Turning a circular saw into a track saw is easier than you might think.
In this article, I’ll show you how to do it with a few simple steps and everyday materials.
You’ll learn how to make your saw cut straighter and more accurately without needing to buy expensive new tools. It’s a practical and budget-friendly way for any woodworker to upgrade their equipment.
Materials & Tools Required
To convert a circular saw into a track saw, you’ll need the following materials and tools:
- Circular Saw: The primary tool you’re converting.
- Plywood or MDF Board: For making the guide track. A piece about 8 feet long and 12 inches wide is ideal.
- Tape Measure: To measure the plywood and the distances accurately.
- Straight Edge or Level: For drawing straight lines on your plywood.
- Clamps: To secure the guide rail while cutting.
- Screws: To assemble parts of the guide rail.
- Drill: For making holes to fit the screws.
- Stable Work Surface: To support the plywood while you work.
- Pencil or Marker: For marking measurements on the plywood.
- Safety Equipment: Safety glasses and gloves for protection.
*The plywood or MDF board should be straight and flat to ensure accuracy in your cuts.
Step-by-Step: Turn A Circular Saw Into A Track Saw
Below are the steps to creating your own DIY track saw jig.
1) Prepare the Guide Rail
- Measure and cut the plywood or MDF board to the desired length (typically 8 feet).
- Use a straight edge to draw a line down the length of the board. This line will be your cutting guide.
2) Align the Circular Saw
- Place your circular saw on the plywood, aligning its base plate with the line you’ve drawn.
- Mark the width of the saw’s base on the plywood. This will be the width of your guide rail.
3) Cutting the Guide Rail
- Clamp the plywood securely to your work surface.
- Cut along the marked line using the circular saw to create your guide rail. Ensure the cut is straight and smooth.
4) Attach the Guide Rail to the Saw
- Position the guide rail on the plywood, aligning it with the cut you just made.
- Drill holes through the guide rail and into the plywood, where you will place screws.
- Secure the guide rail to the plywood with screws, ensuring it is firmly attached and aligned.
5) Test the Setup
- Place a test piece of wood under the guide rail.
- Run the circular saw along the guide rail to make a test cut.
- Check the accuracy of the cut and make adjustments to the guide rail if necessary.
6) Final Adjustments
- If the test cut is not perfectly straight, loosen the screws and realign the guide rail.
- Once satisfied with the alignment, tighten all screws securely.
7) Safety Check
- Ensure all components are securely attached.
- Double-check that the guide rail is not obstructing the saw’s safety features.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can any circular saw be converted into a track saw?
Most standard circular saws can be converted into track saws using a DIY guide rail. The key is ensuring that the saw’s base is flat and aligned with the guide rail for accurate cuts.
How accurate is a circular saw converted into a track saw compared to a professional track saw?
While a professionally made track saw may offer superior precision, a well-constructed DIY track saw can achieve high accuracy for most woodworking projects. The key factors are the quality of the guide rail and the precision of your setup.
What is the most challenging part of converting a circular saw into a track saw?
The most challenging part is often ensuring that the guide rail is perfectly straight and securely attached. Precision in these steps is crucial for the saw to make accurate cuts.
How long does converting a circular saw into a track saw typically take?
Generally, it can take a few hours to build and adjust the guide rail and attach it to the saw.