Maker Update

Maker Update: Kreg Rip-Cut


Speeds and simplifies ripping down large plywood and MDF panels

This week on Maker Update: LEDs for your eyes, talking to your lamp, a new marble machine, the poor man’s table saw, and a giant super soaker. Show notes here.

This week’s Cool Tool is the Kreg Rip-Cut. It’s a $32 guide for a circular saw. It’s great if you have a small workshop, or no workshop. If you have a table saw, there’s probably no reason to buy this. But if you have a small garage like mine and you don’t want to surrender the space and money to have a table saw, this and a circular saw are an effective way to accurately break down sheets of wood.

It comes in two pieces. One is a universal adapter that can mount onto just about any circular saw — including left handed ones. This just screws onto the existing plate, and I just leave mine on all the time.

The other is this L-shaped aluminum ruler designed to hug and slide against the straight outside edge of your wood. You latch the adapter plate onto the ruler, measure out where you want your cut, and make it happen, using the edge of the board to guide your cut.

Now, there are two obvious limitations on this. One is that the aluminum guide only extends out up to 24 inches. The other is that you’ll need some kind of spoiler board if you want to cut all the way through your material.

Alternatively, you could buy a long metal guide track or even use a long 2×4, and clamp it down wherever you want and let that guide your cut. But, using the Rip-Cut, there’s no limit to the length of your cut, especially with a battery powered saw. Also, if I want to rip another, identical section, there’s no setup. I just move back to the beginning.

Even more important for me, I don’t have to store a big, long, metal track in my workshop. This thing just hangs out of the way, and it’s small enough I can just throw it in my back seat if I need to take it somewhere.

-- Donald Bell 07/19/17

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