Table saw is typically used to cut through 2x4s and other wood materials. You can also use it to cut plywood, but there are specific safety precautions you should take when cutting this material. If you want to learn how to safely and correctly cut plywood on a table saw, then read the rest of this article.
How to Cut Plywood on Table Saw
When you want to cut plywood, always think about safety first. This is because not only will the saw blade cut through the wood like butter but it can also harm your hand if it comes in contact with the blade. It may be best to wear gloves when ripping plywood to prevent injuries. Wear a mask or glasses when you’re working with a miter saw.
After making sure your safety is up to par, get out the blade that came with your table saw. If you have thin plywood then it’s best to use a thin kerf blade or sometimes called a high-efficiency blade. This type of blade will make the cut smoother and speed up the cutting process. On the other hand, if you have a thicker wood, consider using a thicker kerf blade because it can handle thick cuts better compared to thin-kerf blades which cause more splintering on thick wood pieces. However, if you still think you need a thin kerf when slicing through your thick wood then add an extra layer of plywood just in case the thin kerf blade is not enough to handle the thick wood.
Make sure that the fence of the table saw is adjusted correctly before starting to cut your plywood sheet. It will be very difficult to cut perfect pieces if the fence is not properly adjusted. You need to have a fence that can perfectly guide the plywood so it will produce smooth cuts.
Measure the cut you should make, this should take into account the thickness of your saw blade and kerf width. This should contribute to making sure that you are able to create compatible pieces with each other when you are working on wood projects. Your measurements must be accurate or else your project might turn out badly looking which can cause the waste of materials as well as time and effort in making missing pieces for your project.
Before ripping your plywood sheets into smaller pieces, you should draw some guidelines on them first. Use a pencil or chalk marker to create straight guidelines across each sheet so that all the pieces of plywood will be cut parallel to one another.
Now you’re ready to cut the plywood. To do that, you should attach the piece of plywood to the table saw’s metal frame, which is called a rip fence. This will make it easier for you to cut up all the pieces of plywood without worrying about them moving out of place or getting ruined.
After making all the necessary cuts, you can now remove the pieces from their original larger plywood sheets and stack them up in an organized way together with the ones that you have already finished cutting out. You can do this by using rubber bands since these are reusable which will save you cash instead of buying paper or plastic bands that tend to break easily after just one or two uses.
You need to sand down your plywood sheets even though they might look straight after you’ve cut them. Sanding the edges makes them very smooth and ready for finishing.
To give your project an even better finish, try using different kinds of sandpaper with different grain sizes. This will allow you to take off layers from each side of each piece until it’s perfectly smooth and even on both sides.
Small splinters are very easy to sand off so they won’t pose any problem at all. However, if there are bigger slivers then you should cut them out using a utility knife or chisel before sanding them off.
You can use a power sander to get the job done much quicker but you need to be careful not to change or damage the shape of your plywood sheets too much.
If there are any gaps between your pieces, fill them in with wood filler and sand down until smooth.
What is Plywood?
Plywood is a sheet of wood manufactured from veneers that are glued together with grains of each layer running in alternate directions. Each layer will be placed at right angles to the one underneath it. Plywood, unlike solid wood, can be bonded with adhesives and resin by utilizing mechanical fasteners to join separate pieces of veneer so the resulting structure consists of several layers or plies. It is actually a composite material made from sheets of veneer that have been laid so the grain direction of every successive ply runs perpendicularly to its neighbors.
What Type of Table Saw Blade is the Best to Cut Plywood?
The best type of saw blade to cut plywood is a kerf blade. A kerf blade is designed to cut a path wider than the thickness of the saw blade so that you can insert your plywood sheet through. This leaves you with a small margin for error and will prevent splintering on the edges of your plywood.
Cutting plywood on a table saw is an intimidating task. But never fear, we’ve got you covered with these step-by-step instructions for cutting plywood using the best tool in your arsenal – the table saw! Follow this guide and learn how to cut wood like a pro. You won’t regret it. Remember that safety comes first when operating power tools so always wear protective gear including goggles or glasses, hearing protection, gloves, long sleeves/pants, and closed toe shoes before getting started. Now you know how to cut plywood on a table saw.