You can cut large sheets of wood with a circular saw, but you need to know how to use it. You can do this without a table. Most woodworkers prefer to use their hands to guide the circular saw when they are cutting instead of using a table.
Freehand cuts are common in woodworking and these types of cuts are usually made by hand using the guide on the circular saw itself. The better you get at this, the straighter your cuts will be.
Probably, you might have come across some woodworkers having their circular saw operating on a table, so you’re convinced that a circular saw can only operate on a table. However, there are times when a circular saw is more useful without the table.
Fortunately, this article will teach you how to use your circular saw without a table systematically. I’m confident that by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have learned several skills so that you can use your circular saw without a table like a pro.
How do I use my circular saw without a table?
A Circular saw is one of the most important pieces of woodworking gear that every enthusiastic woodworker should have for handling personal and commercial woodwork projects. Ideally, circular saws are designed for cutting both thin and thick plywood boards. Circular saws are often used with tables, but sometimes you may want to try something different. Honestly, using a circular saw without a table is an important skill you might want to pick up since failure to do it can mean a limited use of this cutting gear. I’ll discuss two major techniques on how to use your circular saw without a table.
Tools You Will Need
- A circular saw
- Safety goggles, gloves and earplugs
- 1 or 2 sawhorses
- Straight edges/thin chalk line
If you do not have a table, other options available to you for cutting wood is:
- Using sawhorses
- Using a saw track or
- Using foam boards
Indeed, this technique is the most common technique of using a circular saw minus the table. Moreover, I also believe this technique is the easier of the two techniques.
First step. To get started, you must ensure that the plywood you want to cut is pressure treated, and in case it is a piece of wood, it should have a high moisture content. It is even more recommended to get a special circular saw for handling pressure-treated plywood. Such a saw includes a special nonstick covering feature that helps decrease friction.
Second step. Put the edge guide on the saw. The purpose of the edge guide is to help you make accurate and straight cuts from end to end.
Third Step. Here, you’re required to set your blade depth very accurately. Make sure to set the depth accurately so that the blade can cut through the wood at the right depth. For instance, a quarter-inch depth should be enough.
Fourth step. On the sawhorses, place a piece of wood, especially the unused one. The purpose of it is to help you make cuts in any direction you want.
Fifth step. Using a right circular saw is not only an effective but efficient way of making precise cuts.
As mentioned above, there are two methods of using a circular saw without a table. Another method of using your circular saw without a table is using a track placed below the saw. Fortunately, you can opt to buy or make your track for your projects. If you decide to make tracks by yourself, you’ll need a few items such as pencil, tape measure, chalk line preferably blue or black, combination square, wood screws, regular drill, a drill fitted with a countersink bit, and a circular saw.
Step 1. To create a track by yourself, you need to take two boards; one of them should be approximately 2 ½ inches wide. It is even more recommended to have straight boards.
Step 2. The next step is to grab the other board, which should be approximately ¾ inches thick and 12 inches wide. You’ll then be required to cut the board’s width approximately 4 ½ inches to agree with the base of your circular saw.
Step 3. Take a small wood piece and place it along the line that covers the external line area. Clamp the wood’s vertical edges to ensure stability.
Don’t worry if the top smaller board moves a little bit after you clamp. The countersink should help you make drills so that you can make some holes through the smaller wood. Now put some screws on them. This is to make sure that the board is much stronger.
Step 4. You need to clamp down the larger wood board with the table and make sure it is tight as much as possible. Once you’re done doing a plunge cut, you need to place your circular saw base so that it is more adjacent to the smaller piece of wood. The remaining piece of the larger wood should be cut away. Make sure that the saw blade is touching the horizontal end of the wooden piece. This should act as the original point of the material you’ll be cutting based on the larger wood.
Step 5. For any plywood or wood to be cut, it should be placed below the track and clamp firmly. You should then place the base nearby the larger wood piece while it touches the smaller piece.
I hope that the above two major techniques are of great help when using a circular saw without a table. Although they might sound a bit complicated initially, with practice, you will realize they aren’t. Once you do it several times, you will be able to cut virtually any piece of wood or plywood without using a table saw. As you can see, you do not need a table to use your circular saw. But remember to secure the saw after use! I hope you have found some helpful tips from this article that you can use to work on your wood projects.