The Little Winch That CAN!

Taking on an off-road adventure doesn’t mean you have to be reckless or unprepared. Be ready for nearly any altercation with the 2500 lb. ATV/Utility Electric Winch with Wireless Remote Control (Item #: 61840) from Harbor Freight! Whether it’s pulling your ATV out of a ditch or loading a boat onto your trailer, this light duty winch is perfect for those smaller jobs.


This little unit packs a lot of winching power and all the features you expect from a high-quality winch. A permanent magnet motor draws less current than larger models, making this the ideal winch for your ATV and the automatic load-holding brake provides maximum safety. Plus, with the wireless remote control, you can operate the winch from up to 20 ft. away. Both reliable and easy-to-use, this 2500 lb. capacity winch also comes with a rock bottom price that can’t be beat.

“This winch pulls my John Deere out of trouble all the time when I venture into the woods and get
stuck …. It operates as I intend it to and pulls me out wherever I might be in a gully or stuck on a slippery log or whatever…. I usually attach it to a stout tree and it pulls me up a 20 degree grade without issue …. only issue is that it uses a lot of battery power and now I let the tractor keep running so as not to wear down the battery…” – by Nick from Medina, Ohio

“About 6 months ago I purchased this winch and the Truck mounted Crane. After a couple of uses I removed the hand winch that came with the Crane and installed the Bad Land 2500 winch. Boy what a wonderful product. I had contracted Tendinitis in my shoulders and hips and needed help getting in firewood. This combination was just the ticket. Now I get more wood per trip and hardly break a sweat. Needless to say, my shoulders are much relieved. Never a problem. I use a group 27 battery to gain the extra power to run the winch. I highly recommend this combo to get the job done. Great product.” – by Mr. B from Helena, MT

This handy ATV recovery winch is great for a number of tasks including loading vehicles and equipment or traversing rough terrain easily. With a 2500 lb. capacity, it’s perfect for any ATV or utility vehicle. However, if you’re on the lookout for a winch with a bit more power, be sure to check out the 9000 lb. and 12,000 lb. capacity winches as well, available at your local Harbor Freight store!

How To Soundproof Your Garage or Workshop

Insulated Garage Wall

It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational DIYer or a serious garage guru, you make noise. It can’t be helped, especially with power tools. And if you’ve got close neighbors, you probably always think about that noise when you’re switching on a machine. Soundproofing your garage/workshop is the key to maximizing your freedom.  Imagine being able to cut lumber anytime–late night or early morning– without fear of wrath or reciprocity.

orange block soundproofing

There are, of course, a number of methods to soundproof. For the “whatever” DIY guy, it might be hanging moving blankets on the walls and ceiling. There’s another method called “resilient channel” which is what a lot of the nicer recording studios use, and which is great… if you’re building a nice recording studio. An approach I like a lot more is the “cleat” method, suggested by “Mobile Rik” on With a lot of easy-to-follow steps and lots of pics, Rik shows us how hanging drywall panels on a pair (or more) of wooden “cleats” can contain a great deal of sound. Compared to the “resilient method, the “cleat method is:

  1. Much cheaper
  2. Much sturdier (if you decide you want shelves or other heavy things hanging from those walls)
  3. Is removable for tweaking if necessary
  4. Uses ordinary 2 x 4 lumber and not some fancy-shmantzy materials that need to be special-ordered

insulated garage wall vertical

But, be warned, the “cleat” style is based on different– even contrary– principles to conventional soundproofing methods. But this is the cornerstone of every blue-blooded DIYer: Build A Better Mousetrap! Be sure you read Rik’s “Be Willing To Break The Rules” section to understand the high-fidelity physics behind his approach and why he’s going this route.

Take a look at Mobile Rik’s “How-To” and see if this is something you could do in your garage!

cleat drywall

But first, here’s a quick (short) list of what you’re gonna need:

Tools Needed:

table saw

*If you don’t have a table saw or band saw (although this is as good an excuse as any to get one), you could skip this tool by going to the lumber store and have them rip your boards per your specifications.


Polyurethane Tube Insulation

  • 2-1/2″ Nails
  • Drywall Screws
  • Closed-Cell Foam Tape
  • Polyethylene Pipe Insulation Tube
  • Drywall 1/2″ (you may even consider 5/8″; besides killing even more sound, it’ll add fire protection and be more gouge-proof)
  • Acoustical Caulk

Other Tips To Deaden Sound In The Garage:

rubber washers

  • Buy a pack of rubber washers and apply them to machine cabinet fasteners as long as it’s not a critical connection for precision alignment
  • Retrofit all of your tool stands to include rubber-wheeled casters, and look at using rubber grommets on the plate holes where you bolt them to the stand legs
  • Buy those square rubber vibration isolation blocks and use them to separate the tool from the mobile base or tool cart
  • Spray sound-dampening material on the insides of metal machine cabinets
  • Add sound insulation lining to machine cabinets, router table chambers
  • Use baffle-like sound shields made of sound-absorptive materials near motors and other noise sources without restricting heat dissipation for the motor. 
  • Add additional sound absorbing material (perhaps backed by sound reflecting material) directly behind noisy machines that are against the wall
  • Safety guards around blades and bits do help with both dust collection and noise isolation, so it’s not a bad idea to use them when you can, especially over the table saw blade.  Maybe make your own, and incorporate some sound-deadening strategies in addition to dust collection efficiency strategies.

Remember that a lot of little things will add up to a much quieter shop.  You’ll feel much more free knowing that you won’t get complaints about your late night or early morning dust-making activities. And remember Harbor Freight Tools when you need a quality tool at a very low price!

The Incredible Foldable Shop Crane

Just because you’re working out a small space doesn’t mean you don’t have room for a powerful shop crane. With the 2 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane (Item #: 69514) from Harbor Freight, you can get the lifting power you need when you need it. And when you don’t, it folds down for easy, compact storage. That way, it’s out of the way when not in use. But with all the cool jobs and tasks you can tackle with the crane, it won’t be in storage for long!


The Shop Crane is easily adjustable from 73-5/8” to 89” in height to fit the job at hand while the boom extends from 41” to 61-3/4”. For any project that requires lifting items up to 4,000 lbs, this Foldable Shop Crane is designed for performance and reliability. Plus, it comes with the low, affordable price you’ve come to expect from Harbor Freight Tools.

“I bought this crane for my husband’s garage and he says it works great! Pulled the engine right out of the car…no problem! He’s very happy with it!” – by TJ from Western PA

“Great product !! Excellent value & price , Harbor Freight communication was also the best
Very happy with this 2 ton hoist “Fantastic Quality.” – by Rick from new Jersey

“Used this crane out of the box to unload a BMW engine and transmission out of the back of a pick-up truck and park it in my garage. Assembled in 15 minutes and worked perfectly when used with the HF 2 ton load balancer. This is a must have. This crane lifted a load from 72″ high and put it down safely on the ground – not all cranes can lower that far. This crane is excellent value for money and folds down into a very small footprint.” – by Seawolf from Springfield, MA

With an included ram, chain and hook, the 2 Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane contains everything you need to start lifting those heavy parts right away. So if you’re ready to handle bigger projects from the comfort of your own shop or garage, get down to your local Harbor Freight store and pick one up today!

Make a Hidden Wall Compartment In Your House

hidden compartment complete open

As kids, we always had a thing about secret compartments and hidden spots. Somewhere to hide money (from light-fingered siblings) or special treasures that held significant, personal, intrinsic value. Somehow, hiding them made them even that much more special. So, why would that change when we become adults?

It came as no surprise, when doing a search on DIY hidden compartments, that I would get a plethora of results. Hidden doors, drawers, a “safe” in a tree, a fake head of iceberg lettuce… I don’t think there’s an end to the list of hiding places and secret compartments folks have in their homes or on their properties.

secret floor

So, I decided to focus on ideas that were practical (even though climbing into a bunker through the hood of a car was cool in “Red”), convenient (in the house), but not too simple (so the old hollowed-out book trick was out). Eventually, I found this wall unit on, which is the perfect combination of doable and clever, and the lock is kept in plain sight! If you’ve been thinking about creating a hidden compartment, check this out and see what you think. Then maybe look around your place and see where you could put it!

hidden compartment complete closed

FYI, here are the things you’re going to need to make it happen:


Besides the common woodworking tools, here are a few things you’ll need…


  • Tot Lok with extra key
  • 2 @ 3-1/2″ square rosette block moulding
  • Cabinet hinges
  • 1″x8″ shiplap board
  • 1″x8″ tongue and groove boards —  to cover the wall(s) that have wainscoting
  • 1″x2″ boards — spacers between the pairs of the 1″x8″s. You should have the same number of these as the 1″x8″
  • Nails, construction adhesive, caulk, paint, other wood needed for baseboards and for plate rail at the top of the wainscoting, etc.

If you’re short on any of the tools, swing by Harbor Freight Tools! You’ll find them at great, low prices!

Monitor Your Home, Shop or Garage with This 4-Camera Surveillance System

You can’t put a price on peace of mind, so the 8 Channel Surveillance DVR with 4 Cameras and Mobile Monitoring Capabilities (Item #: 61229) would be a bargain at any price. But you’ll get the best bargain for your buck with this one available at Harbor Freight Tools!


With this surveillance system, you can easily keep an eye on your home, garage, workshop, store or jobsite from nearly anywhere. Four infrared day/night security cameras capture up to 2,500 hours of video stored on a 500GB hard drive for playback at any time, giving you a full record of what’s recorded. Then, the footage can be viewed directly from your Smart phone! Easy to set up and easy to use, this security system is a must-have for any property or area you want to keep safe.

“Bought this set last year and installed it in one day by myself. Figuring out how/where the cameras will be placed is honestly the hard part in all of the setup. Once you download the app and set it up on your phone, you can view when you’re not home. This product is great for the price and great for the insurance it will give you when you need to see your property.” – by NYJZA70 from Brooklyn, NY

“I have had this unit installed now for almost 2 years. For the price you get a good deal. The colors are a little off, but the video is pretty good otherwise. This system, as a local Police officer said to me, “only has to catch someone once” to pay for itself. My security company wanted $10 per camera per month with the 4th free. Even if your internet goes down with this model, you are still recording on the DVR. Not so with the security companies’ cloud based video recording.” – by Bears Fan from Crystal Lake, IL

“True the images are grainy at a distance but I’m talking about 100 feet. I have a good image far enough for me. All I intended it for is to record would be thieves trying to break into my building when I’m not there and I like the remote excess thru a phone or computer via internet. I’ve had this two years with no issues.” – by mule from Gladwin, MI

Whether you’re monitoring the inside of your warehouse or the perimeter of your ranch, this surveillance system has the features you need at a price that can’t be beat. For affordable security that won’t let you down, get to your local Harbor Freight and pick one up today!

How To Build a Teardrop Trailer

teardrop trailer complete

In the March/April 1939 issue of Popular Homecraft an article ran– along with detailed plans– for a new, cool oddity called the “Honeymoon House Trailer.”

It was built in the late 30’s by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California, a guy who literally saved his dimes for the little traveler so as to take his new bride on their wedding trip. The 8’x4’ floor plan had tongue-and-groove flooring on a pine chassis, a Chevy front axle with 28” wheels and 1926 rear fenders.  The mini trailer slept two and had a raise-up deck lid for a rear kitchenette, complete with ice box and stove. A curtain-enclosure outside the starboard entry served as the “dressing room.” The whole project set him back about $60 ($1,026 today). This may or may not have been the very first teardrop trailer, but it was certainly in the ballpark.

DIYers went crazy. They followed Rogers’ plans and soon added touches of their own. After World War II, subsequent models morphed even more, sporting Jeep wheels and exterior skins made from bomber wings. After the 50’s, though, their popularity waned as big RVs appeared. Then, once again, the teardrops returned with a vengeance. Today you can find a number of websites for plans (some free!), photo galleries, forums and clubs. Teardroppers believe that creating, renovating and modifying unique, personalized models are what give the little campers their timelessness—and the most rewarding way to own a teardrop!

vw teardrop

The coolest part of all this is, you don’t have to be a master builder to make your own drop-dead gorgeous teardrop trailer. If you’ve got just a basic knowledge of woodworking and some tools, you’re already ahead of the game.

First thing, how to go about it? On a recent Google hunt, I found this most EXCELLENT “HOW-TO” tutorial on building a teardrop trailer on with extremely detailed steps, TONS of pics (man, you gotta have pics!) and a comfortable daily planner. Building it on a Haul-Master 1720 lb-Capacity. 4’x8′ Super Duty Trailer

HF super duty trailer…the author created this beautiful camping capsule, complete with aluminum siding, wiring and lights, vent fan, sink-&-stove kitchen area, windows on the sides and front, and a roomy bed with a second kid-sized bunk, all for under two grand!

teardrop beds

Necessary Tools:

teardrop camping

While it’s not exactly a 2-weekend project, the finished product will leave you buzzed with such sublime satisfaction, and give you years of fun and memories that you just can’t buy.

Of course, most of the tools necessary to make this dream a reality can be found at Harbor Freight Tools. Make sure you check the ads for specials and coupons for even greater savings!

How To Make Your Very Own MAN TABLE

man table

So, up ’til now you’ve proven your manhood through food dares, awkward school fights, asking-a-girl-out dares, changing your own oil, jumping in a frigid lake with your bros, peeing in a soda bottle whilst driving through the night, crying at the end of “First Blood”… but lately, you’ve been getting a growing hankering to MAKE something– something COOL. If this is uncharted territory for your ever-emerging MAN within, here’s a DIY project worthy of bragging rights and endless sprees of fist and chest-bumping: The Man Table.

The Man Table, by definition, should be rugged, solid, rough-hewn and indispensably usable. Something that takes a beating and just smiles back at ya. This isn’t a beauty contest, bucko. We’re talking about a baptismal exercise of Man and Tool. I actually stumbled on this “how-to” quite by accident on by a guy named “Pointy” in the Netherlands, and I’ve been thinking about little else for future garage activity. Just be warned, this project is “metric-centric,” so get used to using the other side of your tape measure.

So, here’s what you’re going to need:

Tools and Materials

Power Tools
Angle Grinder with Cutting Discs and Abrasive Discs

angle grinder
Welder (in this case a stick welder)

stick welder
Jig saw

Power drill with 2, 5, 8 and 10mm drill bits (our numbered bits will work!)

power drill


Angle Finder

angle gauge
Marking tools (pen or painters tape)

Center Punch

center punch


Adjustable Wrench

adjustable wrench

– Steel angle 30x30x3mm, total 4,6 meters
Measurements 700mm (2x), 1600mm (2x).
– Steel angle 40x40x4mm, total 4,2 meters
Measurements 700mm (6x)
– Steel plate 15x15x4mm, 6 pieces
– MDF board 160x70cm
– Reclaimed wood for the inlay (Meranti is used here). Bear in mind that the thickness of the MDF + inlay = 27mm MAX when using 3mm steel. Otherwise, the wood will be too high above the tabletop.
– 18xM8 Nuts and bolts
– Box of nails
– Black spray paint

About the Steel…
If you can get the steel angles at a metal shop that will cut them for you (45 degree angles), go for it. Your world will suddenly get so much easier. Use regular steel, not stainless, for two reasons: One, you’re using it inside and it will be painted. Two, stainless is harder to weld (and for paint to stick on it. and regular is cheaper.. so, four reasons).

Table Top Frame

table top frame

Tools needed
Angle grinder with both discs
Angle gauge

First step,  lay out the four pieces of 30×30 into a rectangle. If the steel isn’t cut in angles yet, do that now, using the grinder with the cutting disc. Take your time measuring out the angles, using the angle gauge, always measuring twice before you cut. If you cut them at the wrong angles, you might be forced to to shorten the whole thing to make up for the mistake. You can only fix so much with the welder. After cutting the angles, lay the pieces together. Do they fit? Are there any obvious gaps? If not, then sweet! A trick the tutor used with his stick welder was grind a small angled edge of the materials to be welded. By doing that he created a ‘path’ to drag his welding rod on.

Get out the welder and tack-weld it first. That way you can fix and prevent mistakes before the whole thing is welded solid. As said, this isn’t a beauty contest, so don’t worry about having photogenic welds. The primary goal is only that they’re tough and can take a pounding.

Switch the grinder to the grinding disc now and clean up the welds. Fill in the gaps with the welder and grind it flat again. Don’t sweat any grinding marks you might leave. This is all about badass Man personality, right?

(If, for some reason, you have to clean the stuff up between steps, be sure to mark the corners so you don’t forget what goes where later (see bottom photo above)



Tools needed
Angle grinder with both discs

First you need to cut the corner braces. Stick a piece of painters tape diagonally from corner to corner, making a 45 degree angle.

An unwanted result of welding flat objects is the risk of them curling up when you’re just welding one side. To prevent this, tack the corner braces on and then flip it and weld the other side, too. That way you make sure the brace is flat and flush against the tabletop’s frame. Use the clamps to keep it from curling and keep them clamped until they cool. By tacking and flipping you can work a lot quicker. Just make sure to add the corner braces before welding the legs. Be sure to suspend the legs in mid-air before welding the braces on. This is why you see bolts in the above photo.

After welding the corners, then grind and clean them up.

Drilling the Bolt Holes

bolt holes

Tools needed
Power drill
Steel drill bits for 2,5,8 & 10mm
Center punch

Now to drill the bolt-holes. Three bolts per side are sufficient– and it looks good. The corners should be 15.5 cm. The first bolt goes in dead center in the corner profile and the rest space out + 5CM.

Center punch it first to prevent your drill from slipping. To save time, drill all the holes before moving on to the next bit size up. When you get finish with the 2mm holes, put the tabletop frame upside down and line up the legs flush with the top. Then insert drill bit in each hole and give it a little spin. This way you don’t have to centerpunch the legs and they all fit nicely to their corners. Then do 5mm, repeat, then 8mm, repeat. Finally, span your 10mm bit and give each hole a quick spin. This will remove any burrs left.

Putting Together the Frame

table frame

Tools needed
Adjustable Wrench

This is a pretty straightforward step. Legs + top + bolts: First bolts go in with the table upside down, then flip the frame and do the rest of the bolts. Sit on it to test the weight. As the pride floods you, feel free to let out a Tim Taylor grunt.

Painting the Frame

paint the frame


Tools needed
Black spray paint


Putting On the Top

putting on the top

Tools needed:
Jig saw

Either cut your MDF board to size yourself, or have it done at the local home improvement store. You won’t lose Man Points if you do the latter. There’ll be some small cuts you need to make to accommodate the bolts; just measure how much the bolts protrude, and maybe a 1/2 cm extra, and saw. It doesn’t need to be precise, the wood will be covering it.

Finally, the last step is to drop in your reclaimed wooden top. As I mentioned earlier, this DIY guy used reclaimed Meranti. You may have your own ideas. Just lay it down, mark off any protruding stuff and cut. Then nail it down to the MDF.

I’m a Man, Yes I Am

final man table

Now just let the Man within take over and do what you do with your magnificent creation. Maybe run your hands over the perfectly imperfect surface and watch the end scene of First Blood again.


Get a Jump Start on Trouble with Reliable Booster Cables

There’s nothing fancy about the 16 ft. 6 Gauge Heavy Duty Booster Cables (Item #: 60396) from Harbor Freight Tools. When it comes to getting out of a jam (or jump starting a drained battery) all you care about is the end result. And with these great jumper cables in your trunk, you can rest assured that you’ll never be left stranded again.


Designed for use in all climates, the Heavy Duty Booster Cables are ready to go anytime your car isn’t. Hooking them up is easy, even if you’ve never used booster cables before, thanks to the color coded cables for positive and negative terminals. The vinyl-dipped steel clamps are easy on your hands and the copper jaws are perfect for electricity conduction, allowing you to get going quickly so you can transport your vehicle to a safe place for repairs.  As you can see, it’s no secret what makes these jumper cables so great.

“Probably the best cables you can buy for under twenty, clamps are tight, crimps look good, cable is soft and easy to handle and does not fight you while tucking it back into its case after use.” – by Travelling Mechanic from Chicago, IL

“It looks good and feels good. I like the design. The copper wire is attached on the top and the bottom is stabled by a clip. The design will keep the contact wire from detaching.” – by Yang from Morgantown, WV

Simple and reliable, the 16 ft. 6 Gauge Heavy Duty Booster Cables are a must-have item for any vehicle. Providing superior performance just about anywhere, these jumper cables also provide peace of mind even if you never use them. For any well-prepared motorist, or frequent driver, swing by your local Harbor Freight and get a set of these Heavy Duty Booster Cables for quick and easy jumpstarting of dead or drained batteries. Don’t waste your money on some fancy set of jumper cables with a bunch of useless features and extras. All you need is a set that works.


Abrasive Blast Cabinet

More often than not, wire brushes or sanding discs just won’t cut it! Blasting is the only way to really get parts clean and prepped for paint and powder, especially when it comes to automotive parts. But blasting can create quite a mess. Save yourself the hassle with the Abrasive Blasting Cabinet (item #: 68893) from Harbor Freight Tools. The blasting cabinet is constructed from sturdy 19-gauge steel to keep dust, debris and blasting medium contained. It also features a fluorescent lighting system, ceramic nozzle, hose and gloves.

Here’s what customers are saying about the blasting cabinet:

I use this product daily. It works VERY WELL… – Scotty B., Jupiter Farms, FL

I have been doing all powdercoating for 2 motorcycle shops and use the heck out of this rig. I have not had a problem with leaks, assembly, gloves etc. This system works comparable to any others that are 4 times the cost. – RS-SS Restorations, Colorado/Arkansas

This is one of the best purchases I have made for my shop. Finding all kinds of uses. – Joel, Wisconsin

Harbor Freight also carries compressors and dust collectors, which can be used with the Abrasive Blast Cabinet. For accessory specifications, please be sure to consult the user manual.

When it comes to parts that need to be stripped down to the base material, give ‘em a blast that will last with the Abrasive Blast Cabinet from Harbor Freight Tools, available at one of 600+ stores nationwide!

Abrasive Blast Cabinet
Item #: 68893

How To Get Perfect Cuts From Your Circular Saw

 It sure would be nice to have a table saw setup in the garage. It would also be sweet to have a hot tub home theater in there, but life is full of disappointments.

hot tub home theater

Fortunately, you don’t need a table saw to get perfectly straight cuts out of sheet materials. All you need is a Circular Saw and a Guide Track, and you can get all the perfectly straight cuts you need.

And while we’re on the subject of “glass-is-half-full” rationalism, you’re going to find that using the circular saw and guide track over the table saw will be easier because you’ll be moving a bantamweight circular saw over plywood rather than a heavy sheet of plywood over the table saw.

There were a few slightly variant techniques to execute the perfectly straight cut– with various tools– but we were most impressed with Jay Bates’ method on, and we used that as our road map.

So, without further ado, the perfect cut:

Tools and Equipment Needed

7 1-4 10 amp circular saw

12-in quick release bar clamp

two sawhorses

safety goggles

Materials Needed

5-8-in brad nails

wood glue

  • One sheet of 1/2″ plywood. You don’t need the whole sheet, but you do need the full 8′ length.

SAFETY TIP: Your circular saw is one of the most dangerous power tools in your arsenal. When accidents happen, they usually happen fast and without warning– and more often than not, the damage is bad. The most frequent and dangerous blunder is binding the blade in a cut. This can happen when the saw blade is set too deep and more of the blade is exposed while cutting. The saw blade jumps up and kick back at you. It also happens when you’re cutting a long board or large sheet of plywood in half without the proper support. To prevent this, make sure the cut-off piece is free to drop or move away from the blade. This will eradicate any chance of binding and make your cuts safer.

The Project

1. Cutting the Fence Board

circular saw track (7).jpg

First, make sure the plywood you’ve got has at least one perfectly straight factory edge. You can tell by looking down the full 8-foot length of the board. If it looks straight, it should be straight enough to use. Mark the straight factory edge to keep track of it throughout the project. Nothing can drive you as crazy as forgetting which one it is. Lay the plywood down on the sawhorses to work. Cut a small piece off of the long direction, about a 3”-wide piece. Cut it as straight as you can, but it doesn’t have to be exact.

The main thing to keep track of here is the plywood’s factory edge. It’s the right edge in the above photo.

2. Cutting the Base

Picture of Cut The Base
circular saw track (9).jpg
circular saw track (10).jpg

Because the factory edge has been verified as straight, it’s the most important part of the track build– but it’s only half of the saw’s guide. We still need a base for it to ride on. So, use the factory edge as a guide and clamp it on both sides to the rest of the plywood to saw off another strip. This time, it should be around 9” wide.

With the first strip clamped down and ready to be used as a reference fence for the circular saw, you might notice there’s some flex in the middle of the panel. To prevent this, clamp a piece of scrap wood in the center of the plywood on the opposite side of the first strip. This should prevent the first strip from flexing.

Then, with the saw tracking against the factory edge of the first strip, cut the 9” wide base strip (photo immediately above).

 3. Putting It Together

 Picture of Assembly
circular saw track (12).jpg
circular saw track (13).jpg

Here’s where measurements might differ a little from saw to saw. You may have to adjust your dimensions as needed. With the circular saw blade resting against an edge of the plywood, measure the distance from the furthest edge of the circular saw base plate to the blade. Here it’s 3-3/4″, but, as mentioned, your measurement may be different (top photo above)

The first strip with the factory edge will be glued and nailed to the wider base strip, but the factory edge needs to be just a little further from one edge of the base strip than the distance from the blade of the circular saw to the furthest edge of the saw base plate. So, here it was set at close to 4” on both sides, and the base strip was marked (middle photo above).

After adding glue to the smaller strip, nail it to the base strip, ensuring it is on the reference lines from the previous step.

4.  The Zero Clearance Line

Picture of Make It Zero Clearance

The precision of the jig comes from this important step. Once the smaller strip is secure and the glue dried, make a cut referencing against the factory edge of the smaller strip. This establishes a “zero clearance line” for where the circular saw will cut every time you use the track.

 5. Perfect, Straight Cuts

Step 5: Enjoy Perfectly Straight Cuts

Picture of Enjoy Perfectly Straight Cuts
So, now we can see that the outside edge of the base strip is exactly where the circular saw will cut when it slides across this track. Simply line up the edge of the track with reference marks on your material, clamp it down, and cut a perfect line every time. Remember, the saw blade will remove a little bit of material as well, so best practice is to place the track on top of the material you are cutting to length and not the off-cut of your material.

Having this 8′ track is incredibly handy for cutting sheet material, but it can be unwieldly when you need to make smaller precision cuts. For this reason, you may want to make another 8′ track and cut it into 5′ and 3′ sections.

Even the best carpenter can’t do good work with a dull blade. And besides making lousy cuts, a dull blade is dangerous. Dull blades can heat up and warp or bind, and they tend to climb out of the cut. But how do you know if your blade is too dull? The best indicator is how the blade cuts. If you have to muscle your way through the cut, your blade is dull. A sharp blade will glide through even the toughest wood. Burn marks and rough cuts are other signs of a dull blade. When it’s time to get your replacement, we recommend a plywood blade with at least 140 teeth like this:

circulaw saw blade

You can find these and other quality woodworking tools at Harbor Freight Tools, at great, low prices!