A place to dump Shed Hacks that make me happy... ;-)
Folding Outrigger Bench
I can't believe how long I muddled along without this hack! The idea here is a fold-away 'outrigger' table that hinges up, level with my main bench. There is a 50mm [2"] gap between the two bench tops to allow a saw blade (circular or jig) to move freely whilst the work-piece is supported on both sides. The primary hinge is set low enough to clear any blade depth. The outrigger is supported on a pair of folding legs. Clamping the work-piece to the outrigger helps keep everything locked down as well. I seriously can't believe how long I muddled along without this hack!!
Once-upon-a-time I would: mark up the cut points on my work-piece; measure 130mm [5"] (the width of my circular saw foot) to one side of those marks; clamp a guide to those offset points; try to recall if that 130mm [5"] included the saw blade kerf; then, finally, I'd run my saw along the guide to make my cut. And then do it over, to fix that kerf allowance I'd got wrong.
Then I discovered the brilliant Jim Tolpin. One of his hacks involves securely attaching a low-profile guide (I used 10mm-square u-channel aluminium extrusion) to a thin plank (I used a strip of plywood). The idea is to offset the guide slightly more than the width of your saw's foot, and then run your saw along the guide to trim the plank to exactly match your saw.
So now I: mark up the cut points on my work-piece; clamp my new saw guide to these points; then run my saw along the guide to make my cut. No more offset to measure. No more kerfs to recall. Simples.
Extra-for-experts: make your guide circular-saw-compatible on one side, and jig-saw-compatible on the other.
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