Cutting wet plywood

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Blog entry by Jerome posted 05-18-2014 07:32 PM 2889 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Fellow Lumberjocks!

First, I would like to shed some perspective on what caused me to write this. I have been working tirelessly on making a large amount of peices for a national event. In doing so, I planned a quota for production. With one planned work day left in phase one of production, I decided to stand four peices of Pine plywood up against my deck post. I did this in efforts to dry the wood out further because i thought it may have been damp, hence causing tearout etc.

I considered a tip given by my neighbor: cover the wood with packing, or masking tape to prevent splintering and chipping. I did not have the tape to do this for this project.

The woood was set out under my deck. It rained. For 12-15 hours the wood sat out under the deck under medium to low levels of rain. The wood was not completely soaked, but it was far from dry. I’ll give my PC jigsaw some credit, It is a workhorse! I had only four peices left and three days left in my schedule. I want to finish early though. I decided to test my luck and try to cut the wood. After about 5 minutes of cutting, I realized that there are some advantages to cutting wet plywood

1. There was less sawdust and it made cutting the wood inside managable in regards to the sawdust.
2. Less splintering


1. Slower cuts
2. Restricted range of motion
3. Sawdust inside the work area

Is there anything that i am overlooking here?

Thanks for reading!

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3388 days

#1 posted 05-18-2014 09:50 PM

Maybe warpage with a capitol W and/or perhaps delamination if the glue is not waterproof. It might be though as I have heard that all ply is made with waterproof glues these days. However, I wouldn’t bet my life on it. I wish I had some sage advice for you Jerome, but I haven’t got a lot of experience with plywood, so I hope someone more knowledge will chime in. Good luck, I hope everything will work out ok for you.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18791 posts in 2621 days

#2 posted 05-18-2014 10:21 PM

You didn’t say what kind of plywood it was. I guess I wouldn’t suggest doing it on purpose. I’ve pull sheet of plywood that’s been outside for a year and used it. Then again I’ve had cdx bubble from a single rain.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jerome's profile


141 posts in 2183 days

#3 posted 05-19-2014 11:20 AM

The plywood was pine. I ended up cutting the wood. I didnt experience any problems. Ill have to see how it looks when it dries. the plywood was just under 3/4 thick

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

View pintodeluxe's profile


5725 posts in 2867 days

#4 posted 05-19-2014 04:43 PM

Cutting wet plywood on a Sawstop may cost you some money!

In general I avoid wet lumber, for fear of rusting cast iron tools. However, misting hardwood lumber with water before planing it tends to reduce tearout.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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