Need tips for cutting 3/4x4x8 ply

Page 1 of 2  
I'm a rookie WWer and now ready to take a shot at making a bookcase. The side panels are to be cut from a 3/4 x 4 x 8sheet of red oak ply. The plans call for 11 3/4 x 72 and wondering what everyone else uses to cut the ply and keep it all straight? I have 2 ideas in mind, 1- tablesaw and several friends to hold the ply against the fence. 2-use my circular saw and a straight edge. I was thinking of cutting the width 1/4 wider than spec and then recut to size once they are cut from the 4x8ply.
regards,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

time and it works fine: http://sawdustmaking.com/Circular%20Saws/circular_saws.htm
--
http://sawdustmaking.com

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

One thing I have found with having multiple "helpers", is that there is no consistancy in pressure/pull/whatever and the chances of binding it up on the bladeand/or some other form of badness will likely occur. Better to use a straightedge and circular saw and cut a bit over. Then finish cut on the table saw, or if necessary, cut by yourself; or with one helper on the table saw. I think you have a better feel of what the sheet is doing if you don't have a bunch of others pushing and pulling on it. Just my $.02
P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi
I would not trust anyone to hold the plyboard straight on a table saw, unless you have a very large outfeed table. A circular saw will be much better and much more secure.
Not sure if my stick figure drawing is clear, but to make a very precise straight edge for a particular blade on a circular saw, attach a very straight piece of material (L shape steel or some sort of extrusion would be great, but can also be a piece of wood -- it has to be straight, though) to a piece of plyboard (maybe 4' x 12"). Run your saw along this straight fence, cutting off the excess of the plyboard. Now you have a perfect straight edge that can be alligned perfectly with whatever marks you've made on your workpiece. Allign the marks up with the edge of the plyboard and clamp your straight edge down. Run your saw along the edge - the cut will be perfect everytime.
|/////| <---- straight edge - an Aluminum extrusion or bent steel would be great ============== <--- scrap ply board ^ | Attach with screws, etc
Hope this is of use to you. Remco

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:50:24 -0500, "Woodchuck"
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
I _might_ have somebody pulling a long piece of wood out of the back of a table.
Multiple people working together on a table saw! brrrrhhhrhrh!
I actually have a bee in my bonnet about beginners to woodwork even _bothering_ with a Table Saw. I would get a million other tools first, including a bandsaw. Until you are really producing lots of cuts, and especially repeats, a decent table saw is not jusitifable _as a tool_ (not as a Big Boy's Toy <G>)
One of the handiest tips I ever had here was to get a sheet or two of 1" (25mm) styrene foam. Lay them on the floor and lay the ply on them to cut. Set the saw to cut just into the foam through your wood, and in the end you need a new piece of foam.
I actually made up two 4' * 4' (1.2m * 1.2m) frames with pine edges and ply backing, and cut between them. They stand up against the wall when not in use.
I bough my foam, but many guys dumpster dive etc.
Straight edges: Get a 4' (1.2m) spirit level or three from the hardware shop. I have bought them for under $20. Strong and straight. To make an 8' (2.4m ) edge, join two end to end with the third one, or another straight edge.
Make _sure_ that the circ saw you use has its blade parallel to the blade guide foot that sits on the fence. Otherwise you will have real trouble.

***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Woodchuck wrote:

Circular saw and a straight edge. Cut it to the correct width; no recutting. Your first step is to make a cutting board. See: http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65j/main.html and look at Jigs and Fixtures / Circular Saws. Then you need something to hold the plywood (e.g., saw horses), or just use 2x4s to hold the sheet up off the floor so the blade doesn't contact the floor. Use a good blade.
Trying to cut a 4 x 8 sheet on your table saw is a disaster in the making that will either ruin the panel or injure you or your friends.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Anything I've said earlier notwithstanding, I agree that unless you have about an acre of accessory tables, infeed, outfeed etc. Trying to heft a 4 x 8 sheet onto a table saw is a recipe for disaster.
bob g.
George E. Cawthon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would rough cut a piece from the sheet with my circular saw, then rip it on the tablesaw. I have a substantial outfeed table and a heavy duty ball bearing stand to help support the infeed. I would not do this on a bare tablesaw.
The next best compromise is to rip it with a circular saw and a shopmade sawboard http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm .
Bob Davis Houston, Texas
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:50:24 -0500, "Woodchuck"

In Calif., oak plywood is very expensive... I'd hate to ruin a sheet!
If you haven't bought it yet, ask the place that you buy it to do the main 8 foot cut for you... usually, they make 2 cuts free and start charging after that, so they'd probably cut it off to 6', also..
If you already have it, I'll 2nd or 3rd the skill saw and straight edge system.. I've cut a lot of sheets up and have always got better cuts when I used a skill saw..
If in doubt, waste a 1/2" of wood and cut it to 8' x 12 1/4" and then run the 11 3/4" trim cut on the table saw... IMO, it's better to sacrifice a little scrap then mess up a whole sheet...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm doing the same project here in the UK -- a bookcase from 3/4" birch ply to fill an alcove. Our local stores here (B & Q) will cut an 8' x 4' sheet to your exact requirements for free. They say they do 5 cuts free and charge 50p per cut after that. I've had many boards cut and never been charged any extra for more than 5 cuts. Perhaps your local supplier will do the same.
And even if they do charge for cutting up a sheet, isn't it cheap at twice the price if (like me) you don't have the tolls/confidence to make accurate cuts in large pieces of sheet material?
Malcolm Webb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Woodchuck wrote:

For me, the easiest way to cut large panels is with a circular saw, like this:
1. Get 2 or 3 pieces of 2" foam insulation (e.g., blueboard or pinkboard), lay them flat on the floor (or any fairly flat surface)
2. Put the panel to be cut on top of the foam.
3. Set the depth of cut on the saw to about 1/4" (depth of tooth + 1 RCH) more than the thickness of the panel. This is a always good idea, but particularly so when using this method.
4. Measure, clamp up your straight edge, and make your cut while kneeling/crawling on the panel you're cutting.
I like this method MUCH better than using sawhorses or the tablesaw. Nothing has a tendency to move around & you don't have to worry about catching or dropping the offcut.
A couple more points:
1. If there is a "good" side to your panel, put it face down when cutting with a circular saw, it will splinter less. Some people put masking tape on the line of cut to reduce splintering, but I've never found it neccesary (not with sharp sawblades, anyway).
2. Use a good, sharp blade. I bought a 7 1/4" WWII just for cutting panels like this.
R, Tom Q.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I cut to width and then tried cutting to length. My blade caused all kinds of veneer chipping. I got out the router and did a cleanup cut. I have a tendancy to make furniture plus or minus a 1/2" of my drawings. Measure once, screw up the cut and measure again and cut. It keeps getting smaller every time. ;-) I do use a circular saw and a straight edge when possilble for those large sheets of plywood.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:50:24 -0500, "Woodchuck"

and I am also in my 60's and lugging a 4x8 sheet of plywood into my shop is more Physicial work then I care to do...
But like the others I would place it on the floor on top of a foam sheet and use my circular saw cutting it slightly wider then the finish size.. OR I would have the Lumber Yard .cut it down to size for me on their panel saw....then I would use my Tablesaw (IT DOES have a large outfeed table...if it did not I would not even attempt the cut..
IF I worked with plywood on aeven a semi regular bases I would have a panel saw for sure.. Damn the expense... !
Bob Griffiths.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bought a new circular saw for the task which came with a carbide 24t and I also have a 200t steel veneer blade... so which would be the better choice if I cut the ply 1/4 over and then recut on table saw?
does an old JC Penney circular saw(circa 1978) have any tool collector value?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 13:38:17 -0500, "Woodchuck"

I do the same with a Makita cordless trim saw. In fact I often rough the sheets out right in the trailer. <G>
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I never knew of that idea when I bought a 50" Clamp N Tool Guide (here is one website that sells them but they are others (http://www.profhdwr.com/41050.htm ). It lets you clamp a straight edge to the edges of the plywood sheet so the guide doesn't move. Then you can run your saw right down it. I do it all the time with good results. I cut about 1/2" oversize and then complete the job on my table saw.
Dick Snyder
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bag the idea with several friends. It's hard enough with one helper to keep that person from trying to control the cut, let alone with several. Whenever I have a task like this I cut it with a circular saw. Use a good blade and a straight edge and you can cut it right to the line. If you're a little antsy about this then do as you suggest above and cut it a quarter fat and run it through the tablesaw.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do it with the circular saw and straightedge. I would suggest doing it on the ground, too. Raise the panel up on some sacrificial 2x2s, and set the saw just deeper than the thickness of the panel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I put 2x4's over a couple of sawhorses. Saves my back somewhat.
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Han wrote:

I usually use 4 sawhorses. It saves trying to hold the cut pieces with the 3rd hand. I've also learned the wisdom of clamping one side to a couple of the sawhorses. ;-) Less excitement, but safer.
-- Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.