Making a straight cut with a circular saw usually requires careful measuring 
        to set up your edge guide.
Woodworking Tips Index

Circular Saw Marking Gauge

Making a straight cut with a circular saw usually requires careful measuring to set up your edge guide. And setting that edge guide becomes even trickier when you consider that you can make the cut with either the narrow or wide part of the saw’s shoe against the guide.

To solve this problem, I came up with a simple circular saw marking gauge. Thanks to this gauge, I can lay out a cut either way in seconds. To make the gauge, start by ripping a piece of ¾”-thick stock to a width that matches the distance from the blade to the narrow side of the shoe (Fig. 1a).
woodworking tip circular saw marking gaugewoodworking tip circular saw marking gauge
woodworking tip circular saw marking gaugewoodworking tip circular saw marking gauge

Then, crosscut the piece so its length is equal to the distance from the blade to the wide side of the shoe (Fig. 2a). To use the gauge, I measure and mark my workpiece where it’s to be cut. If I plan to use the narrow portion of the shoe, I lay the marking gauge parallel to the line of the cut (Fig. 1). To use the wide side of the shoe, I lay the gauge perpendicular to the line of the cut. (Fig. 2). The gauge gives me the exact spacing between the edge of the shoe and the blade, allowing me to set my edge guide precisely.
 
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