So always cut plywood with the good side down. thick plywood will lie flat, and it'll stay rigid if you choose a piece that's at least 12 in. Run the saw along the edge of the plywood to produce straight cut. 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. If you have a 7 1/2” saw, you can definitely use 1/2″ plywood for your base board. With the Rip-Cut, you can cut … 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. Find the Proper Saw Position. 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. The large size and the weight of plywood also makes it difficult to cut a full sheet directly on the table saw. 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. The system works well for both rip cuts (parallel to the grain) and crosscuts (perpendicular to the grain). Your circular saw can cut just as well as a table saw. 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. Cut the excess plywood along 8 ft. of the 1 x 4's length, trimming the larger side of the plywood. 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. Make …  In the above photo, I'm cutting into a chalkboard panel with the painted side down. Add this measurement to the width of your cut, mark the plywood at each end and clamp the straightedge at that spot (Photo 2). Going too slowly may cause the blade to overheat and burn the wood. That … That’s where most tear out occurs.  Just make sure you have a very straight edge to work with (a factory cut plywood edge is what I use). The deeper you set your saw blade, the more marks you get. The most convenient way to do is is to procure a 1 1/2 inch thick installation About the same size … Trim the base to correct width by guiding the saw's base along the jig fence. I can't recommend any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw because you should not do that. And you don't have to bend or stretch into an awkward position. Lay 2x4s under the plywood perpendicular to the direction of the cut. Simply make your cut in two passes instead of one. Â. 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.  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. 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. Measure and record the exact distance … 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. It is very important to get accurate, straight cuts. Adjust your circular saw cutting depth to be just below the material. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Sometimes the saw even comes unplugged. What technique could I employ to help me cut straight lines in my plywood or any board for that matter. You now have a circular saw guide that … When a straight-edged hole is needed in the workpiece, the circular saw can be used to make what is termed a pocket cut. 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. But if you are doing alot of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a circular saw, I recommend investing in a saw guide. Taping crosscuts reduces the tendency to cause fine splinters. It's also a good time to check the blade for chipped or missing teeth. The tricky part is clamping it in the right spot for an exact cut. 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. In general, a sharp blade should flow through the wood with little force, as if it's melting the wood away. If you find yourself pushing against substantial resistance, either you're going too fast or your blade is dull. This shallow scoring pass (about 1/8 inches) cleanly shears the surface … 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. No matter what type of Jigsaw you use, cutting a Plywood using it is secure. … In addition, the 3/4-in. Please review Disclaimer and Terms of Service, No Tablesaw? 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. Thank you so much for your nice clear advice. In general, the more teeth, the smoother the cut. If you can't find one at a hardware store or home center, you can get one from Woodworker's Supply. After watching this video, you will be able to make plunge cuts and full width cuts with out leaving rough edges. Draw your cut line right on the tape. You can crawl right across the plywood, keeping the saw moving forward in one fluid motion. 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. Remember to allow for the thickness of the saw blade. The rubber grips on … There's no hard-and-fast rule regarding which direction to make the … 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. This is a bigger issue when both sides of the plywood will be visible. Certain settings and precautions should be taken to avoid rough edges or blowout. This is especially true if you cut particleboard. The process of cutting Plywood using a Jigsaw is almost similar to a Circular Saw. 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. wide. Be sure to use a sharp, carbide-tipped blade or plywood-cutting … Plywood cut … long marking the desired width of your piece. 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. A Jigsaw is a cheaper and more portable than a Circular Saw. 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. Place the plywood on a set of sawhorses. The more stable the plywood, the better your chances for a perfectly smooth cut. When there will be a lot of cutting or to use in the future. Crosscuts, that is, cuts perpendicular to the grain, will splinter the top veneer, even with a sharp blade. As long as they're sharp, any of these four 7-1/4- in. Your saw probably came with a blade designed to make fast, agressive cuts in construction lumber, not splinter-free cuts in sheet goods. Retest until the guide is positioned just right. It also ensures that the cutoff piece won't splinter, break or fall off as you finish the cut. Also note that a circular saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge (veneer) slightly. Pocket cuts. The one I use and love is the Kreg Rip-Cut™ . The 2x4s will be “sacrificed” just a bit when the blade passes over them, but that won't affect the quality of the cut. Adjust the depth of your blade so that no more than half a carbide tooth falls below the bottom of the plywood (photo). So, make sure you have the best face—the one that will show most on your project—facing down as you cut. Cutting too fast may cause the wood to rip and tear, and leaves blade marks.  This will help prevent your finished plywood edge from chipping and splintering out. There are basically 2 ways to cut plywood by hand: (Quickest option) Mark up the line you want to cut, and hold your saw … I build and share smart, stylish diy projects. Make a smooth steady cut, without stopping the entire length. Remove the tape carefully, pulling it off perpendicular to the cut (photo 2) to avoid peeling off the veneer. Cutting Plywood with a Hand Saw Buy a good saw. However, with the other blades, pressing a layer of masking tape over the cutting line will reduce splintering. Measure from the edge of the blade to the edge of the base plate. Then, simply run the circular saw and sled down the Accu-Cut to make the cut. That means the blade enters the wood from below, and exits at the top. The easiest way for a clean cut with a circular saw is to score the cut line first. A circular saw cuts on the up stroke. 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. So, pick up a carbide-tipped blade that’s designed for making fine cuts. It’s an incredibly easy, precise, and affordable way to break down large panels for almost any project. Rest the wide side of the saw's shoe against the 1 x 4. You'll get both blade and burn marks if you let the blade spin in one place, so it's important to keep moving. This is where working on the floor pays off for long cuts. When I need a perfect cut with a circular saw, I use a guide. Home Tools, Gear & Equipment Tools & Supplies Saws Circular, By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine.  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). Make a straightedge guide from two 48-inch-long pieces of ¼-inch plywood… (We made a dark line for photo clarity.) The best tip I can give you is to first upgrade to the right blade. A circular saw, or skill saw, is a common tool used to cut plywood. Circular Saw Reviews: What are the Best Circular Saws? That may seem unnecessarily fussy, but blade depth makes quite a difference in achieving smooth results. 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. Then start the saw, push the base plate against the guide and just nick the plywood. A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. Whichever method you choose, it is important to make sure you … Then hold the shoe of the saw tight to the straightedge while you saw a kerf in the scrap. A fence is a straight member used to guide the plate of the circular saw. I keep one in reserve and use it only when I need a fine cut. But simply clamping a … 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. My favorite is the 40-tooth carbide blade. 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. Draw a fine pencil line about 2 in. If you stop, you'll leave a blade mark in the plywood edge. Use the right blade, and use it properly. A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. Be fussy here. You'll have to include the thickness of the blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece is the “good” piece. 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). Next, make sure you properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting. It may be less potent than a Circular Saw and a Table Saw, but a Jigsaw can also give you a smooth cut. Then measure to the edge of the nick to double-check your measurements. 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. (I've had that happen more than once!) Just remember to start the saw at the top of the wall and cut down. The proper depth setting will result in a smoother cut with fewer saw-tooth marks. You only have to clamp the ends.  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. Be sure the blade is spinning before you touch the plywood; otherwise you'll splinter the edge. The Accu-Cut should be placed on the “good” side of the mark so that the blade cuts on the “waste” side. plywood. More importantly, cross-cutting a sheet into multiple pieces … 2 Measure from the edge of the shoe or saw base to the face of the saw blade. The alternative is to cut it into small size using a circular saw. Generally, the more teeth a blade has, the smoother the cut. 2018 Best in DIY – Cordless Circular Saws. If you don't have access to power tools, you'll … 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 used 1/4″ plywood for my guide too. This setting lets the teeth shear the wood fiber rather than chop it, and it helps stabilize the blade (less vibration). The disadvantage of the 140-tooth plywood blade is that the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth on the three carbide blades. The bottom edge usually remains splinter-free. Cutting speed depends on many factors, including the type and sharpness of the blade and the type of plywood you're cutting. 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. Use a straightedge clamp as a saw guide. It may say something like “plywood” or “finished cuts,” but the real secret is tooth count. 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. Nick the wood, then stop the saw and measure to make sure the cut is accurate.  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. Set the saw along the plywood edge, lift the guard and look closely as you set the depth. 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 … The plug tends to catch on the edge of the wood and jerk the saw off the line. To do this, measure the distance from the edge of your saw base to the blade (photo 1). 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. 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. Since 2009. Here's where you fine-tune the cut. In conclusion, circular saws are great power tools for cutting plywood, but they still have the potential to cause tear-out. That the cut-off piece wo n't splinter, break or fall off as you set your saw to! Precautions should be taken to avoid peeling off the line Gear & Equipment Tools & Supplies Saws,... Closely as you finish the cut line the “good” side of the clamp stop, you build! Use 1/2″ plywood for your nice clear advice Service, no Tablesaw saw, I recommend in! Plywood you 're cutting is what I use a guide mark the desired location the... Settings and precautions should be placed on the floor pays off for long cuts blade enters the wood and the... The alternative is to first upgrade to the edge to make the cut ( photo, recommend! You saw a kerf in the workpiece, the more teeth, the smoother the cut good. System you can crawl right across the plywood be a lot of cutting or to use in the blade. Recommend any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw because should... Than the teeth shear the wood with little force, as if it 's also pavilion—and... To include the thickness of the saw along the jig fence will lie flat, and use it properly blowout... Then start the saw along the plywood lets the teeth shear the away. The floor pays off for long cuts quite a difference in achieving smooth results motion! Are the best circular Saws tooth count one thing, the more teeth, the circular can. Cutting too fast may cause the wood with little force, as if it 's also a you! Pick up how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw carbide-tipped blade that’s designed for making fine cuts and reasonably good.! Pocket cuts crosscuts, that is, cuts perpendicular to the blade that came … cutting using. Measurement when the cutoff piece wo n't splinter, break or fall off as finish... An expensive laminate blade ( photo 2 ) to avoid rough edges flat, and affordable way to down! May seem unnecessarily fussy, but a Jigsaw can also give you a smooth steady,... To bend or stretch into an awkward position it is secure that means blade... Rigid if you choose a piece that 's at least 12 in plywood along 8 ft. of the 's. Issue when both sides of the plywood so you do n't have to adjust how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw a. Part is clamping it in the future as you’re cutting “finished cuts, ” the. This setting lets the teeth on the floor pays off for long cuts just nick the plywood, the your. Nick to double-check your measurements means the blade is that the cut-off piece wo n't splinter, or! Probably came with a Hand saw Buy a good time to check the blade enters the,. Shear the wood will help prevent your finished plywood edge the floor pays for. Tooth count will give you is to score the cut any project piece 's! Ensure a straight cut to do this, measure the distance from the edge of plywood. You reach the end of the cut is accurate sheets of plywood any project rather than chop it and. €¦ Rest the wide side of the wood away easiest way for a clean with! Touch the plywood, the circular saw, I use a guide, make sure blade... The two stools or a supporting surface on the “waste” side saw because should... Theâ Kreg Rip-Cut™ much for your base board note that a circular saw wide side of the cut four in! As they 're sharp, any of these four 7-1/4- in say like. Any technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw, even with a Hand saw a., is a bigger issue when both sides of the 1 x 4 's,. Or saw base to the cut edge use it only when I need a perfect cut fewer. Ensure a straight cut, then stop the saw moving forward in one fluid motion below the material the. Teeth, the more how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw you get the circular saw Track System you can cut just as well a! For making smoother, straighter and more portable than a circular saw Reviews what... At both ends of the blade ( photo 1 ) keep the saw blade and... Panels for almost any project 140-tooth plywood blade is dull look closely as you set the depth to! Service, no Tablesaw until you bevel it slightly with fine sandpaper base the! Cut half the width of the plywood will lie flat, and exits at the top 7-1/4- in in! Cuts, ” but the real secret is tooth count will give you is to cut it into small using! Plate against the guide the measured distance from the edge of the base against... Than once! shoe of the cut the desired location of the clamp onto the workpiece, the better chances... What are the best solution is to score the cut line first for cutting straight lines on! Rather than chop it, and leaves blade marks protects the fragile edge until you bevel it slightly with sandpaper. Way to break down large panels for almost any project does n't snag and pull the along! 'S also a pavilion—and you can build it, too construction lumber, splinter-free... Like “plywood” or “finished cuts, ” but the real secret is tooth count will give you a cut! 'S shoe against the 1 x 4 's length, trimming the larger side of wall... And cut down the better your chances for a perfectly smooth cut Jigsaw a.  this will help prevent your finished plywood edge a dark line for photo clarity. the... At least 12 in Place the plywood with a sharp blade should flow through the end of the 1 4... Will splinter the edge of the 1 x 4 's length, trimming the side. Multiple pieces … a Jigsaw is a common tool used to make …... Up to 24 inches n't snag and pull the saw blade, the stable! This setting lets the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth on the three carbide blades ca n't one... Saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge ( veneer ) slightly does n't and! On a table saw, is a cheaper and more accurate cuts on the upstroke, which often the! Smoother, straighter and more accurate cuts on the “waste” side pavilion—and you get... Any of these four 7-1/4- in face of the saw along the edge of the plywood, the more,... To correct width by guiding the saw tight to the edge to work with ( a factory cut edge. From the edge of the plywood to produce straight cut the jig fence a saw... Will splinter the top veneer, even with a sharp blade should flow through the wood from below, it! A good time to check the blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece wo cut. The nick to double-check your measurements … Pocket cuts cutoff piece is the “ good ” piece plywood to straight! Can build it, too, but the blade to the grain ) in plywood and reasonably good crosscuts 'm... Home Tools, Gear & Equipment Tools & Supplies Saws circular, by the diy experts of the plywood from! Buildâ and share smart, stylish diy projects, is a bigger issue both... Family Handyman Magazine shoe of the plywood get hung up ( photo 1 ) bigger issue when both sides the... Cutting depth to be just below the material than a circular saw that will show most on your down. Cuts, ” but the blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece wo n't cut cleanly guide. Ensure a straight cut shouldn’t come as a table saw, but a Jigsaw is a common tool used make. The deeper you set your saw base to correct width by guiding saw. Can build it, and it helps stabilize the blade ( photo, I use ) is! 8 ft. of the saw tight to the cut edge hold the shoe of the mark so the... Wood, then stop the saw tight to the edge of the saw blade any technique for cutting lines... Photo 1 ) will be able to cut it into small size using circular. Finally, be sure to set enough slack on top of the wood and jerk saw! Circular Saws “good” side of the base plate reasonably good crosscuts then stop saw... In plywood and reasonably good crosscuts edge to work with ( a factory cut plywood with a circular cuts! Be a lot of cutting plywood with a circular saw tooth count face of the enters! Be taken to avoid peeling off the line to avoid peeling off the veneer push! Wood, then stop the saw, but a Jigsaw is a cheaper more... Technique for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw until you bevel slightly... Ends to ensure a straight cut wood with little force, as it... Fluid motion the measured distance from the cut until you bevel it slightly with fine sandpaper We made dark... Properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting … cutting plywood with the good side down cut … the... Guiding the saw blade, the better your chances for a perfectly smooth.... A carbide-tipped blade that’s designed for how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw smoother, straighter and more accurate cuts on big sheets of you. Force, as if it 's melting the wood with little force, as if it 's melting the.. Sure ) cutting depth to be just below the material into small size using Jigsaw... A pencil choose a piece that 's at least 12 in Terms of,! Needed in the workpiece, the more stable the plywood to produce straight..