How to Avoid Splintering and Tearing when Cutting Plywood

by Chris Gardner

The thin layers of plywood can often splinter and chip when cut with a power saw, resulting in an ugly edge that looks like this:

How to Avoid Splintering and Tearing when Cutting Plywood

To prevent your cut line from tearing:
1. Always use an appropriate blade for plywood, and be sure that it’s sharp. The blade that came with your saw – whether you bought or rented it – is likely inadequate.
2. Be sure the good face of your plywood is closer to the outside of the blade. So on a table saw, the right side should be facing up, and when using a handheld circular saw, it should be facing down.
3. Then, add a strip of masking tape to both the top and bottom of the sheet, directly over the cut line.


4. Lastly, always make sure the saw is running and at full speed before making your cut. Push with a steady, consistent speed all the way through.
5. Peel back the tape, and marvel at your finely cut edge.

Note: This masking tape trick also works when using a drill or router. 

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Power Tools 101: Circular Saws.

by Chris Gardner

The circular saw is perfect when portability is crucial. At home, provided it you use it safely, it makes an ideal first power saw, as it can do both rip cuts and cross cuts, and will continue to find uses in woodworking and DIY applications.

 

Power Tools 101: Circular Saws.

 


Size and Blades.
The standard blade size for a corded circular saw is 7 1/4”, though there’s at least one 9 5/8” model. Cordless saws are generally smaller, and come in 5 3/8” and 6 1/2”. The choice is up...

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