On our book tour, I had quite a few requests on things that might be so simple to some of you, but quite intimidating if you've never been showed how. The biggie seemed to be cutting boards.
Most of us don't own Compound Miter Saws, which I call the Builder's dishwasher for good reason - it saves so much time and helps you consistently do the same task with excellent results. But for those of us without, how to get good cutting results with an inexpensive circular saw?
Your instruction manual with your circular saw isn't going to tell you the tips and tricks that experienced woodworkers use to get controlled cuts. I can tell you just drawing a line and trying to follow it with sawdust flying has never worked well for me. Fine for rough cuts, but for fine furniture? You gotta cheat a little!
Here's how I consistently cut long cuts on plywood or even rip cuts with a ciruclar saw. Remember that every saw is different, and you will need to adjust accordingly. Some saws have the motor on the other side, so you may need to cut from the other end with your saw. With the foam trick, the weight of the saw will always be supported, and you can just concentrate on keeping that saw foot running smoothly along your clamped square edge.
Practice a few times first - it will take a few cuts to get everything alighned just right. And when the stars - or should we say the boards - align just right, magic will happen!