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Cutting sheet goods with circular saw

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Forum topic by Spitfire1 posted 07-01-2016 02:47 PM 1116 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spitfire1

31 posts in 199 days


07-01-2016 02:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ripping plywood circular saw track saw question

HI This is my first post to LJ’s. I’ve been a member for a couple months now and have mostly been enjoying reading others posts, and learning a ton. Anyhow here is my first post/question and it involves cutting down sheet goods with a circular saw.

I have been attempting to make some cabinets for storage in my garage, which also serves as my shop. My goal has been cut down the plywood sheets with a circular saw then trim them to final dimension on my table saw.
The store I bought my plywood from doesn’t cut down sheet goods and I have been struggling to do it on my own. I have attempted making several straight edges for my circular saw (Bosch CS10) but for some reason my cuts seem to inevitably turn out wavy!!! All I can say is this has been incredibly frustrating to the point I’ve been looking into either purchasing a track saw, although I am not sure I am ready to fork over the $500 plus dollars for one, or give up completely on the project.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I bite the bullet for a track saw?


34 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1134 posts in 173 days


#1 posted 07-01-2016 02:51 PM

do you have the room to set up a couple of roller stands by your table saw to help you hold it better ??

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

493 posts in 200 days


#2 posted 07-01-2016 02:56 PM

Don’t buy a $500 track saw!!! You won’t always be working with sheet goods….trust me, you won’t want to. You will always work with them some but not exclussively so a track saw will be over kill unless you plan to build cabinets for a living or something.

What GR8HUNTER said would work fine but then you have to store the roller stands after that. I use a circular saw as well to break down sheet goods because it’s difficult to manage them on the table saw anyway. I’m not a small man either.

I use one of these but mine is just the straight edge part. This has a setup to attach your circular saw to it to guide it. I don’t see how it will help more or less with the saw guide but my Bora straight edge works great for this.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BORA-50-in-WTX-Clamp-Edge-and-Saw-Guide-Kit-543056K/205866206?cm_mmc=Shopping%7cTHD%7cG%7c0%7cG-BASE-PLA-D25T-PowerTools%7c&gclid=CjwKEAjwqdi7BRCL6Zmjk5-rsTwSJABmrVabtt9uL6FWgRUaLqRp_Ta8BuunQ_-YjgUAP3CvOzJjDxoCkLbw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3652 posts in 1726 days


#3 posted 07-01-2016 02:59 PM

I’ve got an aluminum straight edge guide that I clamp to sheets of plywood. You can cut the sheet down to more manageable parts for final trim on the table saw. It’s a method I’ve used for years quite successfully.

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 712 days


#4 posted 07-01-2016 03:04 PM

Have you tried making a shooting board for your saw? Some scrap 1/2” plywood will set you up there. Alternatively to dropping $$$ on a track saw, you can get a straight edge to run your saw against for only $. Something like this.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4208 posts in 1660 days


#5 posted 07-01-2016 03:06 PM

If you are using a straight edge and still getting ‘wavy’ cuts, then you are doing something terribly wrong. Anything from a 2×4 to a long level can be used as an edge to get a straight cut. What exactly are you trying?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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lew

11335 posts in 3216 days


#6 posted 07-01-2016 03:07 PM

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4208 posts in 1660 days


#7 posted 07-01-2016 03:17 PM

You can get a 50” version of the above ^^^^^ at HF for about $25 before coupons (or a 24 inch version for about half that price).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7479 posts in 1468 days


#8 posted 07-01-2016 03:36 PM

I used to have a piece of 9’ angle aluminum to which I screwed a nice straight 1”X4” maple board to. It was great for just what you are asking. Just clamp it at either end and cut away.

Problem is, it was a casualty when we moved here 3 years ago, (got run over by a pickup truck, ,dont EVEN ask) and I haven’t replaced it yet.

You can buy the angle aluminum and the maple boards at most any of the big box lumber stores.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View clin's profile

clin

510 posts in 457 days


#9 posted 07-01-2016 03:48 PM

No question with a straight edge guide you should be getting straight cuts. I use a clamp on straight edge similar to the one shown by lew. I get cuts that I could use as finish cuts. And at times they will be.

You didn’t mention how you were supporting the sheet goods while cutting. Having done the saw horse thing in the past, I now lay down two 2’x8’ pieces of construction foam board. I just lay the sheet goods on the foam in my driveway and set the saw to just cut through the sheet goods. The saw will cut into the foam a bit. Or if I happened to be cutting the 4×8 sheet in half lengthwise, I just create a gap between the foam boards and the saw won’t hit any foam.

This works really well, the sheet goods are fully supported and flat. Also, you can usually kneel directly on the sheet goods and stay right over the saw giving you great control.

It also makes it really easy to handle heavy sheets. I just lay the foam board behind my pickup truck and pull sheets off one at a time onto the foam board.

You can use the foam board many, many times. Even all sliced up with shallow cuts, it will still support the sheet goods fine.

Also make sure you have a good blade on your saw. With a good blade, usually thin kerf, the saw should cut almost effortlessly. This will help to control it.

-- Clin

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#10 posted 07-01-2016 03:57 PM

I don’t like the straight edges that clamp to the plywood. Still allows for wavy cuts if the saw goes off away from the guide.

Track saws don’t have to be $500+. I’ve got the Grizzly one and it works great.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Track-Saw-Master-Pack/T25552

$257 which includes the clamps, track, etc.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2532 posts in 1436 days


#11 posted 07-01-2016 04:02 PM

Make sure you have a good sharp blade. Try waxing the shoe of the skilsaw also. That makes pushing it easier.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21991 posts in 1799 days


#12 posted 07-01-2016 04:13 PM

Quality of your blade can be huge. Thin kerf blades can also flex much more. A good straight edge is essential.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21991 posts in 1799 days


#13 posted 07-01-2016 04:13 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1430 days


#14 posted 07-01-2016 04:39 PM

You might try checking that your circular saw blade is parallel to the edge of the saw base. If not the saw will wander.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5604 posts in 2693 days


#15 posted 07-01-2016 04:49 PM



Don t buy a $500 track saw!!! You won t always be working with sheet goods….trust me, you won t want to. You will always work with them some but not exclussively so a track saw will be over kill unless you plan to build cabinets for a living or something.

What GR8HUNTER said would work fine but then you have to store the roller stands after that. I use a circular saw as well to break down sheet goods because it s difficult to manage them on the table saw anyway. I m not a small man either.

I use one of these but mine is just the straight edge part. This has a setup to attach your circular saw to it to guide it. I don t see how it will help more or less with the saw guide but my Bora straight edge works great for this.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BORA-50-in-WTX-Clamp-Edge-and-Saw-Guide-Kit-543056K/205866206?cm_mmc=Shopping%7cTHD%7cG%7c0%7cG-BASE-PLA-D25T-PowerTools%7c&gclid=CjwKEAjwqdi7BRCL6Zmjk5-rsTwSJABmrVabtt9uL6FWgRUaLqRp_Ta8BuunQ_-YjgUAP3CvOzJjDxoCkLbw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

- ki7hy

Hey, do you have a link to the extended rail for that? I’ve been wanting one that I can do rips and crosscuts with. My shop is a bit too crowded for full sheets as well, and the guys at the box stores can’t be trusted to cut where you want the cuts…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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