man using circular saw
Photo: Keller & Keller
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Using a Circular Saw

Q: I can't seem to get a straight cut when I'm using my circular saw with a straightedge. What am I doing wrong?
—Jim Randolph, Long Beach, MI

A: Maybe your straightedge isn't stiff enough; it might be bowing as you cut. If you really want a straight cut every time, here's a simple guide you can make out of ½-inch scrap plywood. The guide, sometimes called a shooting board, can be up to 8 feet long, but I find 4 feet to be a useful size, especially for crosscutting plywood.
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