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  • Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

    I am looking for a simple way too cut sheet goods. ( 4X8 sheets) I now use a 7 1/4" circular saw, and I am not pleased with the finished cut.
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  • #2

    Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

    Use a sharp blade with more teeth, a sharp pencil and chaukline. Manage your offcut so it doesn't bind.

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    • #3

      Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

      Originally posted by cak View Post
      Use a sharp blade with more teeth, a sharp pencil and chaukline. Manage your offcut so it doesn't bind.
      In addition to all that cut with the good side down.
      Gary in Niagara (Fenwick, Ontario)

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      • #4

        Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

        For a cut with less chipping, try this if you are using a circular saw or if you are like me and are a little lazy to change the blade on the table saw for one or two cross grain cuts. Clamp a straight edge on the sheet of plywood to provide a guide for the circular saw. Set the depth of the saw very shallow just to score the surface of the wood and make the first pass. Now lower the blade to normal cutting depth and cut the sheet again. I find that this two pass process greatly reduces the surface chipping of plywood especially across the grain. This process works for me. Your milage may vary.

        Murray
        This wood is all clear between the knots.

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        • #5

          Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

          Cutting plywood

          Take a look at this, it has anti-spintering inserts.
          www.eurekazone.com
          I just cut 5 sheets of plywood with this system, no splintering. Plus because I've been cutting select grade plywood, I've been using the 24 tooth blade that came with my circular saw. I'll be changing to a 40 tooth blade when I start cutting my good sheets of maple ply. From what I've seen I'm expecting very good things. So far this setup has far surpassed my expectations.

          Regards, Daryl

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          • #6

            Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

            I recently purchased a Makita CS and put Freud's 40 tooth Finishing blade on it. I also bought the Veritas Power Tool Guide. Straight cuts, no splinter.
            I don't know the EZ system, but LV's seems to be somewhat similar.
            http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...at=1,240,45313
            Mack C. in Brooklin ON
            It feels really great to sell a pen;
            It feels even greater to give one to a friend!

            If your presence doesn't make an impact,
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            • #7

              Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

              I can only assume that you are cutting with a circular saw because of the awkwardness of managing a sheet on the table saw???
              If this is the case why not cut to rough dimentions with the circular saw, taking special care to leave a factory edge, then cut to finished size on table saw.
              Whenever I purchase sheet goods from HD, I have them make a couple of cuts so when I get home its easy work on the TS.

              Chris

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              • #8

                Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                cutting ply method

                I cut a lot of maple ply with my skill-saw using a fine tooth blade and a jig I constructed for the purpose. The jig is a piece of 1/4" ply initially about 12" wide, with a good straight piece of 3/4" ply about 4" wide attached along one edge of the 1/4". Must be installed dead straight, then cut off the 1/4" stuff that is wider than the saw foot. You then can clamp the edge of the jig right to your pencil line. Even with that I will try to leave just enough to run over the table saw, especially the factory edges which are always a bit rough.

                Cut good side down and keep the blade adjust so it just breaks trough by no more than the depth of the teeth. I have had good luck this way.

                Bill

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                • #9

                  Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                  I do the same as billy...
                  The attached link explains it...
                  http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
                  www.facebook.com/PenningBrian

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                  • #10

                    Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                    in addition to what Gary, Murray, and billyt suggested already:

                    make your first shallow pass backwards, like a climb cut when using a router; this is what the scoring blade on higher-end tablesaws does

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                    • #11

                      Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                      [QUOTE=Mack C. in Brooklin ON;I don't know the EZ system, but LV's seems to be somewhat similar[/QUOTE]

                      Hi Mack, the biggest difference is that you have a base that attaches to the circular saw. This rides on slots on the guide. the blade comes down right on the edge of the guide. So there is no off set to measure. Where you put the edge of the guide is where you cut. You can make extremely accurate cuts. Also extremely fine cuts. Also it is impossible for the saw to wander or for kickback as the saw rides on the guide not the wood. I'm very very impressed with it. On one of the "other" forums, where the inventor hangs out, some of there members have sold there table saws and just use the easy smart system. Now me, you'll have to pry my TS out of my cold dead fingers :-)

                      Regards, Daryl

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                      • #12

                        Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                        Originally posted by darylb in Nova Scotia View Post
                        Hi Mack, the biggest difference is that you have a base that attaches to the circular saw. This rides on slots on the guide. the blade comes down right on the edge of the guide. So there is no off set to measure. Where you put the edge of the guide is where you cut. You can make extremely accurate cuts. Also extremely fine cuts. Also it is impossible for the saw to wander or for kickback as the saw rides on the guide not the wood.
                        The LV edge guide has a "traveller" available that fits into a lip in the edge of the guide. You mount the base to the traveller, and the tool to the base. They have pictures at:

                        http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...240,45313&ap=1

                        With the LV system you need to account for the offset. This is easy to do if you make spacer blocks.

                        There are a bunch of nice things that the EZSmart system offers, but the LV guide will certainly allow you to produce splinter-free straight cuts.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                          [quote=Chris in Saskatoon;119607]
                          The LV edge guide has a "traveller" available that fits into a lip in the edge of the guide. You mount the base to the traveller, and the tool to the base.
                          I should have mentioned that I bought that as well.
                          Mack C. in Brooklin ON
                          It feels really great to sell a pen;
                          It feels even greater to give one to a friend!

                          If your presence doesn't make an impact,
                          Your absence won't make a difference!

                          I am a proud supporter of
                          "Pens for Canadian Peacekeepers"!
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-o...95203433854962

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                            LV edge guide

                            Thanks Chris. I never saw the traveller Mack. I should have read the text at Lee Valley. I just looked at the picture and said to myself "it's just another edge guide" I should have known better. Lee Valley does it right. Nice setup.

                            Regards, Daryl

                            PS: I still love my EZsmart

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                            • #15

                              Re: Easy way to cut a plywood sheet

                              Here's what I use.



                              I made it from scraps. It's all slotted so you can take it apart and stick it in a corner when you aren't using it. The two end crosspieces are clamped into the Workmates. This makes it really easy to make cuts. The blocks that you see screwed onto some of the pieces are to provide something to clamp the cut sheet to.

                              You can achieve the same thing by tossing a 4'x8' sheet of foamboard insulation on the floor. I like this because it's a nice working height.

                              As you can see, I have a couple of aluminum straightedges that I clamp onto the plywood; one long one and one short one.

                              The other guys have mentioned a variety of ways to avoid chipping.

                              ...ken...

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