Sheet goods bring some serious benefits to the woodworking and DIY world, though if you work in a small workshop one major drawback is their cumbersome size. A table saw can break down a 4′ × 8′ sheet, but in many small shops it’s almost impossible to get a full sheet to the table saw. Even if you can get a sheet to your saw, you may not have 8′ clear in front of, as well as behind, your table saw to be able to rip it.
Bora 100″ NGX Clamp Edge Saw Guide, NGX Pro Saw Plate
MSRP: 100″ Edge Saw Guide: $104, Saw Plate: $57
Track saws, with all their functionality, have been around for a while, but they don’t come cheap. Bora has come up with a simple, more cost-effective solution to the main challenge surrounding working with sheet goods. Their 100″ NGX Clamp Edge Saw Guide and NGX Pro Saw Plate can be set up to rip and crosscut sheet goods with ease. The system is available in 24″, 36″ and 50″ lengths, and a 50″ long extension is also available. I tested the 50″ version with 50″ extension. The extension attached to the 50″ fence with four small screws. The resulting track was straight and rigid, and clamped securely to the sheet stock I was using. Best of all, I never felt like the track was going to slip while I was cutting. The Saw Plate comes with a length of Non-Chip Strip. The Non-Chip Strip is like a roll of thick tape that attaches to the Saw Plate to reduce tear-out. It applies downward pressure to the upper surface of the workpiece, immediately next to where the blade cuts.
Using the clamp edge system is easy. Determine if the extension needs to be added to your track, screw it to the main track if it does, add lines on your workpiece, align the track with the lines, position your saw on the Saw Plate, clamp it down and cut.
I find this track system works best when you’re able to leave the circular saw in the Saw Plate. Although it’s not overly hard to install the saw in the Saw Plate, it takes a bit of time, as well as a bit of fiddling. If you don’t mind taking the extra few minutes to properly fix your saw to the Saw Plate before each use, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you leave the saw secured to the Saw Plate, the process of making one cut takes about a minute or so, depending on whether you need to attach the extension. Add another minute or two if you do.
As helpful as their guide system is, Bora offers other accessories to make this edge guide system even more productive in your small shop. Track clamps allow you to clamp the fence to sheet goods at any angle, so you can easily and safely cut angles. Also, separate guide plates for use with either a router or a jigsaw are available that will attach directly to the same edge guide as your circular saw.
If you’ve been putting off venturing into the world of sheet goods because they’re hard to handle, this guide system from Bora might be the perfect solution for you. The Bora 100″ NGX Clamp Edge Saw Guide and NGX Pro Saw Plate is a cost-effective, simple and efficient solution to help woodworkers and DIYers with a common small workshop challenge of cutting sheet goods to size.
Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.