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View BattleRidge's profile

Cutting plywood...?

by BattleRidge
posted 10-19-2018 03:10 AM


23 replies so far

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

478 posts in 564 days


#1 posted 10-19-2018 03:22 AM

I wouldn’t trust HD or Lowe’s to cut a 2×4 much less plywood. Long time ago I asked them to cut a sheet, they missed by almost an inch.

If it were me, just use some clamps and a straight edge. Pretty accurate and easy. Or find a shop with proper equipment and is nice. Heck if your in southern IN I’d do it for a doughnut and a cup of coffee. :)

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 875 days


#2 posted 10-19-2018 03:29 AM



I wouldn’t trust HD or Lowe’s to cut a 2×4 much less plywood. Long time ago I asked them to cut a sheet, they missed by almost an inch.

If it were me, just use some clamps and a straight edge. Pretty accurate and easy. Or find a shop with proper equipment and is nice. Heck if your in southern IN I’d do it for a doughnut and a cup of coffee. :)

- CWWoodworking

I’m not sure how the US stores are run, but in Canada, they have signs in a lot of these big box stores telling you not to expect accurate cuts.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

478 posts in 564 days


#3 posted 10-19-2018 03:35 AM


I wouldn’t trust HD or Lowe’s to cut a 2×4 much less plywood. Long time ago I asked them to cut a sheet, they missed by almost an inch.

If it were me, just use some clamps and a straight edge. Pretty accurate and easy. Or find a shop with proper equipment and is nice. Heck if your in southern IN I’d do it for a doughnut and a cup of coffee. :)

- CWWoodworking

I m not sure how the US stores are run, but in Canada, they have signs in a lot of these big box stores telling you not to expect accurate cuts.

- lumbering_on

I consider 1/4” ok. Maybe even 1/2”. But an INCH? I honestly think I could eyeball it that close. Lol

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1872 days


#4 posted 10-19-2018 04:12 AM

I used to have them break it down with a cut or 2. From there it wasn’t too bad on a contractors saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4475 posts in 975 days


#5 posted 10-19-2018 04:39 AM

It’s going to vary store to store. Depending on how sharp their blade is and how much the employee gives a crap, you will get mixed results. I also have never had Lowes cut for me, only HD.

That said, I never hesitate to have them break down sheets for me. Cutting a sheet of plywood into fourths is a no-brainer as long as you are going to be squaring and trimming the edges yourself later.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

949 posts in 1605 days


#6 posted 10-19-2018 12:38 PM

ive had HD cut sheets to 4’ wide the rip to width on my TS when i made a crapton of cornhole boards. ripped to 23 7/8” as kerf takes away a bit. kept pieces from each 4 by 4 together so lengths matched.

keep the cuts right so tearout goes down and hidden by the frame of the boards.

View SMP's profile

SMP

1014 posts in 291 days


#7 posted 10-19-2018 12:49 PM

If you go to HD, have them set the panel saw slightly less than half a sheet. Make sure they hold the wood flat to back, otherwise they tend to cut at an angle as they usually set it with the bottom angled towards the front. Then when they rip the sheet it will be slightly less than half. Then ask them to run the top part through(which is bigger) and then at least they will be ripped to the same width. They may charge you $0.50 or so for the “extra cut” but no biggie. That makes it easier to crosscut yourself also.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5398 posts in 2737 days


#8 posted 10-19-2018 01:44 PM

Change the dimensions of your cornhole boards to slightly smaller. That will account for kerf and trim. I personally never have the BORG break down my sheet goods, but I can run full sheets through my table saw. I used to have to break them down with a circular saw and a straight edge then clean up the edges on the TS, a little more time consuming but the results are good.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Steve's profile

Steve

1267 posts in 968 days


#9 posted 10-19-2018 02:12 PM

You can actually buy the cornhole top boards already cut and drilled out. Might be the easiest way to go for you.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/PureBond-1-2-in-x-2-ft-x-4-ft-Maple-Plywood-Corn-Hole-Board-Top-3554/207003929

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2344 days


#10 posted 10-19-2018 03:12 PM



You can actually buy the cornhole top boards already cut and drilled out. Might be the easiest way to go for you.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/PureBond-1-2-in-x-2-ft-x-4-ft-Maple-Plywood-Corn-Hole-Board-Top-3554/207003929

- Steve

Brilliant. Why bother if that is available. No way it will be worth your time.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

236 posts in 3393 days


#11 posted 10-19-2018 03:30 PM



If it were me, just use some clamps and a straight edge. Pretty accurate and easy. Or find a shop with proper equipment and is nice. Heck if your in southern IN I’d do it for a doughnut and a cup of coffee. :)

- CWWoodworking


$20 seems a little steep just to cut one board. :-)

Wayne

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1206 posts in 1925 days


#12 posted 10-19-2018 04:22 PM

If you really want a straight cut, use 2 straight edge like how I did. The saw had nowhere to move and it was a nice, straight line.

View Smirak's profile

Smirak

98 posts in 904 days


#13 posted 10-19-2018 08:28 PM

One thing to keep in mind is to make your frames to the dimensions of your cut plywood. Don’t make your frames 2×4 and then expect a 4×8 sheet to have 2 cuts that will fit on a premade 2×4 frame. Ask me how I know…

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

601 posts in 296 days


#14 posted 10-20-2018 02:37 AM

The amount of teeth on the blade does make a difference on tear out. My table saw & miter saw both have a 80 tooth blades in them. I realize most woodworkers prefer the 10” in 30 to 40 tooth blades. Lowes do cut for free when you buy the sheets from them. If you want, clamp a board as a guide to the sheet and run your skill saw. You can use your 60 or 64 tooth blade. It also helps to feed your saw slower to help from tear out issues.

View BattleRidge's profile

BattleRidge

105 posts in 601 days


#15 posted 10-20-2018 02:38 AM

I appreciate the feedback thus far and am still educating myself and contemplating.

The “official” cornhole specs are for a board 47.5” to 48” x 23.5” to 24” so there is a built in allowance for cutting. I plan on simply cutting (or having cut) through the center of each board which should fit the required specs.

Lowe’s (and Home Depot) have been okay overall for most things, but again, they are what they are and results may vary. Since you don’t pay until at the check-out, should they provide a cut that isn’t satisfactory, you aren’t actually stuck with it and can simply leave it in the store – still though I don’t want to do that. If I do decide to have the boards cut, I likely won’t actually make my final decision until I am at the store and speak with the person that will be doing the cutting first – and then evaluating the initial cut before going further.

I have been partial to doing things myself – and doing it right – but at the same time cost is a factor. A track saw or new table saw is pretty much out of the picture at this point, the cost of a better / more appropriate blade is possible, a foam insulation board for a cutting surface is doable, blue painters tape no problem, zero clearance insert not a biggie, the cost of a shop-made guide / straight edge can be workable, and positioning & getting the cut right and ‘hiding’ any tear-out against the frame is very much worth the effort.

In regard to the pre-cut tops, it would certainly make the task easier and quicker, but my plans are to initially make four sets (8 boards) which would result in the cost being a little over $40 more. Being retired, time fits into the scheme of things better than the additional cost and I would rather spend the time enjoying my woodworking hobby and save the $$ to put it toward shop goodies that I can use on multiple projects and long into the future. Additionally, I would like the top to be 3/4” vs the 1/2” of the precut boards to limit the bounce, though both fit the cornhole specs if the 1/2” board has a cross support installed).

This will be a multi-step process and once the top is cut, more will follow – methods subject to change…

For the hole I may make a jig and use a router to cut the opening.

For the frame, I am looking at 2×4’s, jointing the edge that will adjoin the plywood (and possibly the outside surface for
appearance too), then connecting with glue and pocket hole screws to provide a clean and smooth appearance.

For the legs, 2×4’s fastened with 3/8” carriage bolts, washers and lock nuts.

Finish will be a combination of stain and paint – details to be determined.

Canvas duck bags probably filled with resin / plastic synthetic corn vs real corn (to limit vermin problems, moisture worries, mold and deterioration concerns).

Thank you to all who have replied and the input has been quite helpful. I’d like to have everything in order before starting and all that you have shared is very much contributing to it.

View flarud's profile

flarud

2 posts in 261 days


#16 posted 10-20-2018 04:14 AM

I have made 3 sets of cornhole boards. All 3 are 2’x3’. Not regulation but more of tailgating, and it actually takes more skill! The first set I used 3/4” plywood and 2×4’s for the frame. I can used those boards as ramps to work on a vehicle! I also put hardware on that first set so they lock together like a suitcase. Cool, but HEAVY to carry. The next 2 sets I used 1/2” plywood 1×4’s for the frame. I added a crosspiece underneath and there isn’t any bounce.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

949 posts in 1605 days


#17 posted 10-20-2018 11:58 AM

battleRidge, ya may want to change the lets to 1 by 4. i did 2 by 4 at forst and found it way overkill.
i was also able to use 1 1/2” #9 construction screws with a washer to mount the legs,too. more than enough strength for what it is.

View shawnn's profile

shawnn

143 posts in 1751 days


#18 posted 10-20-2018 12:10 PM

I made my own “track saw” out of my Makita circular saw. I made 4’ and 8’ plywood guides with miter tracks from Woodcraft set into dadoes then attached a 18” mating guide bar on the saw. I then used the saw in the tracks to cut the guides and this became the reference edge as with a track saw. I cut a rabbet on the opposite side for clamping to the sheet. This made the circular saw dedicated to this use. It works perfect, just have to remember to attach it to the cut piece or the cut will be off by the thickness of the blade kerf.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

314 posts in 2120 days


#19 posted 10-22-2018 02:00 PM

I’m not sure where BattleRidge is at, but if a Menards is nearby, they have a lot of precut 2’x4’ plywood pieces they call “handy boards”. It’s usually the lower cost plywood, though. And they do NOT offer cutting of their full size sheets.

When I need to get a sheet cut at HD, I would select the sheet(s) I want and put them on a flat cart. Using my trusted tape measure, I will mark where I want the cuts on the edge. After spending the hour finding the guy that cuts plywood, I just tell him to cut on the marks and stand next to him to make sure he does so. However, their panel saws can be a bit off, so it might not be completely square. Make sure you mark the factory edges so you know where to reference from when you get home.

I’ve toyed with the idea of bringing a cordless circular saw with me to these home stores so I can cut up the sheets myself out in the parking lot.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View dday's profile

dday

172 posts in 1815 days


#20 posted 10-22-2018 02:12 PM

I have had the big blue store cut a couple of sheets down for me and both were off, even after I drew pencil lines on them where I wanted the cut.

I would make what they call a “door board” or a poor man’s track saw. It works great to break down 4×8 sheets.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2230 posts in 3024 days


#21 posted 10-22-2018 03:06 PM

I always break down sheet goods on the floor supported by 2×4’s run the long way, with the circular saw, using a clamp-on guide. I usually get a straight cut within 1/32” of where I need it to be.

If cutting near the middle put extra 2×4’s underneath where you can walk or crawl. It’s really not bad – if you have a pretty flat floor to work on.

Usually this was just for one cut to divide the sheet. I just can’t manage a full sheet well on the table saw.

In my case it was for things like book-cases and other situations where the final pieces were much narrower than 2’, so the final cuts were on the table saw.

I keep 4 8’ 2×4’s standing in the corner along with the clamp-on guide just for this purpose. One 2×4 under each long edge and two on each side (say 4” or so) of the cut line. I know how wide the saw base is from the edge to the cut line on both sides of the saw, and subtract that from the width before clamping down the guide.

-Paul

View uptoolateman's profile

uptoolateman

50 posts in 456 days


#22 posted 10-22-2018 05:18 PM

Been there done that using clamped 2×4’s as a saw guide, cutting sheets on top of foam board insulation, dealing with big box stores panel saws either being broke or nobody on the floor trained to use it. I finally just built a panel saw and I think I’ve used it almost every single week since then. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/268233

View BattleRidge's profile

BattleRidge

105 posts in 601 days


#23 posted 11-01-2018 07:01 PM

I appreciate the feedback and with the unknown results from store cut wood, I think I will instead do all the cutting in my shop with a home crafted guide on top of a sheet of foam insulation board and a new blade for my circular saw.

Today someone posted in the Power Tools forum about a sale on table saw blades at Home Depot and Lowe’s so I took a gander at the HD site and found a two-pack of Diablo 7-1/4” x 60 Tooth ultra fine finish carbide blades for $19.97 so I ordered a set. I have a 10” Diablo 60 tooth blade for use on my RAS & TS and to check the quality I just made a couple of test cuts on a section of scrap plywood which left a very smooth edge with no tear-out.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Diablo-7-1-4-in-x-60-Tooth-Ultra-Fine-Finish-Saw-Blade-2-Pack-D0760P/302657952

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