Best plywood cutting setup?

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Best plywood cutting setup?

Postby CrocTears » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:31 am

I've always kludged a cutting surface together with a couple of saw horses, some lawn chairs, and whatever else is handy. We have a small table saw, but I usually prefer to use the circular saw. I'm finding with a flexy wood like luaun that my cuts aren't just right. I clamp on a saw guide, but if the wood flexes anywhere while I'm cutting, the cut isn't perfectly straight.

Any suggestions for a good, easy setup for better cutting?
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Postby doug hodder » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:53 am

I use a thick piece of styrofoam insulation...like the 2" stuff. You can lay it on the floor or a table and cut and rout without worry. Just adjust your blade or bit so your not going completely through the foam. Doug
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Postby bobhenry » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:55 am

For cutting " GOOD " material with a circular saw put the good face down. I tackeled the whigglies of thin material by useing a good base. In my case a sheet of 3/4 osb I then tossed a sheet of 3/4 blue foam on top.
By carefully setting the blade depth no deeper than needed I barely nicked the foam and the tear out on the good face was all but eliminated because the fibers were supported by the foam. I later used the foam in the wall the few small nicks were of no consequence.
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Postby CrocTears » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:19 pm

Hey, that's really cool! I have plenty of that blue foam on hand & a sheet of OSB. Thanks!!!!!

:thumbsup:
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Postby cuyeda » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:46 pm

Good tips! :thumbsup:
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Postby Toytaco2 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:05 pm

I've been using Bobhenry's method. It works great for me. :thumbsup:
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Postby Steve_Cox » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:54 pm

Arne has a jig for straight cuts on plywood. It is used with his circular saw and can be used cutting either direction. I use an 8' aluminum straight edge clamped to the work myself. As with any method, the thinner the material you cut the more support it will need under it. Here's Arne's jig photo.
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Postby Sam I am » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:42 pm

I built my tear in my garage without a large work table, so I laid the sheet of plywood on the garage floor, supported by several 2x4's. I clamped a straight board to the plywood for a saw guide. I set the blade just deep enough to cut through the ply plus about 1/4" It worked pretty well.
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Postby jawbone » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:59 pm

I made a guide much like Arne's, but I added more room on the left side so that clamping did not interfere with the motor on my saw. They work great, no measuring from the shoe to the blade, just put the edge of the guide on the mark, get your fingers back and pull the trigger! Thanx Arne for the idea!! :applause: :applause:
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Postby Arne » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:37 am

ah, yes, that board now sits in my basement. I used it many times during the build.

The motor hitting the 3/4" board was a problem and on occasion. I had to be careful on deep cuts that the motor hitting the board did not tilt the saw.

I think the 3/4" could be exchanged for a piece of 1/4" ply without too much trouble. The board would be more flexible, but that shouldn't be a major problem.

Got that idea from watching 'this old house'.
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Postby CrocTears » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:01 am

Oh yes, I made the jig ala Arne after seeing it on a previous thread. What a great time saver that is... Thanks for posting that, Arne.

The foamboard is working great.

Now I found out that my old circular saw is insufficient - the fence on it is warped which makes the whole saw rock slightly as it cuts. So I borrowed a good saw yesterday and got new blades for it.

It's going to be a sweet setup. I wish I had more cabinets to make. 8)
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Postby Esteban » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:09 pm

Cutting with a utility knife and a 4' aluminum drywall square works well on thin, 1/8", plywood. Work the knife slowly and carefully so it didn't stray from the cut line. It was real useful for cutting an inner door skin out from an inside wall panel where I didn't want to chance wasting a sheet if the cut was too wide or off the mark. No tear out at all.
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