|Laying it on the line|
First things first, the saw itself must be in shape to cut straight. Look at the teeth, are they all the same size? If they are not the saw will cut off the line toward the side with the longer teeth. Is the saw bent or kinked? This can have an adverse effect on the sawing. Are the teeth sharp? You can check by laying the tooth line across the palm of your hand, do the teeth catch readily against your skin? If not the saw is too dull. Forcing a dull saw makes it hard to saw accurately. If you are unsure about the saw itself it's a good idea to have it professionally set and sharpened, then you'll be sure of the saw and can work on your technique.
|Going the distance|
Take the time to get a good start in the cut. Make sure the start of your cut is square and on the line, starting out well is easier than trying to correct later and a good start guides the saw straight as you saw further. Take light strokes to start and wait to apply more power until the cut is well established. Once the cut is started well use as much of the length of the saw as your arm allows.
|All square, ready for cleanup|
As I said before it has taken me a lot of practice to get here but there's nothing like that feeling of completing your first square 8 foot rip right on the line. You'll feel confident to try anything.