I added a 1⁄8" hardboard auxiliary zero-clearance plate to my circular saw to improve the cut quality, but I didn’t like that the retracted guard left the blade exposed.

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I added a 18 " hardboard auxiliary zero-clearance plate to my circular saw to improve the cut quality, but I didn't like that the retracted guard left the blade exposed. Then I realized that the workpiece only needs zero-clearance support where the blade teeth exit the workpiece at the front of the cut. So I used a jigsaw to widen the back two-thirds of the blade opening to allow room for the blade guard to snap back into place, just as it was made to do.
—Rob Price, Watkinsville, Ga.