Ripping sheet plywood with a circular saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
View Gocubs's Photo Album My Photos
Ripping sheet plywood with a circular saw

Going to be ripping down some 3/4" plywood with a circular saw, as I'm still hunting for the right table saw deal (thy ply was on sale at my local Menards, which does not offer any type of cutting). Will be using a straight edge to keep me on track, ( http://wayneofthewoods.com/circular-...ing-guide.html ) and I found a sheet rack I think I'll be using to help as well ( http://wayneofthewoods.com/circular-...ing-guide.html ). I'm looking for input on a blade to use. Am I correct in thinking I want something with fine teeth, even though I'll be mainly ripping? I imagine that a large tooth blade meant for general ripping would cause a lot of chipping, etc... in plywood. I'm looking at the Avanti TK303 ( http://www.freudtools.com/p-51-thin-...osefinish.aspx ) as my likely choice right now. Would I be better served to look for a second blade for cross cuts, or can this one handle both? Any suggeestions would be welcome. Thanks all.
Gocubs is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 05:26 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 78
View justin2009's Photo Album My Photos
Yeah, more, smaller teeth will give you a smoother cut. I picked up a new blade for my circular saw as I had to rip three sheets of 3/4 ply. There was not a lot of tear out with the smaller teeth. Teh guide is a good idea as well, just make sure it's square across the ply. I would clamp one end and adjust the other then recheck the first clamp on my guide to be sure (after one out of square cut)...
justin2009 is offline  
post #3 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 07:03 PM
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,257
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
It may sound like I am saying something that doesn't need to be said but make sure that you allow for the offset between your saw's baseplate and the blade. Forgetting this offset will result in a lot of cursing. It sounds like it need not be said, but even experienced woodworkers make mistakes. That being said, I have never made this mistake.
Ken

(and I would agree that a finer blade would suit cutting ply better than a coarse blade to minimize tearout)
Kenbo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 07:51 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Posts: 147
View Gus Dering's Photo Album My Photos
[quote=Kenbo;59534]It may sound like I am saying something that doesn't need to be said but make sure that you allow for the offset between your saw's baseplate and the blade. Forgetting this offset will result in a lot of cursing.
Ken

The beauty of the jig he is looking at is that the edge of the jig is the cut line. So long as he uses the same blade thickness consistently.

I like the jig. If you use 1/2" ply for the deck of the gig and 1/4" ply for the fence you will be able to use the jig on material that is about 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" thick depending on how close your motor is to the work surface when you are at full depth. That is if you are using a side winder saw. Worm drive is not an issue and you could get pretty close to 1 3/4". All good if you find yourself ripping the edge off a door or cleaning up a wood top.

Make one for ripping and a shorter one for cross cutting.

Make the jig wide enough so your clamps can be clear of the saw when they can be. Again the type of saw plays a part.
When using a side winder at near full depth, your clamps can be a hassle at the start and the finish.

The blade is a good choice. You shouldn't notice much tear out on the cross cuts as the jig helps break the chips at the cut line. If you notice some on a practice cut, try lightly scribing the cut line with a razor knife after you clamp the jig. Just enough to break the face, don't get aggressive with the knife. Try again and see. Play with it a little and you will find the right combo.

Try to keep the show side of the ply facing down. That side will probably always look good enough.

Bury as many cuts into a dado and there is no worries at all with a bit of tear out.

And get yourself a good table saw with an outfeed table as soon as you can
Gus Dering is offline  
post #5 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 08:10 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
That straightedge and blade would be a good choice. I use a 40T, carbide tipped blade, nothing fancy,from the big box stores and I get a pretty good cut.

Pick a large flat area to do the cutting. Put supports under the sheet on both sides of the cut, so when the cut is finalized, the pieces are stabilized. Make sure there is enough space under the sheet for blade clearance. Cut with the good face down, and putting masking or painters tape on the cut lines to minimize chipping.

Make sure the saw is adjusted high enough to clear the guide on the straightedge. Have the cord laid out so it's clear of the cut and sufficient in length to do the entire cut. Since you will be moving yourself and/or your body to do the entire cut do a preliminary "walk through" just to acquaint yourself with what you'll be doing. When you start your cut make sure the guard is moving freely to allow the saw to smoothly enter the cut. When the cut is complete, allow the saw to come to a stop, make sure the guard returned to "safe", and then place down.



cabinetman is offline  
post #6 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 156
View Sawduster's Photo Album My Photos
Don't let someone who knows less than you do, hold things for you.
Sawduster is offline  
post #7 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 08:52 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Posts: 147
View Gus Dering's Photo Album My Photos
If all that wasn't enough, I have one more thing.

Make real sure your blade and your fence are nice and parallel. If your saw ever got dropped it may not be. Without that the quality goes to the birds.
Gus Dering is offline  
post #8 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 09:10 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 28
View MF Poor's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawduster View Post
Don't let someone who knows less than you do, hold things for you.
I'm not sure there is ANYONE who knows less than I do


I guess I gotta hold my OWN then
MF Poor is offline  
post #9 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 10:09 PM
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,257
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Geez, I'm such a dope. I should have clicked on the link to the jig first before opening my mouth. Sorry guys.
I kinda wish I had that jig when I needed it.
Ken
Kenbo is offline  
post #10 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 10:53 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
If all that wasn't enough, I have one more thing.

Make real sure your blade and your fence are nice and parallel. If your saw ever got dropped it may not be. Without that the quality goes to the birds.

There's gotta be something that we forgot. Oh yeah, I did think of something. Before starting check the cord to the saw and any extension cords for frays and they are in good order. Once you do that, the saw can be plugged into the power source.

I did think of something else while I was typing this, but it slipped my mind. Maybe it'll come to me later.






cabinetman is offline  
post #11 of 26 Old 01-10-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 156
View Sawduster's Photo Album My Photos
I bought a welder a few years ago and the book that came with it had a preface that read something like, "There is no book, video tape or DVD that can teach you as much about welding as just doing it."

You're going to make some bad cuts. Save your mistakes and cut them down for future projects. You'll get better with every job.
Sawduster is offline  
post #12 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 12:03 AM
New Guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Columbus, IN
Posts: 56
View moondawg's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
There's gotta be something that we forgot. Oh yeah, I did think of something. Before starting check the cord to the saw and any extension cords for frays and they are in good order. Once you do that, the saw can be plugged into the power source.

I did think of something else while I was typing this, but it slipped my mind. Maybe it'll come to me later.
this advice is very important. You're going to be using a circular saw, which means you WILL be cutting through the cord at some point. No point in doing it halfway... you want to be cutting through a perfectly good cord. Cutting through a worn cable isn't NEAR as satisfying.
moondawg is offline  
post #13 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 12:04 AM
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2
View benlkmary's Photo Album My Photos
Lightbulb Trick Learned at Woodworking Show

Greetings all. Several years ago I attended several seminars given at a national woodworking show and one of the instructors shared a way to accurately rip plywood. He suggested clamping a 2x4 to a table and butting the factory edge of a piece of plywood against it. The joint should be tight and if not, find a 2x4 that is straight. Rip the plywood with your circular saw the entire length of the plywood. This creates a template that can be used to position your saw correctly for the entire length of the cut. Use the template to set your distance from the fence to the saw cut. Also mark the template for the saw and blade used. A second template can be made for the back side of the saw to the blade. These dimensions will obviously differ.

This can be used as long as you use the same saw and blade. A new blade will require cutting a new template for accuracy.

Just thought I would share that tip. I have used it for years with excellent results.

Best Regards to all.


Additional information

This technique also works great for your router as well for flush cutting wood of any type. A smaller template is obviously advised.

Ben

Last edited by benlkmary; 01-11-2009 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Added Informaiton as a follow up
benlkmary is offline  
post #14 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 10:11 AM
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,257
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by benlkmary View Post
The joint should be tight and if not, find a 2x4 that is straight.
Good luck getting one of those at the local Lowes or Home Depot.
Nothing is straight there.
Ken
Kenbo is offline  
post #15 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
View Gocubs's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for all the great advice. I've had the saw for 3 or 4 years now, and it's been well taken care of, so everything should be parallel, but I'll double check it to be sure. Taping/scribing the cut lines is something I hadn't thought of. Moondawg, when I blow through that cord I'll make sure it's the one on the saw, not the extension, just to be sure to do it right! Anyone else who has something to add, by all means! Thanks again, guys!
Gocubs is offline  
post #16 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 08:00 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Santa Rosa CA
Posts: 147
View Gus Dering's Photo Album My Photos
I did think of something else while I was typing this, but it slipped my mind. Maybe it'll come to me later.

You funny
At least I think you're being funny

When is enough enough? If you had to share a few tips on safely using a table saw, where would you stop? Maybe you leave that one thing out..... ouch
Gus Dering is offline  
post #17 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 09:35 PM
Saw Dust Club Member
 
Al B Cuttn Wud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 461
View Al B Cuttn Wud's Photo Album My Photos
Just to chime in on the conversation, I have made it a habit to use blue painter's tape to cover the cut line, especially the bottom side to help prevent tear out. It seems to help from my experience.
Al B Cuttn Wud is offline  
post #18 of 26 Old 01-11-2009, 09:45 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 350
View TheRecklessOne's Photo Album My Photos
Good call Al...Same with me. If I rip plywood I always tape the line. I use 2 inch masking tape though. Partly because I got 3 rolls for super cheap, and partly because I don't have to line it up perfectly. Plus its sometimes difficult to see a black mark on on blue tape.
TheRecklessOne is offline  
post #19 of 26 Old 01-12-2009, 07:49 AM
New Guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Columbus, IN
Posts: 56
View moondawg's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gocubs View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. I've had the saw for 3 or 4 years now, and it's been well taken care of, so everything should be parallel, but I'll double check it to be sure. Taping/scribing the cut lines is something I hadn't thought of. Moondawg, when I blow through that cord I'll make sure it's the one on the saw, not the extension, just to be sure to do it right! Anyone else who has something to add, by all means! Thanks again, guys!
Boy, you're off to a rough start. You never, and I mean NEVER us an extension cord with a circular saw when cutting plywood.

You're only supposed to use the cord that comes with the saw. This is so that when you get halfway through your rip, the cord will come tight and then pull out of the wall... stopping the saw and pinching it in the kerf.

Then you have to rearrange the pile of bricks, cats and 5gallon buckets that you were using to support the plywood so that everything is closer to the outlet so you can finish your cut.

You've got ALOT to learn, buster!
moondawg is offline  
post #20 of 26 Old 01-12-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 18
View LNG24's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondawg View Post
this advice is very important. You're going to be using a circular saw, which means you WILL be cutting through the cord at some point. No point in doing it halfway... you want to be cutting through a perfectly good cord. Cutting through a worn cable isn't NEAR as satisfying.
Brand New Porter Cable Saw...Third Cut with it....Didn't Cut the cord until I was setting it down and the cord wound up catching the blade

I had a male end in the truck so I threw a new one on. But Now...
This happens all the time Guess I gotta spring for a new cord.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moondawg View Post
Boy, you're off to a rough start. You never, and I mean NEVER us an extension cord with a circular saw when cutting plywood.

You're only supposed to use the cord that comes with the saw. This is so that when you get halfway through your rip, the cord will come tight and then pull out of the wall... stopping the saw and pinching it in the kerf.

Then you have to rearrange the pile of bricks, cats and 5gallon buckets that you were using to support the plywood so that everything is closer to the outlet so you can finish your cut.

You've got ALOT to learn, buster!
FWIW: I would NEVER use a 2x4 as a straight edge! Don't know what that teacher was talking about, but they are never straighet enough for cabinet making. Maybe ripping sheething for roofing or framing, but nothing else.

Last edited by LNG24; 01-12-2009 at 09:22 AM.
LNG24 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ripping small & thin pieces on table saw niki Shop Safety 9 07-24-2008 05:48 PM
ripping wood JMendez035 General Woodworking Discussion 5 07-21-2008 04:24 PM
1/3 sheet sander Bish General Woodworking Discussion 2 10-20-2007 03:49 PM
Ripping Blades . . . . TexasTimbers General Woodworking Discussion 7 03-15-2007 06:46 PM
Ripping Thin Stock George H. General Woodworking Discussion 5 01-14-2007 02:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome