As the photo shows, I want to cut some larger pieces of plywood.

The right edge is not straight, but even if I get it straight, I will not be able to easily cut it using the rip fence.

And the miter gauge won't work because the piece is too wide.

I need pieces that are 32 inches long.

I also attached a picture of what I think is my miter gauge?

How can I achieve that?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 2
    how about a cross-cut sled?
    – JoSSte
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 12:15
  • 1
    Why do you say the piece is too wide for the miter gauge? I did some work exactly like this over the weekend, an my plywood ran within 1/64" of square across the width of the saw table.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:45
  • 2
    Using the miter guide, keeping the blade depth just right, and moving very slowly, I get pretty good results. Maybe not 1/64 :) but pretty good. A little practice helps. I know people who can get near perfect results with a hand-held circular saw. I can't but it's just practice. IMO unless you're making high-end furniture you don't need a set up that produces perfectly machined results.
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:02
  • When I say miter gauge I meant the piece that rides in the track. Maybe I used the wrong term. @isherwood
    – fixit7
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    @isherwood How would you use the miter gauge? The front of the plywood is too far forward when you begin the cut, the miter gauge does not reach the slot. I've sometimes used the miter gauge backwards, but then the end of the cut becomes awkward.
    – jpa
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 13:53

5 Answers 5


I've found that clamping a guide board to the plywood and riding it along the edge of the table works quite well:

enter image description here

Guide board in red, clamp in blue - you should have another clamp on the front edge of the plywood for stability.

Make sure you remove the ripfence when you do this, as otherwise the off-cut is very likely to get pinched between the blade and the rip-fence, and get launched backwards.

  • Sounds really good. The right edge is irregular. I guess I could clamp or hot glue a guide board to it? It's looking you will get the "answer is accepted." @jpa
    – fixit7
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:27
  • 4
    Bingo. Make you straight edge on the underside of the left side of the board and THAT will act as a fence that rides on the left side of your saw. I saw this trick on YouTube a few years ago.
    – Evil Elf
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:52
  • 2
    – Evil Elf
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:58
  • This is a really good idea. An unrelated tip is to put painters tape where you're going to cut as it helps prevent chip out. Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 16:04

Use the table saw to build a track for your circular saw. Then use your circular saw and track to cut the plywood.

  • How to build a track in thin air? If the table was that wide, it wouldn't be a problem anyhow.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 9:00
  • Cut the track (guide board) out of 1 x 4. Table saws do great with long, but not wide, pieces of wood. Just make sure it is wide enough to be easy to clamp and be somewhat rigid. By cutting the track, you get one straight side. Then you used your improvised track / fence to guide the circular saw cut on the finish piece. It's an old-school way of getting a straight cut, provided you can keep control of your circular saw. There are purpose-built track saws, but I wouldn't buy one if you are unlikely to make these kinds of cuts frequently.
    – Edwin Buck
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 17:56

From the movie Jaws: We are going to need a bigger boat!

Your saw is simply too small to do what you want!

More seriously, using a framing square to align a guide board, clamp on the guide board and get the right side at 90 degrees using a circular saw, trimming off just a bit. Then move the guide board with the needed offset and again, clamp it to make the desired cut using the circular saw.

  • And then, if your initial cuts were a bit oversized, bring the individual parts to size and square on the table saw. There are several approaches to supporting the plywood sheets for initial breakdown with a circular saw, the simplest of which may must be to get a 4x8 sheet of thick foam insulation, toss thaton the floor with the plu on top of it, and cut while kneeling.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 4:23
  • 2
    All of you gentlemen have forgotten the lowly "saw horse." I will get 2 of them and buy some straight pieces of lumber to be used as a guide. I have back pain issues, so the circular saw may be a challenge.
    – fixit7
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 8:04
  • 1
    @fixit7 The other thing that might help to avoid more back pain is - get an assistant, even if you only need to borrow them for a minute. For larger pieces like this, simply having a 2nd person to help guide it through can help a lot. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 14:38
  • 1
    The help I need with is the circular saw. It weighs 10 lbs. @Darrel Hoffman
    – fixit7
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 4:06

Many years ago, I bought two flat plates of galvanised steel. Took them to be bent, to exactly replicate the top edge of the saw bench. Welded a couple of tabs to them, so it all lined up, when bolted to said bench. One now rests on an old table, to keep it level with the saw bench. Which now means I can cut pieces such as you want, twice the width of the saw bench,(from blade to r.h. edge) using the rip fence on the right. (Also the same on the left, if needed.)

That solves the l-r problem.

Since the r.h. edge is rough, I'd then screw a strip of, say, 2"x1/2" wood to that, overlapping and parallel to the cut line. That then butts against the rip fence, and makes the two corners 90 degrees when cutting from a larger sheet. by making the first sheet an inch or two wider than needed, that can be turned round, and the cut just made butted to the rip fence, thus cutting off the rough edge.

Sounds complex, but it works! Other than that, I have an old computer table on wheels, same height as the saw bench, which acts as a support as the work goes past the other side of the saw bench. Means I can do these jobs without bothering the missus! But I still mark the cut line regardless, as that helps me check which side of it the kerf is going.


You can cut that piece with the rip fence. The 16" or so you have there is plenty. Just use good technique to keep it tight. You should apply pressure toward the fence at the fence, and forward pressure near the blade.

Otherwise, trim the end with the miter gauge, then cut all four sides with the fence. No jigs or other jiggery-pokery necessary. By trimming the end you get a straight cut. It doesn't really matter if it's not perfectly square. You'll achieve that by cutting all the way around the piece with the fence.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.