How to cut plywood at home

What you need to saw plywood for

Plywood sheets of standard size are rarely used, they usually need to be sawn

Plywood is used in many construction and repair works. In addition, it is the safest and easiest to handle for making home furniture, especially children’s furniture. Sheets have to be sawn, cut, bent, and sliced.

The complexity of such work is in the structure of the material. In normal wood the wood fibers are oriented in one direction, which makes it easier to work, allowing you to choose the right tool for each direction. In chipboard material there is no fiber orientation at all, the user has to deal with a relatively homogeneous composition.

Plywood is a multilayer laminated board in which the wood fibers in each layer are oriented perpendicular to each other. When sawing the tool works with several planes at the same time. This makes it very difficult to work, especially by hand. Greater force is required. The cut is often uneven and chipped. This property is especially strong with complex cutting, when it is necessary to make a rounding.

How to Cut Plywood on CNC Without Chips Hand Saw

Of course, you can handle it yourself, because any plywood is perfectly sawed with an electric jigsaw with a fine saw blade. All you need to do is to move the jigsaw gently against the board without jerking or jerking movements. It is advisable to sand down the cuts after cutting.

This method is ideal if you need a small number of complex elements. If you have a certain skill, you can get a neat cut. True, carving plywood this way is very tedious and unproductive.

A circular saw with a fine-toothed buzz saw blade can be used to make straight cuts. Cutting discs for Laminated Woodchipboard copes well with the cutting of plywood, while the saw should be led slowly and with little pressure.

plywood, home

How to saw plywood yourself

To get a clean cut, you must carefully follow the instructions and the cutting technology.

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Cutting Large Sheets With A Circular Saw

How to make a perfect cut

Neat edges can be made with both hand and power tools.

When you use a jigsaw or saw, there is a gap between the saw blade and the clamping plate. The smaller it is, the less likely it is that the plywood will chip or chip off the top layer. Reduce the gap by reinforcing the overlay plate on the sole. The overlay has slots in it, which are used to cut the plywood.

The overlay should be changed every 5 meters. If you use a sheet of metal or fiberglass, you don’t need to replace it as often.

Protect the back side of the plywood with masking tape. Material is glued over the cut length and the cut is made. Regular adhesive tape is not suitable for this. Tape with aluminum or fiberglass reinforcement is needed. The width of the band must exceed the width of the cut by 2 cm. After sawing it is disconnected, very carefully, so that the detachment of small splinters, which are inevitable during cutting, does not lead to chipping and splintering.

How to cut plywood without chipping

To prevent the disc from wobbling, a counter rail is used To avoid cutting defects, the following recommendations should be followed.

  • Set the minimum number of teeth on the hand circular saw. The cutting part should not protrude more than 5 mm.
  • Instead of taping, moisten plywood before cutting. This also reduces the number of splinters.
  • When working with a power saw, hold the cutting assembly to the material while the saw is switched on. When you run the disc directly into the sheet, the teeth tear the fibers.
  • Move the saw evenly and with the same amount of force. Pressing too hard can result in fractures and burns. Moving too slowly produces an uneven cut.

A guide rail must be used in order to avoid oscillations of the blade.

How to achieve a clean cut

To make future work with plywood easier, keep the cut straight when sawing. This is not easy to do, especially if the sawing technique is not followed. In this case the following recommendations are helpful:

  • Apply adhesive tape to the sawing line. It helps to keep the back side intact.
  • Reduce to a minimum the distance between the clamping plate and the saw blade. Do this by attaching a cover plate to the base plate.

Never in a hurry when cutting plywood. Make smooth, even movements so as not to break the surface you are sawing.

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Sawing using second plywood

Another way to get a very clean cut is to put another sheet on top of the plywood sheet to be sawed and clamp them together. The top sheet of plywood prevents chips from forming on the bottom sheet of plywood.

The result is a clean and neat cut, no chipping on the desired piece of plywood. But the main disadvantage of this method is a large overspending of plywood.

What and how to cut Chipboard and Plywood? Some tips

Sheets of plywood are sold in standard sizes, so if you need to cut a single piece or a piece of complex configuration, there are certain problems. The material consists of several layers of thin veneers of wood, glued together. If the cutting technique is not followed properly, the teeth of the tool will tear off the top layer, chipping will occur, and the edge will be jagged and sloppy. To achieve a smooth edge, it is better to use a tool designed for such work, observing a certain algorithm of actions.

Chips on the surface of plywood also appear due to the heterogeneity of the material. The top layer is usually covered with additional impregnation, and the wood fibers themselves can fall in different density or hardness. Proper use of hand or power tools will minimize irregularities, but a really sharp edge on complex configurations can be achieved only with laser equipment. To perform simple domestic work does not require such precision, so the cutting can be done on their own.

How to saw plywood with a hand saw or jigsaw

If you do not have to choose what to saw plywood at home, you can use an ordinary hacksaw or a hand jigsaw. It is difficult to make complex shapes in this way, but it is easy to cut a piece of thin plywood to 10 mm in the right size.

  • The material should be well secured on the locksmith’s table. You can use wire clamps, placing rubber inserts, so as not to leave a dent on the surface.
  • The place where we will saw, outline in advance according to the dimensions.
  • Pre-apply a thin layer of PVA glue or any suitable composition to the place of the cut. You can use duct tape or masking tape.
  • Another popular way to draw two preliminary grooves with a sharp knife under the metal ruler. It is necessary to saw between the planned grooves.

The movements of the hacksaw should not be fast, with the load of the disk blade on the plywood. If you use a preliminary drawing of grooves, carefully clean up the places of chips with sandpaper of a coarse fraction.

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Accessibility of the method facilitates the process, but with a great length of the cut the labor input will be very high. If it is necessary to saw a big piece it is more expedient to use an electric tool.

Using an electric jigsaw

You can use an electric jigsaw for precise sawing of laminated chipboard. In this case, it should be noted that it is preferable to use this tool for cutting small lengths of wood. Also when using the jigsaw you should choose a jigsaw with a small tooth size.

When sawing the laminated coating the power tool should be moved smoothly, without strong pressures. When sawing laminated chipboard with the jigsaw, it is recommended to set the electric tool to a low RPM.

Types of jigsaw shanks for electric jigsaws

The first thing to pay attention to when choosing a jigsaw is the type of the jigsaw shank. And this makes sense: if your tool is not designed for this kind of wood, you simply can not use a new blade. There really aren’t that many options:

often called the “Bosch shank” because it was the company that developed the saws with this type of shank. Since Bosch is the market leader in jigsaws and jigsaw accessories and other giants of the industry are trying to upgrade to this standard, it is no wonder that T-handled saws are currently the most commonly used. T-tail fits most modern jigsaws. Bosch, Makita, Metabo, Hitachi, Skil, AEG, DeWALT, Sparky, “Interskol” and others.

Second most popular type of shank, American standard. This is a universal shank for older Skil, DeWALT, Wolf, Ryobi, Stayer, BlackDecker and other electric jigsaws. Suitable for all jigsaws with clamping block and screw driver.

Saws with this shank are only compatible with older Makita jigsaws.

differs from the T-shank only in the second stop. These saws are only suitable for older Bosch models.

The last two types of shanks can already be referred to the category of rarities. It is almost impossible to find such saws in domestic stores today.