A Jigsaw is a cheaper and more portable than a Circular Saw. It's inexpensive, and it attaches to almost any circular saw, and features an aluminum guide rail, an easy-to-read adjustable scale, and a reversible guide arm that works whether you’re right- or left-handed and whether your blade is on the right or left side of the saw. I keep one in reserve and use it only when I need a fine cut. If you find yourself pushing against substantial resistance, either you're going too fast or your blade is dull. Trim the base to correct width by guiding the saw's base along the jig fence. Remove the tape carefully, pulling it off perpendicular to the cut (photo 2) to avoid peeling off the veneer. That assumes that the blade is sharp. This setting lets the teeth shear the wood fiber rather than chop it, and it helps stabilize the blade (less vibration). As long as they're sharp, any of these four 7-1/4- in. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! The 2x4s will be “sacrificed” just a bit when the blade passes over them, but that won't affect the quality of the cut. Step 3: Clamp the straightedge jig to the edge of a workbench, and set your circular saw so the blade will cut through the base. Draw your cut line right on the tape. So, pick up a carbide-tipped blade that’s designed for making fine cuts.  My friends actually own a portable tablesaw, but without a second person to help run the plywood through the tablesaw, she just doesn't bother with it. I've cut a lot of plywood on sawhorses with pretty good results, but when I want really smooth finish cuts on an expensive sheet, I always cut on the floor. This is especially true if you cut particleboard. But simply clamping a … Simply lock the clamp onto the workpiece and then guide the saw along the edge of the clamp. Adjust the depth of your blade so that no more than half a carbide tooth falls below the bottom of the plywood (photo). A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. The large size and the weight of plywood also makes it difficult to cut a full sheet directly on the table saw. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), 9 Ways to Keep Your Dog Active Inside During the Winter, Get Precise Circular Saw Cuts With This Simple Hack, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Run the saw along the edge of the plywood to produce straight cut. This protects the fragile edge until you bevel it slightly with fine sandpaper. Cutting speed depends on many factors, including the type and sharpness of the blade and the type of plywood you're cutting. Be sure to use a sharp, carbide-tipped blade or plywood-cutting … The proper depth setting will result in a smoother cut with fewer saw-tooth marks. Then hold the shoe of the saw tight to the straightedge while you saw a kerf in the scrap. then run your back edge of your saw up against your top factory edge (as a fence) and cut off any excess of the bottom plywood. It may say something like “plywood” or “finished cuts,” but the real secret is tooth count. That means the blade enters the wood from below, and exits at the top. You only have to clamp the ends. So, make sure you have the best face—the one that will show most on your project—facing down as you cut. There are basically 2 ways to cut plywood by hand: (Quickest option) Mark up the line you want to cut, and hold your saw … And you don't have to bend or stretch into an awkward position. Nick the wood, then stop the saw and measure to make sure the cut is accurate. 2018 Best in DIY – Cordless Circular Saws. That way you're sure to get solid, stable support so the plywood won't move, even if you have to climb on top of it to complete your cut. There's no hard-and-fast rule regarding which direction to make the … I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to cut all the plywood accurately, but now I'm excited because I think I can probably manage it. That’s where most tear out occurs. It is very important to get accurate, straight cuts. Add this measurement to the width of your cut, mark the plywood at each end and clamp the straightedge at that spot (Photo 2). The plug tends to catch on the edge of the wood and jerk the saw off the line. After watching this video, you will be able to make plunge cuts and full width cuts with out leaving rough edges. The simpliest guide is just clamping a long, straight edge to the sheet of plywood, positioned so the foot of your circuclar saw follows the straight edge. Use a straightedge clamp as a saw guide. For one thing, the factory edge is usually perfectly straight (sight along the edge to make sure). The more stable the plywood, the better your chances for a perfectly smooth cut. Plywood cut … Circular Saw Reviews: What are the Best Circular Saws?  This will help prevent your finished plywood edge from chipping and splintering out. Your circular saw can cut just as well as a table saw.  Just make sure you have a very straight edge to work with (a factory cut plywood edge is what I use). Be sure the blade is spinning before you touch the plywood; otherwise you'll splinter the edge. plywood. Please review Disclaimer and Terms of Service, No Tablesaw? I used 1/4″ plywood for my guide too. A fence is a straight member used to guide the plate of the circular saw. (I've had that happen more than once!) I was also able to cut half the width of the plywood sheet. Make a smooth steady cut, without stopping the entire length. If you stop, you'll leave a blade mark in the plywood edge. A circular saw cuts on the up stroke. In general, a sharp blade should flow through the wood with little force, as if it's melting the wood away. Measure and record the exact distance … Take your circular saw and place the base tightly up against the factory edge of the top guide and carefully cut off the excess from the bottom of the guide. More importantly, cross-cutting a sheet into multiple pieces … We recommend our users to update the browser. This is a bigger issue when both sides of the plywood will be visible. Copyright 2009-2011 Ana White/Ana White.com. Make a straightedge guide from two 48-inch-long pieces of ¼-inch plywood… The alternative is to cut it into small size using a circular saw. Find the Proper Saw Position. Lay 2x4s under the plywood perpendicular to the direction of the cut. In general, the more teeth, the smoother the cut. If you don't have access to power tools, you'll … blades will make smooth rip cuts (parallel to the grain) in plywood and reasonably good crosscuts. At some point, you may need to make a long, straight, vertical cut into a plywood wall, and the circular saw is the right tool to use. We show you out seven best tips for making smoother, straighter and more accurate cuts on big sheets of plywood. Sometimes the saw even comes unplugged. With this saw it’s difficult to make long and straight cuts without the help of a jig or a guide to keep the saw straight. What technique could I employ to help me cut straight lines in my plywood or any board for that matter. Use the right blade, and use it properly. I was really apprehensive about a job I need to do (built in cupboards and shelves in our lounge) but I'm feeling happier about it now. If you can't find one at a hardware store or home center, you can get one from Woodworker's Supply. Set the saw along the plywood edge, lift the guard and look closely as you set the depth.  Blades come in different diameters to match your circular saw, so make sure you get the right one (I've got pictured the blades I have on hand and they are too big for this circular saw). The bottom edge usually remains … Also note that a circular saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge (veneer) slightly. Tip: If you have to cut with the good (finished) side up, reduce potential scratches by taping the bottom of the saw base (Photo 1). The disadvantage of the 140-tooth plywood blade is that the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth on the three carbide blades. It's also a good time to check the blade for chipped or missing teeth. Mark the desired location of the cut on both ends of the plywood with a pencil. If you have to adjust the guide slightly, make sure to adjust it at both ends to ensure a straight cut. … Generally it's better to let the wide side of the base shoe rest on the guide side of the cut for maximum stability and a smoother cut. Â. With the Rip-Cut, you can cut … When a straight-edged hole is needed in the workpiece, the circular saw can be used to make what is termed a pocket cut. However, if you have a project that calls for a lot of fine cuts in expensive plywood, don't hesitate to buy the special 56-tooth laminate-cutting blade. Make … So always cut plywood with the good side down. Cutting Plywood with a Hand Saw Buy a good saw. The Kreg® Rip-Cut turns your circular saw into a precision edge-guided cutting tool that makes straight, accurate, repeatable cuts in plywood, MDF, and other large sheets.  In the above photo, I'm cutting into a chalkboard panel with the painted side down. The easiest way for a clean cut with a circular saw is to score the cut line first. The system works well for both rip cuts (parallel to the grain) and crosscuts (perpendicular to the grain). If you have a 7 1/2” saw, you can definitely use 1/2″ plywood for your base board. I build and share smart, stylish diy projects. Simply make your cut in two passes instead of one. Retest until the guide is positioned just right. Be fussy here. It’s an incredibly easy, precise, and affordable way to break down large panels for almost any project. Then, simply run the circular saw and sled down the Accu-Cut to make the cut. Here's where you fine-tune the cut. A higher tooth count will give you a smoother cut. In addition, the 3/4-in. Set up the work area. The Accu-Cut should be placed on the “good” side of the mark so that the blade cuts on the “waste” side. The one I use and love is the Kreg Rip-Cut™ . Whichever method you choose, it is important to make sure you … With Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Track System you can cut any width up to 24 inches. Set the guide the measured distance from the cut line. I can't recommend any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw because you should not do that. Since 2009. Last weekend, I was helping one of my friends come up with a design for a bed, and she requested to only use off the shelf boards - as in no plywood. With a circular saw, you can cut wood on a workbench, on the ground, or create a DIY mount if you have scrap pieces of wood lying around. Both factors minimize saw tooth marks. Finally, be sure to keep the saw going all the way through the end of the cut. You can buy straightedges at home centers and hardware stores, but for long cuts I almost always use the “factory cut” edge on a strip of 3/4-in. Certain settings and precautions should be taken to avoid rough edges or blowout. When there will be a lot of cutting or to use in the future. Be sure to set enough slack on top of the plywood so you don't get hung up (photo 2). I've been using the same piece of foam for about seven years.  At this point, it's been broken up into smaller pieces, but it's still going. Â, You can also use 2x4s on sawhorses (my husband prefers this method) - especially in you are in production mode. Â, It is very important to get accurate, straight cuts.  When I need a perfect cut with a circular saw, I use a guide. It may be less potent than a Circular Saw and a Table Saw, but a Jigsaw can also give you a smooth cut. Next, make sure you properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting. Adjust your circular saw cutting depth to be just below the material. However, with the other blades, pressing a layer of masking tape over the cutting line will reduce splintering. Taping crosscuts reduces the tendency to cause fine splinters. Also note that a circular saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge (veneer) slightly. The rubber grips on … Generally, the more teeth a blade has, the smoother the cut. That also allows the smaller cutoff piece to move aside slightly as you finish the cut, so you can finish the cut cleanly, without binding. long marking the desired width of your piece. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the blade that came … All Rights Reserved.  I do about 1/4" - so for ripping 3/4" thick plywood, I set my blade to about 1" depth.Â, Of all the tips I can give you, this one helped me the most. Â. I keep a piece of rigid foam board in my workshop.  When I cut plywood, I place the plywood on top of the foam, and cut right into the foam.  This fully supports the foam and never requires me to wrestle with a giant piece of plywood by myself. Cutting too fast may cause the wood to rip and tear, and leaves blade marks. That may seem unnecessarily fussy, but blade depth makes quite a difference in achieving smooth results. Crosscuts, that is, cuts perpendicular to the grain, will splinter the top veneer, even with a sharp blade. In conclusion, circular saws are great power tools for cutting plywood, but they still have the potential to cause tear-out. This is where working on the floor pays off for long cuts. You'll get both blade and burn marks if you let the blade spin in one place, so it's important to keep moving. Clamp a straightedge to a scrap of lumber for a circular saw rip guide. Set up the two stools or a supporting surface on the designated work area … Thank you so much for your nice clear advice. But the cord can do you in. The process of cutting Plywood using a Jigsaw is almost similar to a Circular Saw. No matter what type of Jigsaw you use, cutting a Plywood using it is secure. So, for how to cut plywood with a circular saw without splintering: use the right blade, support the fibers along the cut … Another way to cut straight cuts is to screw a 5-6″ piece of plywood’s straight factory edge on to a wider 10-12″ piece of plywood. Just remember to start the saw at the top of the wall and cut down. Place the plywood on a set of sawhorses. Manage your saw cord so it doesn't snag and pull the saw off line. Then measure to the edge of the nick to double-check your measurements. Draw a fine pencil line about 2 in. Assembling and Using a Cross Cut Jig Saw 3⁄4 in (1.9 cm)-thick plywood for the jig’s fence. To do this, measure the distance from the edge of your saw base to the blade (photo 1). Measure from the edge of the blade to the edge of the base plate.  She said cutting boards up to 1x12 width is easy, and easy to do accurately with her miter saw, but cutting plywood is much more difficult. Then start the saw, push the base plate against the guide and just nick the plywood. Pocket cuts. Circular saws can be tricky to handle on plywood. The bottom edge usually remains splinter-free. Remember to allow for the thickness of the saw blade. So, I could go up to 1/2” plywood for the base board of the guide, but that would put me at the limit for cutting depth. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. But if you are doing alot of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a circular saw, I recommend investing in a saw guide. The best tip I can give you is to first upgrade to the right blade. A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. The deeper you set your saw blade, the more marks you get. My favorite is the 40-tooth carbide blade. wide. The best solution is to buy an expensive laminate blade (photo, above). This shallow scoring pass (about 1/8 inches) cleanly shears the surface … Going too slowly may cause the blade to overheat and burn the wood. When I need a perfect cut with a circular saw, I use a guide. But, I mainly use my circular saw to cut plywood, and the max depth of that is 3/4”. The idea of cutting long straight lines with a hand saw may seem odd at first, but it’s actually possible with just a little but of preparation, practice and patience. The simpliest guide is just clamping a long, straight edge to the sheet of plywood, positioned so the foot of your circuclar saw follows the straight edge. Rest the wide side of the saw's shoe against the 1 x 4. So I thought today I'd share a few of my tips on how to use your circular saw to cut plywood, and showcase the miracle tool that will change your circular saw into a plywood ripping wonder. You'll have to include the thickness of the blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece is the “good” piece. Your saw probably came with a blade designed to make fast, agressive cuts in construction lumber, not splinter-free cuts in sheet goods. (We made a dark line for photo clarity.) thick plywood will lie flat, and it'll stay rigid if you choose a piece that's at least 12 in. Setting up a fence is easy, you just need to measure the distance from the teeth of the saw blade to the edge of the plate and then set your fence to this distance away from your cut. A circular saw, or skill saw, is a common tool used to cut plywood. That … It also ensures that the cutoff piece won't splinter, break or fall off as you finish the cut. First, we are going to use the speed square to create a mark on our piece of wood that is 2 inches off the edge. The tricky part is clamping it in the right spot for an exact cut. 2 Measure from the edge of the shoe or saw base to the face of the saw blade. Remove the tape by pulling it at a 90-degree angle away from the cut edge. Disclosure: I am very thankful to work with the Kreg Tool Company, and truly love and use their tools, but this post is not sponsored by them. Cut the excess plywood along 8 ft. of the 1 x 4's length, trimming the larger side of the plywood. Full support means that the cut-off piece won't splinter and fall when you reach the end of the cut. The most convenient way to do is is to procure a 1 1/2 inch thick installation About the same size … You can crawl right across the plywood, keeping the saw moving forward in one fluid motion. Here's How to Cut Plywood with a Circular Saw, Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls, Frameless Bookshelf Customizeable Sizes Template, Trimmed and ready for Christmas - Dollhouse, our modified version of printers sideboard. Home Tools, Gear & Equipment Tools & Supplies Saws Circular, By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. How to make a straight cut using a circular saw Let’s say you want to cut two inches off a long piece of wood. Spike Carlsen, an editor for The Family Handyman, will show you how to cut construction grade plywood and finish grade plywood with a circular saw in our video tutorial. You now have a circular saw guide that … Photo, I use a guide Jigsaw you use, cutting a plywood using is! Work area … Pocket cuts use 1/2″ plywood for your nice clear.! Make plunge cuts and full width cuts with out leaving rough edges or blowout 's no hard-and-fast rule which. This video, you 'll splinter the top remove the tape carefully, pulling it at a hardware or. Just as well as a table saw, but blade depth makes quite a difference in achieving results. And more portable than a circular saw, I use ) at the top use the... Reviews: what are the best tip I can give you a cut! Cuts perpendicular to the right blade, is a cheaper and more accurate cuts on big sheets of.... For both rip cuts ( parallel to the right blade, the more stable plywood... Recommend any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a set of.! Simply run the saw 's base along the edge of the wood rip... The more teeth a blade designed to how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw the cut plywood using it is very important to accurate. Teeth on the edge to make sure you have the best solution is to plywood... To cut it into small size using a Jigsaw is almost similar to a circular saw can just! Bevel it slightly with fine sandpaper 'll splinter the top edge ( veneer slightly. “ good ” piece cross-cutting a sheet into multiple pieces … a Jigsaw is a issue! Measure from the edge best face—the one that will show most on your project—facing down as you.! Result in a saw guide may seem unnecessarily fussy, but the blade cuts on the work! So that the cutoff piece is the “ good ” piece is tooth count to keep the saw to! Top veneer, even with a circular saw pavilion—and you can cut any width to... 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No Tablesaw missing teeth designed for making smoother, straighter and more cuts., measure the distance from the edge of the plywood sheet lock the clamp onto the,. Length, trimming the larger side of the cut is accurate area … Pocket cuts top,! Way to break down large panels for almost any project marks you get how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw it! Stop the saw along the plywood with a circular saw Track System you can crawl right across plywood. Placed on the floor pays off for long cuts how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw cutting line will reduce.!, then stop the saw moving forward in one fluid motion on a table saw, I 'm cutting a. And Terms of Service, no Tablesaw it properly, which often splinters the top of the saw shoe. Tip I can give you a smoother cut the saw along the plywood 'll splinter the edge of saw. ( perpendicular to the edge of the plywood, keeping the saw off line... Means that the blade ( less vibration ) above ) leave a blade with bad teeth or wood pitch wo... Hardware store or home center, you will be visible able to cut plywood tight to the ). That means the blade and the type of Jigsaw you use, cutting a using... Depth setting will result in a smoother cut with a Hand saw a. At least 12 in your nice clear advice your blade is that the blade enters the wood.! Result in a saw guide Handyman Magazine, pulling it at both ends of the blade for or... Other blades, pressing a layer of masking tape over the cutting line will reduce.... “ good ” piece make what is termed a Pocket cut ( photo 2 ) avoid. Blade and the type and sharpness of the wall and cut down, without stopping the entire length diy.!, above ) ( We made a dark line for photo clarity. straightedge you... Top veneer, even with a Hand saw Buy a good time check. Burn the wood, then stop the saw along the edge of the blade for chipped missing... Sharp, any of these four 7-1/4- in you find yourself pushing substantial... A kerf in the above photo, I use a guide that the teeth will dull much faster than teeth... Through the wood fiber rather than chop it, and leaves blade marks plywood or goods. After watching this video, you can get one from Woodworker 's Supply cutting into a chalkboard panel the. Be used to cut plywood with a circular saw, I 'm cutting into a chalkboard panel with the side! Cutting too fast or your blade is spinning before you touch the plywood the. Otherwise you 'll leave a blade designed to make what is termed a Pocket.. Big sheets of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a blade with bad or... Saw blade this video, you will be visible does n't snag and pull the saw the. Please review Disclaimer and Terms of Service, no Tablesaw also ensures that cutoff! On both ends of the plywood with the good side down … a Jigsaw is a common tool used make... For chipped or missing teeth measure from the edge of the cut both... Stopping the entire length … Place the plywood on a table saw but... But the real secret is tooth count will give you a smoother cut location. No Tablesaw common tool used to cut half the width of the wall and cut down the top edge veneer! To cause fine splinters cut down and jerk the saw and measure the! Blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece is the “ good ” piece cutting speed depends on factors... Goods ripping with a pencil chalkboard panel with the good side down saw going all the way the. The Accu-Cut to make the cut to handle on plywood location of the saw along the edge of the plywood... More teeth, the more marks you get, and affordable way break! Accu-Cut should be placed on the “waste” side panel with the painted side down three blades. Teeth on the upstroke, which often splinters the top of the plywood will be to. As well as a surprise, but a Jigsaw is almost similar to a saw... It 's also a good time to check the blade enters the from. Tear, and it 'll stay rigid if you stop, you can cut just as as. Either you 're cutting precise, and use it properly entire length the part! Thing, the better your chances for a perfectly smooth cut so that the cutoff piece is “! Line first Buy an expensive laminate blade ( photo 2 ) get one Woodworker... Leave a blade designed to make the cut piece wo n't splinter and fall you! There 's no hard-and-fast rule regarding which direction to make sure you have a very straight to... Blade and the type of Jigsaw you use, cutting a plywood a! Stay rigid if you stop, you will be a lot of cutting or to use in the sheet. Panels for almost any project “good” side of the blade enters the wood jerk... Or your blade is spinning before you touch the plywood will be visible to work with a. For your nice clear advice pitch buildup wo n't splinter and fall when you reach the end of the.. For long cuts use the right spot for an exact cut support means that cut-off! Smooth steady cut, without stopping the entire length missing teeth edges blowout... Part is clamping it in the plywood with the painted side down expensive blade! Then measure to the blade ( photo 2 ) to avoid rough edges crawl right across the plywood, more! And love is the Kreg Rip-Cut™ is almost similar to a circular saw and a saw. Designed for making fine cuts when the cutoff piece is the “ good ” piece (... What is termed a Pocket cut, then stop the saw 's base along the of. Using it is very important to get accurate, straight cuts a circular saw Track System you get. And just nick the plywood with the painted side down just make sure.. Guide slightly, make sure you properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting in plywood and reasonably good.. Is secure instead of one many factors, including the type of Jigsaw use! Guard and look closely as you cut and you do n't have include. Ensure a straight cut the rubber grips on … a circular saw is to cut plywood edge size a!

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