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ARCUS Blade and Guide System Review

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ARCUS Blade and Guide System

ARCUS Blade and Guide System

(c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

When cutting arcs and circles in the wood shop, the most precise method is to use a band saw with a circle cutting jig. However, what if you're away from the wood shop?

The common method would be to freehand cut a pre-drawn arc with a jigsaw or a router with a guide. However, the ARCUS Blade and Guide System may be a better choice for cutting arcs away from the wood shop. This unique, curved circular saw blade allows for freehand cuts and accurate arcs using the accompanying guide system.

While the blade and guide system performed well on the sawhorses, I'm not sure it will replace the band saw and jig in the shop.

Pros

  • Fits a standard 7-1/4" Circular Saw
  • Cuts freehanded from 30 inches to 15 feet plus diameter arcs
  • Accurately cuts arcs from 30" to 54" diameter circles using saw guide

Cons

  • Installing blade in my circular saw required removal of blade guard bumper

Description

  • Unique curved circular saw blade can be used with guide system or freehand.
  • Blade cuts well in thin plywood (up to 3/4"), but binds in thicker stock.
  • Contoured masonry blade also available to make curved cuts in cement board (sold separately).

Guide Review - ARCUS Blade and Guide System Review

Years ago, when I was working in construction, I worked on a job that required us to build curved forms for a series of concrete archways. These forms were built (in part) from 3/4" plywood sides that were cut at the proper arcs. We made these cuts freehand with a jigsaw.

The ARCUS Blade and Guide System, installed on a circular saw, would've been perfect for such a job. The guide consists of a T-shaped, adjustable-length compass that attaches to the base plate of the circular saw, and the pivot point is screwed into the wood at center point of the arc.

The curved blade is installed into the saw with the concave side out, verifying that the blade does not touch the guard anywhere. In my case, I needed to remove the rubber bumper that stops the spring closing action of the blade guard. Removing the bumper didn't affect the performance of the saw - I just was careful to hold the blade guard open slightly.

To use the ARCUS Blade, simply set the depth of the blade 1/4" deeper than the thickness of the material being cut. Hold the blade guard open and plunge the blade downward into the stock. Push the saw through the arc cut using a normal speed - do not force the saw. The blade cuts the arc cleanly and quickly.

After completing the cut, an inspection of the stock shows that there was some splintering of the plywood, enough that the ARCUS would probably not be the most suitable choice for cutting arcs in fine woodworking projects. However, for construction projects, the ARCUS is a fine choice.
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