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Reply by Loren

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Posted on "Factory" edge on plywood: True and square? Or not?

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Loren

10477 posts in 4101 days


#1 posted 03-30-2018 03:01 AM

Factories probably size it to width on giant saws
with blades set 48” apart. The panels are
probably stacked quite thick as well. The saw
blades may warp or deflect in the cut when they
heat up. If you ever make a cut with a 12”
miter saw where you’re trimming off a thickness
less than the width of the blade, check it for
square after because the blade can deflect
from cutting on only one side. In many situations
such cuts are within acceptable tolerances but
it’s an interesting thing to note.

The factory edge is considered by pros to be
something you cut off. It’s there to protect the
rest of the sheet, not to be a reference edge.

You may not be aware that making finish size
cuts in a full sheet of plywood is not a good idea
if you’re working to fine tolerances. Cutting
a sheet down releases stresses, just as with
solid wood. Sometimes the long edges move
out of straight (pretty common) even if you
have something like a track saw or slider that
cuts really straight. Out-of-straight edges are
not usually a problem in face frame work but
in frameless cabinets they can be bad news.
This is one reason melamine is preferred for
frameless construction. It can move but it’s
a lot less prone to it. Even if long edges do
move on melamine, it probably won’t be enough
to produce a significant reject rate when run
through an edgebander.


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