January 10, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Tips and Techniques
Builders’ Tip: A Modified Guide Block for Making Straight, Square Reciprocating-Saw Cuts

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When cutting with a reciprocating saw, it’s standard practice to use a wood block as a guide

But if the block is secured on only one side of the blade — either above or below it — the blade can still wander beyond the cutline.

I wanted a more effective way to guide both sides of the blade when cutting the tops off some old studs before installing a header, and when I couldn't find a guide block that did the job, I fabricated one so I could make a more accurate cut.

As shown in the accompanying drawing, I simply took scrap  2x4 and made a square cut almost all the way through it — leaving only about a quarter-inch uncut.

Then I clamped the guide to the old stud — aligning the square cut with my cutline mark on the stud.

The cut guided the blade straight and square.

—    Don Mathis, Macomb, Ill.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2010 The Taunton Press

To contact Fine Homebuilding, e-mail Christina Glennon.

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