HOW TO CUT A STRAIGHT LINE ON PLYWOOD
by Robert Ferguson
Power tools are the most efficient method to cut a straight edge on plywood.
Plywood is a manufactured by gluing layers of wood veneers together to form a 4-by 8-foot sheet of material. Because plywood is resistant to warping, shrinking and cracking, it offers a high degree of strength in such projects as cabinets, sheathing and other projects that require these attributes. Most of these types of projects will require cutting a straight edge on the plywood at some point during the construction process. The most common methods of cutting plywood involve using a power tool.
Set the fence on the table saw for the size of the applicable cut. The fence is a locking adjustable arm that slides to the applicable measurement and locks into place on the table saw.
Place the sheet of plywood on the table saw and against the fence but without making contact with the blade.
Turn on the table saw and feed or push the material into the saw’s blade to cut the plywood.
HANDHELD CUTTING TOOLS
Place the plywood on a set of sawhorses. Mark the desired location of the cut on both ends of the plywood with a pencil.
Measure from the edge of the shoe or saw base to the face of the saw blade. This measurement will vary depending on the type of cutting tool you use. Transfer this measurement to the outside of the actual cut line you marked in Step 1 on both ends of the plywood.
Align a straightedge with the outside marks made in Step 2 and clamp into place using standard bar clamps.
Place the shoe of the saw against the straightedge and check the blade alignment with the cut line. The blade should match up perfectly with the cut line.
Plug in the saw and cut the plywood.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
- Table saw
- Bar clamps
- Handheld cutting tool
- 3-inch multipurpose carbide wheel accessory
- Recruit an assistant to help hold the plywood when ripping long cuts.