By Ronn Hann (reprinted from spring 2010 newsletter)
I use steel angle iron for a guide when cutting window and door openings. I buy two 20′ lengths and have them sheared or cut into one 12′, one 8′, one 10′, one 4′, and one 6′. This gives me a variety to cover most windows and doors. I simply rest the vertical angel iron on the floor using a magnetic level to position it plumb. With numerous holes in the angle iron, it is screwed to the logs. Then I have a guide bolted on to the chainsaw bar that will slide on the angle iron ensuring it cuts plumb. It is a little tricky getting started without jumping all over the wall. Holding the bar steady and parallel to the guide, slowly advance it into the wood. It doesn’t take long to master the technique. Hopefully you cut your sills and header on a sawmill as the logs are stacked up. If not, this jig can help cut the header and sill also.
A variation of this with multiple windows the same size is to frame together two vertical 2 x 4’s or 2 x 6’s with two horizontal 2 x 4’s. Stand it into position and attach to the walls. Now mark the appropriate elevation for the top of the header and the bottom of the sill. When the jig is moved to the next window, reset the angle to exactly the same elevation on your mark.
I also use this jig to trim the stair treads after the stairs are pre-fit. The angle is screwed onto the tread noses and all cut in one plane.
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