Framing Square Cutting Guide

Premium Video Preview: Log in or become a member to get full access.
Duration: 1:55

Membership Options

Premium

Sign up for premium membership and get access to our best woodworking videos and projects. Learn new woodworking techniques and tips from friendly master woodworkers. Anytime. Anywhere.
Monthly $6.00
Annually $55.00

Gold

Upgrade to GOLD membership and get unlimited access to our entire library of premium woodworking videos, receive discounts on DVDs, video downloads, and classes in the shop. In addition, you’ll receive eight video downloads, three full-length classes, access to GOLD member LIVE events, and so much more!
Annually $129.00

Making a square end cut with a circular saw can be an intimidating proposition. You can measure, double check, draw a line, measure again, and then when you cut you might still find that it is out of square. Ugh! Don’t give up and use out-of-square cuts for your project; that won’t do. Also, don’t jump to the conclusion that you need to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment to solve this simple problem. That would be one way to address the situation, but not everyone has the key to Fort Knox, so there has to be a simpler solution to this challenge.
First, it will be important to familiarize yourself with how to use a circular saw. Learn the specific tolerances and adjustments that are available on your specific saw, and if you haven’t already done so, make yourself one of these handy dandy circular saw jigs for cutting straight lines with no chipout. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of your circular saw, even if it is a hand-me-down for Grandpa, when you pair it up with one of these jigs.

When you’ve mastered the circular saw, and it’s time to make some square end cuts on your panel, there are a few simple steps that you can follow to ensure success every single time:

Use your framing square

Grab a full size framing square and be sure that it is accurately square.

Add stair gauges

Stair gauges are a carpenter’s best friend when it comes to constructing stair cases. They’ll also serve you well as a general guide on your framing square for the purposes of cutting your boards straight.

Cut like a boss

With the proper setup, and the procedure demonstrated here, you’ll be cutting square ends like a professional in no time flat.