Cuts in Plywood
Crosscutting a large sheet
of plywood with a circular saw can be a challenge. First of all, the large size
of the plywood panel makes it awkward to handle. To make matters worse, the last
inch or so of the cut always seems to splinter right as you complete the pass.
To produce a smooth, clean cut, I clamp a couple of 2x4 supports underneath the
long edges of the plywood panel (Fig.1). The 2x4s provide support for the cutoff
piece at the end of the cut, which ensures a clean, chip-free edge.
Of course, the 2x4s are also going to need adequate support. Be sure to clamp
the outer end of each board to the panel itself. I also clamp the support to a
sawhorse and a piece of 1/4" hardboard that's used to guide the base of the saw
Another thing to keep in mind is the depth of cut. The idea is to adjust the saw
so the blade makes a shallow kerf in the supports (Fig. 1b). This way, you won't
accidentally cut all the way through the supports.