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Old 12-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


whats the proper why to cut large sheet plywood? say if i want to do a cut a 4x8 plywood into 2 4x4. I dont want to overreach for safety reason, can i cut 2 feet to the middle, then goto other side start cut from the other side(after line up the cutting line etc)?

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Old 12-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


Clamp a straightedge to the panel on both sides. Cut along the straightedge as far as you can reach. Stop the saw while still in the cut. Leave the saw sit. Go to the other side and firmly hold the saw before you pull the trigger. Continue the cut from the other side. Be prepared for the saw to kick, it won't (kick) if you hold on to it firmly. But be prepared, know it could be coming.

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Old 12-27-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


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Clamp a straightedge to the panel on both sides. Cut along the straightedge as far as you can reach. Stop the saw while still in the cut. Leave the saw sit. Go to the other side and firmly hold the saw before you pull the trigger. Continue the cut from the other side. Be prepared for the saw to kick, it won't (kick) if you hold on to it firmly. But be prepared, know it could be coming.
Just to add incase it isn't clear, do not engage the wood until the saw is up to speed. It is easier to do by accident when you already are in the cut.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


Er, I would lay the plywood on a couple of two by fours to support one half, clamp on whatever you're using for a guide fence if anything, then stand on the supported side and run the saw across in one uninterrupted cut. Set the blade depth of the saw to 1/4" deeper than the thickness of the plywood.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #5
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


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Er, I would lay the plywood on a couple of two by fours to support one half, clamp on whatever you're using for a guide fence if anything, then stand on the supported side and run the saw across in one uninterrupted cut. Set the blade depth of the saw to 1/4" deeper than the thickness of the plywood.
I agree. If you're standing on it, reach won't be an issue.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


To support mine I lay a bed of cinderblocks out - usually 8 (3 on each long-edge with two in the middle or more depending on the cut being done) - of course placing them so the saw doesn't meet cinder.

This gives me support and allows me to walk, stand, crawl, crouch on the wood while cutting.

I found I don't like using a plywood blade - it throws too many chips around (for me - my personal taste) so I use a finishing blade that has 48T
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


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Er, I would lay the plywood on a couple of two by fours to support one half, clamp on whatever you're using for a guide fence if anything, then stand on the supported side and run the saw across in one uninterrupted cut. Set the blade depth of the saw to 1/4" deeper than the thickness of the plywood.
this seem safer way to do it thanks. i can just kneel on the support side and cut it, and move along the cut when necessary.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


I use two 2x4's for 1/2" and thicker, and three or four for thinner material, lengthwise on a pair of sawhorses, so that the sheet is fully supported. Yes, the 2x4's have sawcuts in them, but as long as you watch your depth, they hang around for quite a few years, so I always have a set handy. Anyway, as far as cutting across a 4' sheet, on a good day, I can make it in a single cut; other days, I stop the saw, leave it in the kerf, walk around it without moving the saw nor the sheet, and finish it from the other side.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


I guess I've been doing it wrong.....

I lay mine on a couple of rubber made transh cans and cut......I also have a couple of trash cans with vent slots at the top.

Ok....joking aside.....(sort of)....heavy sheets? I toss 4 2x4's on the ground....lay sheet on top....cut.....

If I need real accurate cuts....I use the table saw....wife helps catch the sheets as they come out.

I also have a Ryobi cordless 5 1/4" saw.....real light and easy to use....because the blade does not stick down as much, more flexible.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #10
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


have the home center guy do it on their panel saw when you buy it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #11
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


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If I need real accurate cuts....I use the table saw....
Yes, I assumed that the question pertained to using a circular saw, but a table saw is also good choice... if you have proper table extensions. I'm 50/50; sometimes I use the table saw, but sometimes a circular saw, depending on which is most convenient at the time.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


I would never recommend cutting towards yourself to someone who obviously has no knowledge.
Throw a 2X4 underneath width wise. Pop a chalk line, stand or kneel and cut all the way across.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:59 PM   #13
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


Honestly, if you know in advance what cuts you need, consider buying your plywood at Home Depot and having them rip them right there. The have rigs (circular saws mounted on rails on roller racks that can handle full 8x4' sheets) for it that give great cuts if the person doing it knows how to use it. I have often done this when buying plywood as it makes it easier to handle as well. They will do two cuts per sheet free and it's really quick.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #14
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circular saw cutting 4x8 feet plywood question


I'm 5'10" and never really have a problem with reaching all the way across. However I do have a few things in my arsenal to make things a little easier. The first is a sheet of 2" XPS insulation. Lay your plywood on top of that on your sawhorses or on the ground and you don't have to worry about cutting into anything and it supports the plywood.

The second is a good straightedge. I made up a 48" and a 96" one using some 1/2" MDF scraps but you could use most any sheet material as long as its at least 1/4" thick. The idea is you have a thin strip that sits on top of a wider strip that is wider than the sole plate of your saw. The sole plate rides along the thin strip and the blade just kisses the edge of the wider strip below. The first cut you make will trim the wider bottom piece the distance from the sole plate edge to the side of the blade. That way you can make your cut line marks, line up the edge of your straightedge with the marks, clamp it down, then run your saw along the edge of the thinner piece. This lets you make your cuts straight, with no additions or subtractions to your measurements to account for the plate on the saw.

A good solid surface is a must to cut on. I use a table I built that fits over two of those folding sawhorse tables but anything similar would work. Hollow core doors work great for this since they are very light, stable, and cheap.

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