How to Use a Level as a Straightedge Cutting Guide

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While levels are normally used to ensure balance in a project, you can also use them as a straightedge when cutting wood. Align your wood cuts easily with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chris Palmer. In this segment, I'm going to show you how to use a level as a straight edge cutting guide. With a level, and some clamps, and your circular saw, you can make perfect cuts across any number of materials. Let's say you have a door that's rubbing on the ground. All you need to do remove that door, clamp your level across it, and run the saw fence right against that level. Now, the trick is, you need to measure the offset of the blade from the edge of the fence that you're going to run against the straight edge. In other words, whichever side of the fence you want to run against the level, you can measure from that edge to the blade, and leave that much space on the board from where you actually want to cut. Here's how it works. Here's a door that you want to take some material off, because it's rubbing on the floor. So, you measure the distance from your blade to the edge of the fence, because the fence goes right against the straight edge. And so, your actual cut is an inch and a half below where you set your fence. Measure down both sides, and make marks so you know that your straight edge is perfectly straight across your cut. And then, just put on your safety glasses and hearing protection, and make the cut. Thanks for watching. I'm Chris Palmer. That's how you use a level as a straight edge cutting guide.


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