I'm new here, and am having trouble trying to start (and stay square) cutting plyood 3/4" for building kitchen cabinets. Can someone offer me some suggestions?
I do appreciate all help I can get!
It sounds like you are using a circular saw when you say "....trying to start....(and stay square)"
If that's the case you need to use a framing square to clamp a straight edge for guidance, less the distance from the outside of the saw base plate to the inside of the tip of the carbide tooth (the one pointing in).
Always do your squaring off of a factory edge.
If you are using a table saw and are having trouble keeping the sheets stable, you probably have too small a work table and need to build extension tables front, back, and maybe even on the sides too.
When you are pushing 4 x 8 sheets across a table saw you have enough to do just guiding the sheet across the blade without any yaw you sure can't afford to be trying to balance one end in addition.
But I have no idea what you are attempting right now.
This is why you were asking about "Squaring Plywood" I assume. It's a wild guess you never answered. :glare:
If you are wanting to cut plywood a crosscut sled is not ideal. I suppose it would work if you built a really big one but what you want is an extended fence, and plenty of table support so you can push the sheets with oblique, or diagonal force both against the fence and across the blade at the same time.
Thanks Tex. I'll build those infeed, outfeed and side tables this weekend, but as with most people, lots of things to do. As I mentioned, now I'll have the Festool system to cut main parts from the 4X8 plywood sheets. Move the saw, not the material.
Hi again Tex, I'm building a crosscut sled this weekend.Will maple work for the miter rails? Also,what would you recommend for the front stop?
Would 3/4" MDF suffice for the base? I've read that MDF will not warp like plywood.Thanks so much for your help. I'd be lost without the generous craftsmen who offer their skills and time!
Maple is good for practically any type of jig building. Hard, stable, and doesn't split easily when you screw or nail to it. But as usual always pre-drill with a pilot hole slightly smaller than the fastener that will reside in the hole. Especialy close to the end of any stock.
MDF is fine but 3/4" is probably overkill; that stuff is heavy you know but you can use it if you don't mind it being real heavy. I made mine out of 1/2" baltic birch. Don't use 1/2" American plywood it will not lay flat nor slide easily like the slick-faced BB.
Here's a couple of more links to two plans. THISone is really nice and similair to mine. THIS one would work just as well probably and looks easier to build.
Hopefully some others will offer their insight and show us both something else to consider.
I usually rough cut all my cabinet sides then final cut on
my cross-cut sled. Mine's "quick-n-dirty" but works great.
Two things I've learned from my previous sleds.
First, 1/4" plexiglass makes better runners.
They don't expand with the weather changes like wood so they
can be milled extremely tight without binding later.
they slide better too.
Second, fasten the fence stop with a oversized hole and screw on
one end so you can finely adjust to get exactly 90 degrees.
The sled needs to be calibrated after the first cut.
I also lay 1/4" scrap on it when needing chip free cutting.
The sled will wear at the cutting edge so a small replaceable
strip of 1/4" ply will keep the zero clearance needed.
The answer to all your problems when crosscutting ANYTHING is the Festool TS-55. I use it exclusively now to crosscut any sheet good I have. It is precise as can be and makes a COMPLETELY splinter free cut.
Pricey, but extremely effective.
As far as the thumb, thanks for asking. Its going slow. the end of it still looks like raw meat, so I have to keep it wrapped up. Its more of an annoyance than anything. Bumping it really hurts, and I seem to do that a bajillion times a day. Its tough to manipulate 3/4 sheet shock, but I'm managing.
On the base material. Some one mentioned earlier to use thinner stock to keep the weight down. This is absolutely true. My former boss in ye'old cabinet shop made one out of 1/8 plywood. The base has to be supported anyway so make it as thin as possible. The more distance you have between the work and the table the more potential you have for tear out as well on the back side. Not to mention being heavy. As long at the screws holding the fence aren't going to tear out your good go as thin as possible. You can make a runner for the tail end of the fence by using a workmate and clamping a 2x6 in it running parallel to your blade so the table is supported on both sides. Or you can spend a zillion dollars and get a Felder with a nifty sliding table! hahah
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