Good way to break down a sheet of plywood (from today's Woodsmith Tips)

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 08-19-2011 04:44 PM 4059 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2608 posts in 3014 days

08-19-2011 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick circular saw saw horse sawhorse saw horses sawhorses modified sawhorses

Use a couple of easily modified sawhorses.

I haven’t tried this, but I’m sure some of you out there have. If you’ve done this, what are your thoughts on this method?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

7 replies so far

View Murdock's profile


128 posts in 2448 days

#1 posted 08-19-2011 04:51 PM

I have only used that technique a few times. It looked like a really good idea at first but I personally find holding the circular saw up in the air like that difficult to balance.

The main thing is that your saw horses are stable, the first time I tried it they slid around way to much. I put some rubbery material on the legs and it got much better.

I personally use some nice straight boards sitting on the floor of my shop, it is ‘flat enough’ to get the rough cuts out of the way.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2890 days

#2 posted 08-19-2011 04:51 PM

That would work fine if it was half a sheet.

I would think it would be slightly dangerous as you stand on your ladder with your circular saw trying to reach and cut the last 6” of a full sheet waving in the air… :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View shipwright's profile


7965 posts in 2762 days

#3 posted 08-19-2011 06:25 PM

I prefer to use the table saw if I can . This is my “modified sawhorse”. It is table saw height, easily storable and can be used either behind or beside the table saw to support a full sheet. It makes the whole operation so much easier.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3014 days

#4 posted 08-19-2011 07:10 PM

Thanks for the info. so far guys. This idea vaguely, and I mean, vaguely, reminded me of a temporary panel saw, only the wood isn’t overly secure, and the saw isn’t on a track. Just the look seemed a little similar, but certainly doesn’t seem as safe or accurate as an actual panel saw.

I was just curious about this because when I first saw it, it seemed like it would be a bit unstable and awkward. I’ve cut a sheet in-half before resting on 4-sawhorses, but it’s very hard to reach all the way across. Next time, I’ll probably put the sheet down on the garage floor on top of some scrap, or use a sheet of foam insulation.

Once it’s cut in-half, I can then use my tablesaw. However, I can’t get a full sheet of plywood down my basement stairs of our old house, so I have to at least cut it in-half before using the tablesaw.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3319 days

#5 posted 08-19-2011 10:43 PM

Breaking down sheet goods is not that hard on a Torque Workcentre… change from rip to cross cut in about 3 seconds and do all the cuts without moving the sheet…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View jack1's profile


2102 posts in 3991 days

#6 posted 08-20-2011 12:11 AM

That looks really nice but at my age, I like my way best. ;0)


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


243 posts in 3886 days

#7 posted 08-20-2011 03:47 AM

I just lay it on my work table with wood strips ,underneath to support it , and give my circular saw clearance , and cut. Built kitchens for 20 years getting my plywood into table saw sizes that way

-- mike & judy western md. www.

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