I am building a desk from plywood, 1/2" and 3/4". I used a table saw
and circular saw to rough cut after I marked the layouts on the boards,
leaving about a 1/4" extra on each side.
I'm trying to get smooth straight edges, but have been failing so far.
Table saw seems not smooth enough. Circular saw not straight enough. I
plan on working on more furniture in the future, nothing fancy, and
probably most plywood or pine.
Would a band saw be a better option? Jigsaw, scroll saw...?
This is more just hobby right now, but still want to do better than
what I've ended up with so far.
| I am building a desk from plywood, 1/2" and 3/4". I used a table saw
| and circular saw to rough cut after I marked the layouts on the
| boards, leaving about a 1/4" extra on each side.
| I'm trying to get smooth straight edges, but have been failing so
| far. Table saw seems not smooth enough. Circular saw not straight
| enough. I plan on working on more furniture in the future, nothing
| fancy, and probably most plywood or pine.
| Would a band saw be a better option? Jigsaw, scroll saw...?
Perhaps a better blade on your table saw... and perhaps a length of
masking tape centered over the cut line might provide a bit of
I think I'd be inclined to cut the piece somewhere between 1/16" and
1/32" oversize and use a router/straightedge if I wanted a /really/
DeSoto, Iowa USA
No, just a plywood-suitable blade for the table saw. Assuming 10 inch,
80 tooth with a 30 degree alternate top bevel. Even that may not prevent
splintering of the veneer. Plywood veneers anymore are paper thin, no,
onion skin thin. Scribe your cut line with a utility knife before you run
it through the saw.
Normally on a table saw you cut plywood with the good side up, and with a
circular saw, with the good side down.
A sharp blade and one for cutting plywood is recommended, but if you only
have the one blade you can try the following:
With good side down and blade lowered, make shallow scoring cut through
veneer; raise blade, and with same edge against fence as scoring cut, flip
plywood to good side up and finish cut.
Try it on a scrap piece first.
A quality blade in a well adjusted tablesaw is what the majority of
woodworkers use. What kind of saw & blade are you using? A straight
line can also be cut with the hand held sirculars saw if you use a
guide of some kind. Google for "saw sled" or "saw guide" and you
should find a few ideas.
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
Probably time to get a sharp blade. You'll probably need to replace the
blade this time, but if you get a good quality one you can get it
I've had the TS I have now for about 2 years, and just made a few cuts
here and there and it's about time to change the blade. I really should
do that before I use it next.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
On 21 Jan 2007 12:18:39 -0800, " email@example.com"
Nope, nope and nope. Morris's suggestion of a router is a good one,
as is making scoring cuts prior to cutting. A zero-clerance insert
will also help with both the table and circular saw.
My saw will do it no problem, but when I had a little benchtop, my
technique was to cut about 1/16" to 1/8" oversized, then clamp a
drywall square to the sheet and use it as a router guide. You don't
necessarily need anything fancy bit-wise; if your router has a round
base, you can just set the straightedge so that the baseplate rides
against it. Take light cuts in passes of about 1/16" to reduce
chipping if that's a problem.
You can also try sticking a piece of tape to the underside of the
plywood where you'll be cutting when using the table saw. It doesn't
always work, but it can help with chipout with some plywood.
And of course, use a plywood blade.
Thanks all for the the suggestions. I picked up a Freud Diablo 80
tooth blade...ripped through the boards, very straight and smooth. I
didn't use tape, but will remember that tip for later.
I was trying to figure out a way to do it with the router, but
couldn't see how best to run the straight line. The idea of clamping a
straight edge of some sort to the the board and running down that
seems obvious now, may have just been one of those weeks.
What is the advantage of a zero clearance insert? One person mentioned
it helps prevent tearout. And you mention using it for table and
circular saw. I googled it some, did get some ideas, but didn't see
how it was used with circular saw.
On Sun, 21 Jan 2007 20:47:20 -0600, Prometheus
Supports the board up to the very edge of the kerf. Makes your saw
less likely to eat and jam itself with narrow cutoff scraps. Flatter
than the stock plate that came with your machine, which will now
cut square edges for the first time.
Bolt a piece of 1/2" ply to the sole. Clamp everything to a bench,
with the blade overhanging the edge about 14". Raise the blade,
turn on the saw, and plunge the blade through.
> I was trying to figure out a way to do it with the router, but
> couldn't see how best to run the straight line. The idea of clamping a
> straight edge of some sort to the the board and running down that
> seems obvious now, may have just been one of those weeks.
IMHO, best way to do the job if you must have a smooth edge.
Pick up a 2"x2"x1/8"x96" aluminum angle and a couple of 3" C-Clamps to
use as a straight edge.
Great straight edge for either a router or a circular saw.
Generally speaking, cross cuts are the worst on plywood.
Ripping can be solved with a decent, "high tooth" count
blade. You solved that.
Build yourself a couple of "guides" out of scraps.
You need a "long" one for ripping up sheets of plywood
and a "short" one for doing cross cuts.
You can use the "exact" jig with a router for "trimming"
You will want to build a "basic" router table at some
point. This is a much easier way to control a router.
I would also consider buying a basic "combo blade" like
a Freud LU84 which is excellent for every day cutting.
I was wondering, is there a decent type of tape to use for cutting?
Considering that the adhesives on tape have a good chance of collecting on
the saw blade, what kind of tape works well but minimizes the adhesive
sticking to the blade?
Is it necessary to remove gunk from the blade after every cut when using
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