How To Use a Circular Saw Without a Table (Alternative Way Explained)

If you are accustomed to using a circular saw for your tasks, then you already know it is a power tool largely used with a flat surface, usually a table.

The circular saw is a portable, powerful, and multipurpose cutting power tool that is suited for cutting several types of materials efficiently. However, the saw is a handheld saw which means it doesn’t come with a table or surface.

This prompts users to make use of a flat surface like a table when using the circular saw to make cuts. The question is: “what if there isn’t a table?” Does it mean you cannot use your circular saw? Well, you would be glad to know that you can use a circular saw to make effective cuts on materials without a table.

Most tough materials that are cut using a circular saw such as concrete blocks and large tree branches aren’t cut on a table.

If you don’t have a table or a table can’t fit into your work station, you don’t have to get worked up. You can still effectively cut materials with your circular saw and this article will teach you how. So, let’s dive into it.

Why is a Circular Saw Used With a Table?

Before we move on to using a circular saw without a table, let’s go over the reasons for using a circular saw with a table. This will make us understand the advantages of a flat surface like a table provides for the circular saw and in turn, pick a suitable alternative that will be capable of providing the same advantages a table will.

As stated earlier, the circular saw doesn’t come with a built-in table or rail. So how do you make accurate cuts with the power tool? The simple answer is with a table or a guide.

If there is any disadvantage that comes with owning and using a circular saw, it is that the saw can’t be used to make accurate and intricate cuts.

The straightness and accuracy of the cuts made with a circular saw depend largely on the skill of the user unlike the plunge saw and table saw that is built with a rail and table respectively, thereby making accurate cuts easier. Making accurate cuts with a circular saw is difficult.

To eradicate this difficulty, woodworkers use a table with their circular saw to increase its precision or accuracy and cleanliness. So if you are searching for an alternative to a table, you need something that will also improve the accuracy of the circular saw.

What is the Alternative to a Table When Using a Circular Saw?

There are a few methods out there for using a circular saw without a table. The question is: which of these methods will be a suitable alternative?

We have done the research and we have picked the easiest and most convenient alternative for you. The alternative is building a guide for your circular saw.

With a circular saw guide, you get an alternative that gives you increased accuracy with your circular saw, convenience, and speed without having to sacrifice the portability of your saw. a major advantage of the circular saw is its portability.

Many alternatives out there will increase the accuracy of your circular saw, but you will have to sacrifice portability for accuracy. With a guide, you can still carry your circular saw along with you to any work station.

How to Use a Circular Saw Without a Table

While doing some researches I found out this:

The best way to use a circular saw without a table is to use a guide instead. The guide will help you make more accurate and faster cuts without sacrificing the portability of the circular saw.  

How Can You Build a Guide for a Circular Saw?

Building a guide for your circular saw is an easy task that will take you just a few minutes. All you need is a pencil, a ruler, a measuring tape, a plywood sheet, and your circular saw. Let’s build.

Pick a Wide Piece of Plywood

Make sure it’s a board that is wide enough to accommodate any type of wood you want to cut. Then you should get three pieces of wood of the same length.

For this step, you will be using two of the three pieces of wood you got. The pieces of wood you will use when placed down on their sides should be higher than the wide plywood board you already placed down.

Glue Each Piece of Plywood

We advise nailing the pieces of wood to the board to ensure they are tight. To do this, simply drill some holes in each piece of wood and on the side (or width) of the plywood board and then screw the nails in.

When you are done with this step, you should have a board that looks like a tray. Remember to only attach the pieces of wood to the side (or width) of the board. For ease of this task, let’s call the two pieces of wood you nailed to the board “rails.”

Mount the Bridge

You need another wide and flat board. This board wouldn’t be as large as the first board you attached wood to. What you do with this new board is that you straightly place it on the rails horizontally (remember what we refer to as rails) in a way that it serves as an overhead bridge.

If you do this correctly, you will see a wide opening underneath the board you just placed. This material to be cut will go underneath the board. Ensure that the board is longer than your cutting surface and it is placed straightly on the rails.

You can use a ruler to check if it is straight or not. If it is, screw it down on each rail. For ease of this task, let’s call the board you just nailed to the rails “bridge.”

Make the Fence

Place your circular saw on the bridge (remember what we refer to as a bridge) in a position that the blade of the saw is sitting against the bridge.

The rest of the saw would be on the bridge but the blade would plunge downward. Ensure the blade is tightly set against the bridge and hold it in place. Then with a pencil, mark a line on the opposite side of the saw where the shoe ends.

This line is where you will attach the fence. The fence is that bar that the shoe of the circular saw will ride against while cutting.

Place the third piece of wood on that line you drew on the bridge that indicated where the shoe ends (remember we got three pieces earlier) and screw it in. You can place the wood either on the side or on the surface.

Make a Passage for the Blade

To do this, simply plug-in your saw or attach the battery. Then place the saw on the bridge making sure that the shoe at the opposite side of the saw rests firmly against the fence.

When you do this, the saw will sit firmly. What you want to do here is to make a cut across the two rails you screwed to the board.

The cut you make is the passage where your saw’s blade will run through while cutting. This passage also serves as an indication of where the blade will cut through on your material.

If you have done all these as stated, then we give you a big thumbs-up because you have just built a guide for your circular saw.

The guide you have built will give increase the accuracy of the cuts you make with your circular saw. The guide will also increase the convenience and ease at which you make cuts. Another big advantage of this alternative is that you can build a guide of any size and length.

How To Make Accurate Cuts By Using a Guide

Since you have built a properly sized guide for the circular saw, you can accurately make cuts on different materials by following the steps below.

  • Measure and mark out the point or part of the material you want to cut.
  • Insert the material underneath the bridge with the part you want to cut protruding.
  • Place your circular saw on the bridge and against the fence. Make sure the blade is not yet in contact with the material or you just place the saw with the blade on the edge of the material to be cut.
  • Power up your saw and move the saw forward while ensuring the shoe is against the fence so you cut well.

That’s it. You will be amazed at the accuracy and the cleanliness of your cuts.

Final Words

Follow the steps above and you will be able to make clean and precise cuts with your circular saw without a table. If you found this article useful, kindly leave a comment below. Have a fantastic cutting experience.

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