Best way to rip 3/4 plywood ??

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Forum topic by MNbuzzdust posted 04-04-2009 03:19 AM 12037 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 3346 days

04-04-2009 03:19 AM

My table saw is not big enough to use a fence and rip a 4×8 sheet of ply. I have tried using a circular saw but have a hard time finding a good way to set it up on saw horses etc so I am not leaning over thus not seeing well and getting off the line… what is a good way to do this so I dont mess up a $50 sheet of oak ply ??

10 replies so far

View laflaone's profile


59 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 04-04-2009 03:37 AM

get a 4×8 piece of styrofoam and put it on a flat floor, like a concrete garage or shop floor. Go to Lowes or HD and get a 9’ aluminum straight edge, usually comes in 2 pieces. Should be around $20. put the ply on top of the styrofoam, clamp the straight edge, and make sure your saw blade doesn’t go all the way through the styrofoam. Put a piece of masking tape on your cut line to minimize tearout.

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 04-04-2009 03:40 AM

Get some 1” to 2” thick Styrofoam insulation sheet. Lay them on the floor. Put the plywood on the insulation. Mark you cut lines. Set the circular saw depth so that it penetrates the wood but not completely thru the Styrofoam.

You can work right on the plywood surface and see the line really well.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3749 days

#3 posted 04-04-2009 03:41 AM

Looks like laflaone and I crossed thoughts :^)

Well, all great mines think alike!!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18266 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 04-04-2009 03:46 AM

I use a straight edge, but do it on saw horses.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View upperwoodsman's profile


40 posts in 3339 days

#5 posted 04-04-2009 04:27 AM

I have to agree with the others on the Styrofoam.
But you can do the same thing with slats of 1×4 or 1×6 or any sub floor.
I only say this couse I had to do it more the once.
Keep the saw off the floor and GOOD LUCK

-- Scott JoBurg MI The More you know the less mistakes...........

View Garyb6's profile


306 posts in 3624 days

#6 posted 04-04-2009 04:53 AM

I try as much as possible to have my cuts planned before I go pick up the plywood. Then I have the folks at the box store or lumberyard make the major cuts for me on their panel cutter. Life is much easier this way.

-- Garyb6, “True simplicity does not reveal the tremendous effort it requires.” - Somerset Maugham

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3816 days

#7 posted 04-04-2009 12:47 PM

Here is a post by Dadoo that looks like an interesting project for setting up a support for breaking down sheet goods that I have been meaning to build.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3722 days

#8 posted 04-04-2009 03:36 PM

this is what i use and it works great. there is a link to the way to build one on that page too.

View stanley2's profile


344 posts in 3789 days

#9 posted 04-04-2009 03:57 PM

If you will be cutting a lot of sheet goods, combine what Scott and Hokie-Mojo have suggested, which is the method I use. But, I cut down the sheet to pieces which are slightly oversize so that I can get to actual size on the table saw with the smaller pieces. A very reliable approach for making plywood casegoods.

-- Phil in British Columbia

View MNbuzzdust's profile


99 posts in 3346 days

#10 posted 04-05-2009 02:05 AM

Scott…That is just what I need !!! Thanks for posting it!!

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