Need to replace your trusty old level? You can check it for accuracy. Lay one working edge on a flat surface and check the bubble. Swap it end for end, then check the bubble again. It should be in the same position. Now try the opposite working edge. Take a reading, switch end for end, and take another reading. The bubble should be in the same position. Likewise check for plumb by holding it against a flat vertical surface.
Rip cuts are cuts that go with the woodgrain. After a proper measurement and marking have been made, carefully use your thumb to guide your saw with two or three short upward strokes. Once the cut is started hold the saw at a 60 degree angle to the wood and make smooth, full downstrokes. If you’re making a long cut, use a wedge to spread the wood apart. This will help prevent any binding.