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Thread: DIY Plywood Panel Cutting Straight Edge

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    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    DIY Plywood Panel Cutting Straight Edge

    I know there are many excellent wood workers here, so this might be irrelevant for many of you. However, I just learned a new trick for us "box builders" (as opposed to cabinetmakers) that I thought I'd pass along in case it might be helpful.

    For years, I've used a clamp-on aluminum straight-edge when cutting plywood or MDF panels. Mine is like this one: http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/tools/power-hand-tools/power-tool-accessories/empire-pro-s-edge-cutting-guide?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bse arch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct%20search

    It works well, but the one problem with it is that you're always putting the circular saw next to the straight edge instead of on top of it. This results in you having to factor in the space between the edge of the saw's base plate and the blade when measuring for a cut. While that might be easy for some, I found it to be tedious and made cutting many panels more laborious.

    I heard about a DIY straight edge that was easy to make, inexpensive, and worked really well. Here's a video of it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH5dW-QcgeI

    For around $10, I made two of them yesterday (4 and 8 feet long) and they worked GREAT!!! You make the marks where you want the cuts to be, clamp the edge on right at the mark, lay your saw on top of it and cut away! I cut enough MDF panels yesterday to build two 12 cubic foot subwoofer boxes and it took me about 1/2 as long as it had in the past. In addition, each and every edge on the panels I cut are more smooth and just as straight as the factory edges on the MDF.

    The only caveat is that when you make one of these, it will only work for that circular saw and, I assume, the blade that was used to make it. I'll mark my panels with a Sharpie so I remember which saw and blade was used when making them.

    I'll post pictures of the subs once they're built. For now, I had to pass this along because I am so pleased with how well it works.


  2. #2
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Very cool - thanks Steve ...
    of course - I think of your extra 2245s and then I think ... Steve's makin' Boxes ... !

    What'cha makin' this time Steve - More subs for the sub stack?
    Sofa Subs?


    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    I know there are many excellent wood workers here, so this might be irrelevant for many of you. However, I just learned a new trick for us "box builders" (as opposed to cabinetmakers) that I thought I'd pass along in case it might be helpful.

    For years, I've used a clamp-on aluminum straight-edge when cutting plywood or MDF panels. Mine is like this one: http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/tools/power-hand-tools/power-tool-accessories/empire-pro-s-edge-cutting-guide?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bse arch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct search

    It works well, but the one problem with it is that you're always putting the circular saw next to the straight edge instead of on top of it. This results in you having to factor in the space between the edge of the saw's base plate and the blade when measuring for a cut. While that might be easy for some, I found it to be tedious and made cutting many panels more laborious.

    I heard about a DIY straight edge that was easy to make, inexpensive, and worked really well. Here's a video of it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH5dW-QcgeI

    For around $10, I made two of them yesterday (4 and 8 feet long) and they worked GREAT!!! You make the marks where you want the cuts to be, clamp the edge on right at the mark, lay your saw on top of it and cut away! I cut enough MDF panels yesterday to build two 12 cubic foot subwoofer boxes and it took me about 1/2 as long as it had in the past. In addition, each and every edge on the panels I cut are more smooth and just as straight as the factory edges on the MDF.

    The only caveat is that when you make one of these, it will only work for that circular saw and, I assume, the blade that was used to make it. I'll mark my panels with a Sharpie so I remember which saw and blade was used when making them.

    I'll post pictures of the subs once they're built. For now, I had to pass this along because I am so pleased with how well it works.

    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  3. #3
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Very cool - thanks Steve ...
    of course - I think of your extra 2245s and then I think ... Steve's makin' Boxes ... !

    What'cha makin' this time Steve - More subs for the sub stack?
    Sofa Subs?
    You got me figured out!

    I'm making two more to complete the stack. Hopefully, that will be enough. But, when I had your B380 behind the couch, playing at a very low level, it really smoothed the bass out. Hopefully, these other two will help and I won't need one behind the couch, but if I do......I do!

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Sure - 'cause if 2 is good, 4 is so much better

    But can you actually fit 4 2245 sub cabinets in that space??

    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    You got me figured out!

    I'm making two more to complete the stack. Hopefully, that will be enough.
    But, when I had your B380 behind the couch, playing at a very low level, it really smoothed the bass out.
    Hopefully, these other two will help and I won't need one behind the couch, but if I do......I do!


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    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  5. #5
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Sure - 'cause if 2 is good, 4 is so much better

    But can you actually fit 4 2245 sub cabinets in that space??
    Yes, when I framed out the room, I sized the space for a stack of four. I mean, you have to build a room to fit your speakers, not get speakers that fit your room. Right!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Woody Banks's Avatar
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    Shop Jig

    Great link. Thanks Steve. You can never have too many shop jigs or speakers (or in your case SUBS). I hope that you are using drywall screws instead of nails to help hold your walls together.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Altec Best's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    Yes, when I framed out the room, I sized the space for a stack of four. I mean, you have to build a room to fit your speakers, not get speakers that fit your room. Right!
    Hear Hear ! It's nice to know I'm not the only one to think that way !


    Happy New Year !
    "James B. Lansing" = Lansing Manufacturing ~ Altec Lansing ~ JBL

  8. #8
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altec Best View Post


    Happy New Year !
    Yes, Happy New Year to all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Banks View Post
    I hope that you are using drywall screws instead of nails to help hold your walls together.
    Darn it; I just KNEW there was something I forgot!


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