There are times when you use a table saw to make cuts in plywood, and the results may be disastrous. But if you have gone through the previous post, and in addition, take the tips given here, it could make a lot of difference to the final results.
1. Take the Help of Tape
You can always ensure that there are no major chip outs, when you use the saw, but you cannot stop some small fibers from tearing out. You can use masking tape on the cut line to prevent this. Useing tape that has low adhesion, like the blue variety, as this peels away with ease and does not grab splinters. Make sure that the tape is pressed down firmly.
2. Support the Plywood
You can easily cut plywood sheets on a tablesaw, if you do this the sheet is supported throughout the cutting process. There is no need for a huge tablesaw or any other fancy equipment. Use a sawhorse that has a support at the proper height or a roller that is in place in line with the saw kerf, the groove made by the cut, and which can hold the sheet end steady, as it is fed into the saw. Be creative and position your drill press table so that the side of the sheet is supported or clamp a scrap stock piece to the jointer, so that it is the same height as your saw table.
3. Stay On the Fence
If you want the best results for your cut, you must ensure that not only is your plywood sheet firmly supported on the saw table, but also that it is firm against the fence. You must push the sheet from the side of the cutting blade. The hand that is closer to the blade, must push the sheet forward. Use the hand that is further away, to push hard towards the cut line that is at the sheet’s outfeed end. Once you reach the end of the cut, change the position of your hands, so that you can push through the pieces that are cut off.
4. Base Success on Hardwood
You can use this method, if your circular saw is causing the plywood to tear out. You need a piece of hardwood, 1/4″ thick, that is the same size as the shoe. Lift the guard on the blade after you have retracted it, and attach the hardwood with double faced tape. Start the saw, and lower the blade till it creates an opening that has no clearance. Now cut, feeding the plywood slowly, and be very cautious, as the saw blade is now exposed.
5. Face Up To Facts
When you cut plywood on a table saw, the teeth of the blade gets into it from the top, and come out on the side that is against the table. That is the side on which most chip outs will occur. So, make sure that the side that faces up is the one that is good.
When you use a hand held circular saw, the blade teeth, enter the sheet being cut, from underneath and come out at the top. Splintering and chip outs occur on the sides where the teeth of the blades exits. So, to get a clean cut, you will have to see that the good face is down.
Take advantage of these tips after you have gone through both posts, and you can be sure that your plywood panels will have better cuts.
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Ted Leger –
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