Track Saw

I’ve wanted a track saw for quite a while, but I’ve not been willing to shell out the $400 to $600 that they typically cost. So I went the DIY route.

I bought this heavy duty Makita circular saw at the Goodwill Outlet for $15. I assume it will last a lot longer than I will.

I mounted a small piece of HDO plywood as a sled. It’s mainly used for concrete forms, and has a resilient, slick surface. To mount the runner strip, I clamped a piece of plywood next to the blade, and then glued and screwed the strip to that. It’s an easy way to get it perfectly aligned.

I made the track with a 1/2″ plywood base and 1/4″ plywood glued and nailed to the top. I could have used a 3/4″ piece and routed the slot in it, but this is what I had on hand. It’s 5′ long, which is perfect for crosscutting plywood sheets.

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I keep the blade in the up position, drop it to make the cut, then raise it again. I can cut up to a 1 1/4″ stock, which is plenty for anything I want to do.

I’ve been using the saw for about a year, and I happy with it. I’ve made two more tracks – one 8′ long and the other 42″ and built like a T-square. It worked just as I had hoped on for the kitchen cabinets I built for the beach house.

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