How to make a saw guide
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How to make a saw guide

Easy & accurate cuts first go, thanks to this handy homemade saw guide which will save you time, every time.  From now on, using your circular saw to make perfectly straight cuts in sheet materials will be as simple as measuring two pencil marks and clamping the guide in place.


• Plywood x1, 122cm x 15cm, between 6 to 18mm thick

• Hardboard x1, 122cm x 30cm, 4mm thick

• Wood glue

• Screws (to suit thickness of plywood)



•Circular saw

• Sander or sand paper

• Screw driver or Drill driver

• Countersink bit

• Planed timber (to use as a straight edge guide)

• Clamps

• Tape measure

• Safety glasses

• Pencil


Makes a 122cm length saw guide.


1. Using shop-bought plywood with an already perfectly straight edge, mark the straight edge so you don't forget which it is.  Then use your planed timber as an edge guide & clamp in place to cut a minimum 15cm width of plywood with your circular saw.  Don't worry, accuracy isn't important at this stage.  Sand the newly cut edge to avoid splinters. 


Tip: See our handy guide to cutting sheet material on your bench here.

2. Measure the width of the plywood and add the width of the circular saw’s base. Cut this width from the hardboard using the same process that you used to cut the plywood in step 1.  Note: The hardboard and plywood must be the same length. 


3. Apply glue to one side of the plywood, then line up the newly cut edge (not the edge you marked in step 1) against one edge of the hardboard and clamp together.  Ensure that the smooth side of the hardboard is against the plywood.  

4. Next, turn it over so the rough side of the hardboard is face-up and drill pilot holes with the countersink bit every 10 to 15cm along the length.  Sand the pilot holes and drive the screws in so that they're below the surface of the hardboard.  Put your feet up to let the glue dry, and then remove the clamps.


5. Clamp the assembled saw guide to your workbench, making sure that the hardboard overhangs the workbench to avoid cutting the bench.  Finally, trim the hardboard ensuring that as you make the cut, the wide part of the saw's base plate is kept firmly against the plywood.  And you’re done!


Tip: You can follow these steps to make different length guides to suit any project!

How To Use Your Saw Guide

> Measure the length you need across your wood piece, and mark this measurement at each end.

> Clamp the saw guide to the wood, ensuring that each mark is perfectly lined up on the edge of the hardboard.  Always make sure that the saw guide sits on top of the piece you're cutting to size.

> Using your circular saw, cut the wood while ensuring the saw is against the plywood as in step 4.  You will now have a perfectly straight cut to your exact measurement.

Important safety info: Always use appropriate safety equipment for the tools & processes you’re using.


Try out your new saw guide by getting to work on our storage-solving peg board project.