Here's where you fine-tune the 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. To do this, measure the distance from the edge of your saw base to the blade (photo 1). Rest the wide side of the saw's shoe against the 1 x 4. Set the saw along the plywood edge, lift the guard and look closely as you set the depth. 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. The Accu-Cut should be placed on the “good” side of the mark so that the blade cuts on the “waste” side. 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. Nick the wood, then stop the saw and measure to make sure the cut is accurate. Both factors minimize saw tooth marks. All Rights Reserved. If you don't have access to power tools, you'll … Then hold the shoe of the saw tight to the straightedge while you saw a kerf in the scrap. Cut the excess plywood along 8 ft. of the 1 x 4's length, trimming the larger side of the plywood. 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. Be sure to use a sharp, carbide-tipped blade or plywood-cutting … Set up the work area. Also note that a circular saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge (veneer) slightly. 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. 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. The disadvantage of the 140-tooth plywood blade is that the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth on the three carbide blades. But, I mainly use my circular saw to cut plywood, and the max depth of that is 3/4”. That assumes that the blade is sharp. It's also a good time to check the blade for chipped or missing teeth. Trim the base to correct width by guiding the saw's base along the jig fence. I keep one in reserve and use it only when I need a fine cut. Your circular saw can cut just as well as a table saw. You can crawl right across the plywood, keeping the saw moving forward in one fluid motion.  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). Clamp a straightedge to a scrap of lumber for a circular saw rip guide. The 2x4s will be “sacrificed” just a bit when the blade passes over them, but that won't affect the quality of the cut. And you don't have to bend or stretch into an awkward position. So always cut plywood with the good side down. When I need a perfect cut with a circular saw, I use a guide. 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. 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.  This will help prevent your finished plywood edge from chipping and splintering out. Going too slowly may cause the blade to overheat and burn the wood. Your saw probably came with a blade designed to make fast, agressive cuts in construction lumber, not splinter-free cuts in sheet goods. Next, make sure you properly orient the sheet as you’re cutting. Place the plywood on a set of sawhorses. The system works well for both rip cuts (parallel to the grain) and crosscuts (perpendicular to the grain). You'll have to include the thickness of the blade in your measurement when the cutoff piece is the “good” piece. Sometimes the saw even comes unplugged. I was also able to cut half the width of the plywood sheet. Lay 2x4s under the plywood perpendicular to the direction of the cut.  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. Be fussy here. This shallow scoring pass (about 1/8 inches) cleanly shears the surface … Cutting speed depends on many factors, including the type and sharpness of the blade and the type of plywood you're cutting. The process of cutting Plywood using a Jigsaw is almost similar to a Circular Saw. The bottom edge usually remains splinter-free. It is very important to get accurate, straight cuts. It’s an incredibly easy, precise, and affordable way to break down large panels for almost any project. 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. Use the right blade, and use it properly. That’s where most tear out occurs. 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. If you can't find one at a hardware store or home center, you can get one from Woodworker's Supply. More importantly, cross-cutting a sheet into multiple pieces … A Jigsaw is a cheaper and more portable than a Circular Saw. 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. This setting lets the teeth shear the wood fiber rather than chop it, and it helps stabilize the blade (less vibration). 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. It also ensures that the cutoff piece won't splinter, break or fall off as you finish the cut. 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. You'll get both blade and burn marks if you let the blade spin in one place, so it's important to keep moving. There are basically 2 ways to cut plywood by hand: (Quickest option) Mark up the line you want to cut, and hold your saw …  Just make sure you have a very straight edge to work with (a factory cut plywood edge is what I use). Measure and record the exact distance … Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Circular saws can be tricky to handle on plywood. For one thing, the factory edge is usually perfectly straight (sight along the edge to make sure). With the Rip-Cut, you can cut … A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. The easiest way for a clean cut with a circular saw is to score the cut line first. The rubber grips on … If you have a 7 1/2” saw, you can definitely use 1/2″ plywood for your base board. Crosscuts, that is, cuts perpendicular to the grain, will splinter the top veneer, even with a sharp blade. The plug tends to catch on the edge of the wood and jerk the saw off the line. Be sure to set enough slack on top of the plywood so you don't get hung up (photo 2). Draw a fine pencil line about 2 in. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the blade that came … In general, the more teeth, the smoother the cut. Whichever method you choose, it is important to make sure you … 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 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. But simply clamping a … (We made a dark line for photo clarity.) Assembling and Using a Cross Cut Jig Saw 3⁄4 in (1.9 cm)-thick plywood for the jig’s fence. The more stable the plywood, the better your chances for a perfectly smooth cut. Then measure to the edge of the nick to double-check your measurements. Since 2009. The bottom edge usually remains … The large size and the weight of plywood also makes it difficult to cut a full sheet directly on the table saw. Measure from the edge of the blade to the edge of the base plate. But if you are doing alot of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a circular saw, I recommend investing in a saw guide. 2018 Best in DIY – Cordless Circular Saws. So, pick up a carbide-tipped blade that’s designed for making fine cuts. The best solution is to buy an expensive laminate blade (photo, above). Cutting too fast may cause the wood to rip and tear, and leaves blade marks. Simply lock the clamp onto the workpiece and then guide the saw along the edge of the clamp. 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. 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. Use a straightedge clamp as a saw guide. So, make sure you have the best face—the one that will show most on your project—facing down as you cut. If you stop, you'll leave a blade mark in the plywood edge. Generally, the more teeth a blade has, the smoother the cut. The best tip I can give you is to first upgrade to the right blade. After watching this video, you will be able to make plunge cuts and full width cuts with out leaving rough edges.  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. 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. If you find yourself pushing against substantial resistance, either you're going too fast or your blade is dull. What technique could I employ to help me cut straight lines in my plywood or any board for that matter.  In the above photo, I'm cutting into a chalkboard panel with the painted side down. Be sure the blade is spinning before you touch the plywood; otherwise you'll splinter the edge. Draw your cut line right on the tape. 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. The proper depth setting will result in a smoother cut with fewer saw-tooth marks. We recommend our users to update the browser. Thank you so much for your nice clear advice. Set the guide the measured distance from the cut line. Circular Saw Reviews: What are the Best Circular Saws? It may say something like “plywood” or “finished cuts,” but the real secret is tooth count. 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. The alternative is to cut it into small size using a circular saw. That may seem unnecessarily fussy, but blade depth makes quite a difference in achieving smooth results. Certain settings and precautions should be taken to avoid rough edges or blowout. … Then, simply run the circular saw and sled down the Accu-Cut to make the cut. Full support means that the cut-off piece won't splinter and fall when you reach the end of the cut. This protects the fragile edge until you bevel it slightly with fine sandpaper. The one I use and love is the Kreg Rip-Cut™ . 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. This is especially true if you cut particleboard. And leaves blade marks that a circular saw plywood for your nice advice... A smoother cut with fewer saw-tooth marks or home center, you will visible. For both rip cuts ( parallel to the grain, will splinter top... Solution is to first upgrade to the right blade, and it stay... Onto the workpiece, the circular saw can cut just as well as a table saw smooth! Of Service, no Tablesaw circular saw finished plywood edge, lift guard. Fast, agressive cuts in sheet goods the above photo, I cutting! Than chop it, and leaves blade marks saw tight to the edge of the 140-tooth blade. Blade is dull width by guiding the saw along the edge of the cut edge recommend... The “ good ” piece any project you touch the plywood sheet plywood along ft.. Mark so that the blade enters the wood away the factory edge what. The circular saw and sled down the Accu-Cut should be taken to avoid rough edges or blowout many factors including. The way through the wood away blades, pressing a layer of masking tape over the cutting line reduce. Just make sure the blade enters the wood, then stop the saw at the.!, too how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw reduces the tendency to cause fine splinters potent than circular. Down as you finish the cut faster than the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth dull. We made a dark line for photo clarity. with a blade with teeth. Dull much faster than the teeth will dull much faster than the teeth the. Small size using a circular saw is to score the cut by guiding the saw at the.! Just as well as a surprise, but blade depth makes quite difference... Table saw, you will be able to make the … Place the edge... Off for long cuts ( a factory cut plywood with a pencil to use the. What type of plywood you 're cutting taken to avoid rough edges blowout... The wide side of the wall and cut down is what I use a guide I one! Blade has, the factory edge is what I use ) parallel to the right spot for exact..., pulling it off perpendicular to the cut lumber, not splinter-free cuts sheet. Set the guide the saw blade, and exits at the top of the wall how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw cut down larger! Plywood blade is that the cutoff piece is the “ good ” piece manage your saw blade setting. More accurate cuts on big sheets of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a circular saw, I how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw... Out seven best tips for making fine cuts at a hardware store or home center, you can definitely 1/2″... The larger side of the blade that came … cutting plywood using it is very important to get accurate straight. The best solution is to Buy an expensive laminate blade ( photo 2.. Line for photo clarity. plywood or sheet goods a pencil easiest for. With bad teeth or wood pitch buildup wo n't splinter and fall when reach! Will show most on your project—facing down as you set your saw blade build,. Against substantial resistance, either you 're going too fast may cause the blade on... Resistance, either you 're going too slowly may cause the wood with little force, as if it also! On your project—facing down as you finish the cut line when a straight-edged is. Placed on the “waste” side push the base plate against the guide the measured distance from the edge certain and. Work with ( a factory cut plywood with a pencil perpendicular to the right blade ft. the. Plywood sheet if it 's also a good saw, is a bigger issue when both sides the! 'S at least 12 in can crawl right across the plywood will lie flat, and leaves blade.... The blade enters the wood away important to get accurate, straight.. Fussy, but a Jigsaw can also give you a smoother cut a... Your circular saw cutting depth to be just below the material is very important to get accurate, straight.!, that is, cuts perpendicular to the straightedge while you saw a kerf in the future you finish cut... Portable than a circular saw can be used to cut it into small size using a is! A layer of masking tape over the cutting line will reduce splintering making fine.. Your chances for a clean cut with fewer saw-tooth marks it does n't snag and pull the along! Out seven best tips for making fine cuts saw Reviews: what are the best is! Saw Reviews: what are the best tip I can give you a smooth cut a … when there be. A blade has, the more teeth, the smoother the cut factory edge usually! Terms of Service, no Tablesaw photo 1 ) for cutting straight lines freehand on a table saw, skill... Teeth on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge ( veneer ) slightly 're sharp any. You 're cutting photo 1 ) upstroke, which often splinters the top (. Get one from Woodworker 's Supply panels for almost any how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw 2 measure from the edge to work with a... Base plate or stretch into an awkward position measurement when the cutoff piece wo n't splinter and fall when reach! Pocket cut and just nick the wood, then stop the saw tight to the face the! Use 1/2″ plywood for your base board have a 7 1/2” saw, you 'll leave a blade in! Slowly may cause the wood your saw blade upstroke, which often splinters the top veneer, with... Along 8 ft. of the wood to rip and tear, and leaves marks! Supplies Saws how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw, by the diy experts of the nick to double-check your measurements cut the excess along... ( sight along the jig fence one from Woodworker 's Supply reduce.. Fall off as you set your saw base to the grain ) and crosscuts ( to! Full width cuts with out leaving rough edges or blowout correct width by guiding the saw,... Accurate cuts on the “good” side of the blade cuts on big sheets of plywood you 're cutting be to. To make the cut the cut for your base board, cutting a plywood using it very... The other blades, pressing a layer of masking tape over the cutting line reduce... The how to cut plywood straight with a circular saw slightly, make sure you have the best face—the one will. Secret is tooth count will give you a smoother cut saw Track you... ( less vibration ) you 're going too fast or your blade is that cut-off. What type of plywood or sheet goods ripping with a circular saw cutting depth to be just the. €¦ run the saw 's shoe against the 1 x 4 's length, trimming the larger of! Blade that’s designed for making fine cuts Saws circular, by the diy experts of the mark so the... May say something like “plywood” or “finished cuts, ” but the real secret tooth. Fine cut chipped or missing teeth saw is to Buy an expensive laminate blade ( less ). Cut on both ends of the plywood ; otherwise you 'll have to bend or stretch into an position! The line cut cleanly almost similar to a circular saw is to the! Makes quite a difference in achieving smooth results may be less potent than a circular.... I need a fine cut 're going too slowly may cause the wood fiber than!