Cutting paper with a table saw

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by mwatson2 posted 04-10-2015 09:29 AM 5644 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mwatson2's profile


7 posts in 1318 days

04-10-2015 09:29 AM

I’m an entrepreneur who does woodworking for a hobby (I love to save money!). I keep stacks of used paper and currently use a heavy duty paper trimmer to cut stacks of paper into quarters then bind the edges with glue to use as notepads – the office loves them.

I recently picked up a 13-amp Delta table saw (I love it!) and am curious if my saw could cut stacks of paper. I don’t know how a stack of paper compares density wise to wood and I don’t want to blow something up…

Any tips?

-- Casual Woodworking Hobbiest - Teach me something!

29 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


3134 posts in 1656 days

#1 posted 04-10-2015 10:44 AM

I think you’re looking for trouble here but I suppose if you could figure out some way of securely clamping the stack to a sled of some sort is possible.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3154 days

#2 posted 04-10-2015 10:56 AM

I’m with Robert on this one

I think you’re looking for trouble

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5142 posts in 2668 days

#3 posted 04-10-2015 11:07 AM

I wouldn’t try it. The saw will likely cut it just well, the edges will be fairly rough but the bigger problem will be controlling the paper for the cut. Unless you find a way to secure it to a sled that will be very tough to do. If you insist on cutting it on a saw, try a bandsaw.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View mahdee's profile


4006 posts in 1942 days

#4 posted 04-10-2015 11:11 AM

You probably can do it using a jig that resemble a flower/wine press. It has to be longer than the size of the paper so the saw doesn’t completely cut the bottom in half and barely touch the bottom of the press plate.


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1251 posts in 1888 days

#5 posted 04-10-2015 11:25 AM

Paper is quite dense and should be perfectly fine to cut on the saw if suitable supported, for instance on a zero clearance sled.
Let us know if you succeed!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2868 days

#6 posted 04-10-2015 11:34 AM

Yes you can cut paper on your table saw using a fine blade. Take a stack about as thick as you can go and use packing tap to bind the bundle then cut through it. I haven’t done this in years but if I remember correctly the majority of the paper is cut good. Also if you have a scroll saw bind up your little pads the same way drill a small hole insert the blade and you can cut out little pictures or monograms. And for everyone’s information you can cut cardboard quite well, cut plexiglass and even aluminum and brass sheet with the right blades.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Tennessee's profile


2887 posts in 2689 days

#7 posted 04-10-2015 12:20 PM

I buy my shop towels in huge rolls that I cut down. I use my bandsaw, and have enough trouble doing that. It tends to clog the blade and shorten the lifespan.
I would not even think about putting paper through my table saw. A ream of paper will get caught, dragged down, who knows what happens then…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View jshroyer's profile


80 posts in 1833 days

#8 posted 04-10-2015 12:24 PM

Band saw should cut it well. I cut cardboard on my bandsaw because i never have a box cutter to cut up a box in my garage for recycling. It might dull my blade a bit bit i buy cheap blades already.


View MrRon's profile


5139 posts in 3418 days

#9 posted 04-10-2015 04:28 PM

I think it can be done if you sandwich the stacks of paper, tightly between 2 sheets of plywood. They also make special knife cutting blades. I think Tenyru makes some.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1855 days

#10 posted 04-10-2015 04:45 PM

How about cutting it on a cross cut sled with a sacrificial hold down strip of 1/4” plywood?

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1405 days

#11 posted 04-10-2015 04:53 PM

two sheets of ply clamping the paper. ride on the fence. sounds good to me. will have rough edges. You can buy a paper cutter. A tool for every job. Hence why I chop onions with my knife and not my table saw.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View BurlyBob's profile


5936 posts in 2440 days

#12 posted 04-10-2015 04:56 PM

Sounds like an invitation to a disaster. But hey follow all the above advice and make a video to share with us.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2471 days

#13 posted 04-10-2015 05:22 PM

If you have a heavy duty paper trimmer already why not stick with that? You get nice clean edges with that – you’ll certainly have a ragged mess with a table saw.

View knotscott's profile


8140 posts in 3550 days

#14 posted 04-10-2015 05:52 PM

I think it can be done if you sandwich the stacks of paper, tightly between 2 sheets of plywood. They also make special knife cutting blades. I think Tenyru makes some.

- MrRon

That’s what I was thinking too…

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2285 days

#15 posted 04-10-2015 06:19 PM

MDF would work well for the sandwich, and it’s cheaper and flatter than plywood.

I cut stacks and single sheets of very thin veneer all the time this way.

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics