Joeitalia7

Ripping and cross-cutting plywood

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I use plywood a lot, but always struggle with getting clean lines and perfect square cuts.  I have a contractor saw, so don't even attempt to rip on that or cross-cut anything beyond roughly 10/11 inches (purely based on safety).  

The sheet is generally ripped in half right at the store just so i can fit it in the car, but once I get home, i feel like the only clean way is with my circular saw.  Recently picked up up the Kreg Rip Cut and it actually rips it down really nicely, so happy with that.  The downside is the max cross cut with that tool is 24 inches, and when i'm making cabinets, I'm beyond that fairly often.  

Does anyone have suggestions on how I can get good, and fairly efficient, crosscuts using a circular saw?  

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I use plywood a lot, but always struggle with getting clean lines and perfect square cuts.  I have a contractor saw, so don't even attempt to rip on that or cross-cut anything beyond roughly 10/11 inches (purely based on safety).  

The sheet is generally ripped in half right at the store just so i can fit it in the car, but once I get home, i feel like the only clean way is with my circular saw.  Recently picked up up the Kreg Rip Cut and it actually rips it down really nicely, so happy with that.  The downside is the max cross cut with that tool is 24 inches, and when i'm making cabinets, I'm beyond that fairly often.  

Does anyone have suggestions on how I can get good, and fairly efficient, crosscuts using a circular saw?  

A track saw is a great solution. Or you need a long straight edge as a guide for your circular saw. The latter risks not being as precise though

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or ... Once you get your dad's planes tuned up, you'll be able to make any old cut nice and clean.

what's the difference between a rip and cross-cut in plywood? If I'm cutting across the grain of the surface veneer I stick some blue-tape along the cut to protect the veneer fibres. Otherwise if you're ripping one layer you're cross-cutting the next.

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not a lot of functional difference on plywood.

i have made a guide for my circular saw which i have used to cut the bottoms of doors a few times and works fine

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4 minutes ago, Joeitalia7 said:

Isn't a track saw more for ripping?

Breaking down sheet goods is it's forte.

If you have a good circ saw & blade, you can make a straight edge that can be very accurate & give you a clean cut. It just won't be nearly as nice an experience as a track saw.

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29 minutes ago, drzaius said:

If you have a good circ saw & blade, you can make a straight edge that can be very accurate & give you a clean cut. It just won't be nearly as nice an experience as a track saw.

I guess my question would be, with the circ saw, what is my guide to ensure i have that straight and clean cut?  Say I have a full 8ft sheet of plywood that I've ripped to 12 inches wide, now I need to cross cut that into 3 - 30 inch panels. Since i can't use my contractor saw on anything wider than 10/11 inches, i'd need something to guide my circular saw for a nice straight and plumb cut. Does that make sense?

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I guess my question would be, with the circ saw, what is my guide to ensure i have that straight and clean cut?  Say I have a full 8ft sheet of plywood that I've ripped to 12 inches wide, now I need to cross cut that into 3 - 30 inch panels. Since i can't use my contractor saw on anything wider than 10/11 inches, i'd need something to guide my circular saw for a nice straight and plumb cut. Does that make sense?

If you don't have a track saw you need to make marks that are perfectly perpendicular to your rip and clamp your straight edge to that.

If you had a track saw you could use this

616a3931e429ac57f70224599138109d.jpg

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3 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

 

 

If you don't have a track saw you need to make marks that are perfectly perpendicular to your rip and clamp your straight edge to that.

 

If you had a track saw you could use this

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I see what you're saying.  I also didn't realize that they made shorter tracks like that, I always imagined sheet length. 

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I see what you're saying.  I also didn't realize that they made shorter tracks like that, I always imagined sheet length. 

I'm not sure of the other companies because my blood runs Festool green but they offer tracks lengths from 32" to 197"

https://www.festoolusa.com/power-tool-accessories/guide-rails/tracks

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Where do I get my hands on a winning lottery ticket? [emoji6]

Haha! You just gotta ease into Festool. You need to stare at the prices enough that they just seem normal.

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1 minute ago, shaneymack said:

Haha! You just gotta ease into Festool. You need to stare at the prices enough that they just seem normal.

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Maybe i'll start shopping for a Ferrari, that way when I get back to the Festool website i'll think everything is on sale. 

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Maybe i'll start shopping for a Ferrari, that way when I get back to the Festool website i'll think everything is on sale. 

Now you've got the idea ! =)

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23 minutes ago, Joeitalia7 said:

Isn't a track saw more for ripping?

There's the Festool HK 55 EBQ which comes with a short track, about 16", designed for crosscuts and miters. But I've never actually seen one.

 

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There's the Festool HK 55 EBQ which comes with a short track, about 16", designed for crosscuts and miters. But I've never actually seen one.

 

NAINA

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Well that explains why you don't already have one!

 

I've been waiting for this one. Hopefully sept-oct it will be here.

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Hope you can read this sketch.  This is how I made my circular saw track.  I made mine 48" wide for plywood.  If you measure and mark accurately it works great.

Guide.JPG

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Just now, shaneymack said:

I've been waiting for this one. Hopefully sept-oct it will be here.

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Maybe you can get just the track and use it with the saw you already own.

 

Either way I think it's gonna be a nice addition to anyone's shop. 

 

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Maybe you can get just the track and use it with the saw you already own.

 

Either way I think it's gonna be a nice addition to anyone's shop. 

 

No it's a totally different animal. I don't believe the tracks are interchangeable. The HKC 55 is purely a carpentry saw.

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What Ronn said. It's easy to make a guide that will be perfectly straight. The edge of the guide is exactly where the sawblade is, so it helps to prevent chipping & tearout on that side of the cut.

Mark may have done a video on making one & there are many others that show how to do it. It's good to have one that is a little over 4' & another that's a full 8' long.

Like I said, a track saw (especially the Fesstool) will be nicer to use, but a shop built guide is very serviceable. The track saw is not a game changer like the Domino.

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1 hour ago, Ronn W said:

Hope you can read this sketch.  This is how I made my circular saw track.  I made mine 48" wide for plywood.  If you measure and mark accurately it works great.

Guide.JPG

I assume I'd need to make sure I have a factory edge so it's plumb, right?

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