Clean crosscuts often prove elusive with a handheld circular saw.

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Clean crosscuts often prove elusive with a handheld circular saw. It's almost impossible to push a saw perfectly straight, and the off cuts usually fall away, leaving ragged-looking splinters. Make your own low-cost cutoff jig with a few pieces of wood and aluminum angle stock. Construct the base by gluing and screwing a pair of parallel 1x2s to the top of a piece of 34 x12x48" particleboard.

Attach the aluminum angle bars at 90° to the 1x2s and space them apart exactly the width of your saw's baseplate. Adjust the saw so it cuts through the 1x2s for a shallow kerf in the base.

To use, simply clamp the saw jig to a workbench, slip your workpiece under the aluminum guide bars, and cut. (If your saw rides roughly on the guide bars, a thin film of paraffin wax will help it slide more easily.)
—Michael Covington, Athens, Ga.