.BW

Last edited by BWSmith; 02-15-2011 at 08:23 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-16-2011, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Good ideas BW. The original way does sort of remind me of the dude that hurt himself by misusing the table saw in that Sawstop lawsuit.

With all the input here and elsewhere (thanks everyone) I picked up a new Ridgid Fuego 6-1/2 framing saw, fixed the bevel problem on the old Dewalt, and now plan to try to combine all these ideas to turn the Dewalt into a dedicated 45/90 track saw w/T-square, and ZCI on both sides of the kerf, plus working guard. I'll post about it when it's been tested, though that job may wait until next winter.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-16-2011, 09:58 AM
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Steve, that little Fuego is great. I love mine!
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-16-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I had the joy of borrowing one in between shop burglaries and decided if I ever got a new one, it would be lightweight compact framer. The old Dewalt got really heavy after a long day of heavy remodelling, hanging upside down on ladders. I exaggerate, maybe, but not much. Now I'm thinking that weight will be great in a track saw application. End goal for the track is to break up my sheets with finished cuts, and bystep the tablesaw cleanup. We'll see if I can hit the mark, stay tuned.
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