In some cases, it is not possible to use a table saw, for example, because you have to work in another place than your workshop.
For others, buying a table saw is a problem.
Either their workshop is too small to place a big table saw, or buying an expensive table saw does not fit their budget.
When you recognize one of these situations, then you need to find a solution to be able to get the job done.
That solution is this DIY circular saw crosscut jig.
I made this cross cut jig as a prototype to see what improvements are possible. Immediately after finishing and testing, I noticed a few things.
In this blog, I will guide you to make this cross cut jig yourself and point out the mistakes I made when building. That way you can make the perfect circular saw crosscut jig.
To help you to build this crosscut jig, you can download free circular saw crosscut jig plans in this blog.
The plans have changed after I have built my jig and made the adjustments. So you don’t have to worry, and you use the plans to get started right away.
However, there is one thing you need to take in mind when using the downloadable plans!
When you build this crosscut jig, don’t forget to adjust the dimensions to suit your circular saw.
- What is a circular saw crosscut jig?
- What is the purpose of a circular saw crosscut jig?
- What do you need to make a circular saw crosscut jig?
- Watch the video & learn how to make a circular saw crosscut jig
- How to make a crosscut jig?
- Learn from my mistakes
- How to cut wood with the circular saw crosscut jig?
What is a circular saw crosscut jig?
A circular saw crosscut jig guides a circular saw to make accurate crosscuts. Thanks to the adjustable fence, this jig can also make miter cuts at any angle.
By sliding the bottom plate of the circular saw against the fence, the circular saw crosscut jig can make perfectly straight cuts.
This jig can be a good alternative to a table saw.
What is the purpose of a circular saw crosscut jig?
A crosscut jig for a circular saw can make straight cuts or angled cuts. Due to the fence, this jig guides the saw blade exactly where we want to make the cut.
Thanks to this jig, you can make similar cuts to a table saw. Because of its size, the circular saw crosscut jig is a good alternative to woodworkers with a small workshop.
What do you need to make a circular saw crosscut jig?
To prepare you for building this circular saw crosscut jig, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this crosscut jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this crosscut jig
(power)Tools I used for this circular saw crosscut jig
Watch the video & learn how to make a circular saw crosscut jig
Before you move on reading this article, watch this video first.
In this video, I will show you how I have built my circular saw crosscut jig. After watching the video, you can discover all details in this step-by-step guide to build your crosscut jig.
How to make a crosscut jig?
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how to make this DIY circular saw crosscut jig.
Step 1 | Preparation
At the start of this project, you can cut all parts using the free circular saw crosscut plans you can find in this blog.
To cut the parts for this DIY circular saw crosscut guide, I used my table saw and crosscut sled for this, but you could just as well use a handsaw, jigsaw or your circular saw for this.
Before to move on to the next step in making this circular saw cross cut jig, I glued the two layers of the fences together. To keep the pieces in place temporary, I used some brad nails.
While working on step 2, the glue had some time to dry.
Do you want to make the same crosscut sled as mine?
Check out the step-by-step instruction blog where I show you how to make this crosscut sled.
There are free building plans available on this page, to help you to build this sled.
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Step 2 | Assembling the crosscut jig
To cut both 90-degree and 45-degree angles with the DIY circular saw crosscut guide, this cross cut jig has an adjustable fence.
In order to be able to fix the fence in the desired position, I milled a slot in the form of an arc into the bottom plate.
To make that arch, I drilled a hole through the bottom plate that will later serve as a pivot point for the fence.
To make the slot itself, I used my router circle jig, which I placed into the drilled hole.
When you mill the slot, do this in several passes. Once you have a slot, you can make a wider slot in the back in which your bolt will fit.
This router circle making jig is very easy to make. Be sure to check out my blog if you want to build this jig yourself.
Once I had milled the slot, all the parts could be mounted on the bottom plate.
I started with mounting the two fences.
Be sure to watch my video to see where I made a mistake here, as well as when drilling the center point of the adjustable fence.
If you follow the dimensions of the free circular saw crosscut plans, however, you no longer have to take this into account, the dimensions have already been adjusted.
To connect the parts of the jig together I used wood glue and brad nails.
With this technique of combining brad nails and wood glue, the brad nails act as a temporary clamp until the wood glue dries.
This allows me to continue working on my projects without having to take breaks and wait for the wood glue to dry.
If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.
After assembling the base of the DIY circular saw crosscut guide, I was able to place the two metal pipes for the circular saw to slide on. I attached these metal pipes to the cross cut jig with screws.
At the front of the jig, the screw may protrude above the metal, the circular saw must not slide over it and the head of the screw also serves as a kind of stop block.
However, the screw on the back must be countersunk, otherwise, it will block the passage of the circular saw when cutting.
Therefore, I drilled a hole in the top of the metal tube that is larger than the head of the screw, so that the head of the screw was below the surface of the metal tube.
To prevent the circular saw from swinging left or right when I use this crosscut jig, I attached a wooden board along the metal.
The top of these boards are about 5 mm above the metal and will serve as the guide for the circular saw bottom plate.
Because the wood would not bend sideways when pressure will be placed on the circular saw while cutting, I glued the wood to the metal tube with epoxy glue. This epoxy glue is a good glue to bond two different materials like metal and wood.
Where these boards touch the wood at the base of the jig, I have used wood glue and brad nails to make a sturdy connection.
Don’t just use any wood glue for your projects!
To find out which different types exist and for which applications wood glue serve, check out my blog Understanding Wood Glue + 8 awesome tricks you should know.
Here you will discover everything you need to know about wood glue.
To clamp the adjustable fence on the DIY circular saw crosscut guide base, I made a knob myself with my star knob jig on my drill press.
If you want to make this jig too, you can learn all about this star knob jig, and you can download the free plans to build this jig in my blog.
— discover the 5 best woodworking jigs I made in the past year —.
Step 3 | Setting the crosscut jig
When the jig was ready, I placed the circular saw on the crosscut jig, lowered the blade until it was touching the bottom plate, and made a shallow cut.
This will be a reference line and based on this cut, you can mark a 90-degree angle and a 45-degree angle on the bottom plate with a square.
I marked these two most used angles with a pencil.
If you use other angles, you can mark them in the same way.
Learn from my mistakes
After building and testing this cross cut jig, it turned out that there were minor flaws that I hadn’t noticed while designing this circular saw miter jig.
The first one is that the pivot point of the adjustable fence was a little too close to the rear fence.
The adjustable fence could move easily as planned, but what didn’t work was to push longer planks through it.
When I tried this, the board hit the fence at the back.
This problem can be solved by sliding the adjustable fence forward.
Another problem with this circular saw miter jig was also when cutting at a 45-degree angle, this time a similar problem with the front fence.
By shortening this fence on one end, the problem could be quickly fixed here.
I have tweaked the free circular saw crosscut plans you can download here, so you can create the perfect crosscut jig.
How to cut wood with the circular saw crosscut jig?
Because the crosscut jig already has a mark where the saw blade cuts, it is very easy to make accurate cuts.
This is how to use a circular saw crosscut jig in a few easy steps:
- Place the circular saw at the front of the crosscut jig
- Lower the saw blade to approximately 2 mm below the surface of the bottom of the jig.
- Place the wood to be cut with the mark over the cut line.
- Clamp the wood onto the crosscut jig.
- Switch on the circular saw and slide it over the fence to the back of the jig.
To clamp the wood on this circular saw jig, you can use spring clamps or bar clamps, depending on what clamps you have in your workshop.
Check out my post, — what woodworking clamp do I need? — to learn more about what clamps you should have in your workshop. There are numerous ideas in that post on how to choose the appropriate clamps for your workshop, and never waste money on clamps you never use. Don’t forget to read the article.
How to build your workshop on a budget?
Building a workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been in those shoes.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on Christofix.com, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.
I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!
I hope this information on how to make a circular saw crosscut jig was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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