How do I make long angled cuts on duplicate pieces?
What's a reliable, safe way to make a long, angled cut lengthwise on a panel for duplicate pieces? I can always use a circular saw and straightedge, but is there a slicker way?
—Jeff Johnston, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Try this strategy for making more clean, consistent, and repeatable cuts than the method you're using now, Jeff: On one panel with the appearance side down, mark a line precisely where you want your final cut. Using a straightedge and a circular saw or jigsaw with a plywood-cutting blade, cut to within 1⁄8 " of the line on the waste side, as shown above. Then reposition your straightedge, and use a router with a top-bearing straight bit to trim the panel to your marked line. This piece now becomes the template for the remaining parts.
Place this first piece atop other panels—again with the appearance side down—and mark lines about
1⁄8 " from the angled edge. Then rough-cut the panels to these lines. Instead of a straightedge, though, use the template piece atop the remaining pieces to guide your top-bearing straight bit and trim the rough edges to their final dimensions.