Best saw to cut plywood for furniture

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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.
Thanks, Scott
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
| 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 additional smoothness.
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/ clean edge.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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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.
--
NuWave Dave in Houston



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Probably worse.

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.
YMMV ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/06/07
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*snip*

*snip*
In other words, cut so the blade cuts in to the good side first. (Sometimes I find rules of thumb stated more generally easier to remember.)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

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If the tablesaw is not smooth enough, you need a different blade. If the circular saw is not strait enough, you need to use a saw guide.

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It also helps to have a good support on both in-feed and out-feed if the panels are large.
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wrote:

This is the next step I need to tackle. Most the pieces are small enough to handle, but a few are 5' long. Thought of running it onto a saw horse, will look at it over next few days.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Carbide combination (Freud Diablo is cheap, decent quality), zero clearance plate to prevent tearout.
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I think you'd get the results you are seeking with a Forrest Woodworker II blade. It cuts smoother than a jointer can do.
Don Dando

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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.
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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On Sun, 21 Jan 2007 18:25:54 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote:

The table saw is a Delta shopmaster, nothing fancy. I bought it a few years ago when building a shed, have used it since cutting up pine boards with just the stock blade it came with.
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*snip*

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 sharpened.
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.
Puckdropper
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On 21 Jan 2007 12:18:39 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.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.
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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

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Scott wrote:

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.

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Scott wrote:
> > 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.
Lew
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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.
http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2004/08/13/wb /
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" ends.
You will want to build a "basic" router table at some point. This is a much easier way to control a router.
http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/etip040700wb.html
I would also consider buying a basic "combo blade" like a Freud LU84 which is excellent for every day cutting.
Scott wrote:

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Good choice. I have a couple of them and I've used them for ripping even though it is not designed for that purpose.
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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 tape?
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