LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Hi there,

I have real trouble ripping plywood on my table saw. i can't really justify a track saw and don't have room to build a panel saw.

The trouble I have is binding and getting a good cut. Can anyone point me in the direction of some technique artiicles or videos that might help me get better at it? It really sucks when you ruin a $60 sheet of plywood.

I'm also open to any pointers people can give me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Infeed/outfeed support is important. Long rails for the fence help you fit it on. Use a splitter to help with the binding. Check the squareness of the fence to ensure it isn't tapering toward the blade near the back. Be sure to feed it through with support in 3 directions: against the blade, down agains the table and right against the fence. You shouldn't have true binding with plywood so my guess is that either the fence is out of square or you arent' keeping the piece seated squarely agains the fence. Also, plywood often does not have perfect edges. Consider cleaning up an edge before making your cuts. You can also pre cut to dimensions close to your final size using a circular saw and then clean up the edges on the table saw once the piece is a more managable size if that's a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,740 Posts
I also use a circular saw for cutting sheet goods. using a good (can be shop made) straight line cutting jig can also eliminate any need to 'finish up' the cuts on a table saw, and have ready to use panels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
In my experience, it's very difficult to get a good cut on a big piece - it's just too hard to handle. However, you don't need a tracksaw to break a sheet down into manageable size. Just rip off a piece 8 to 12" wide from the factory edge, and use that as a straightedge to guide a circular saw. You measure the distance from the edge of the shoe on your saw to the blade, and offset the straightedge the same distance from the cut line. Use a couple of small C clamps to hold the straightedge to the sheet being cut. If you want more convenience, glue another straightedge to the top of the first one a little farther than the offset distance you already measured, and cut it - then you have an edge that represents exactly where the cut will be, so you won't have to do any measuring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
You don't mention the quality or size of the saw you are using so it's hard to evaluate what might be happening. The bigger the panel the harder it is to control. You could use a circular saw to rip it into suitable rough size pices first, like rip in half then trim to final width on the T saw.

Binding could be the result of an out of adjustment fence or other saw alignment issues like the blade not being parallel to the miter slots and fence. Make sure the saw is adjusted properly according to the instructions in the owners manual. The fence should be a few thousands of an inch farther away from the blade a the far end than the near end. It needs to be tightened in such a way to prevent movement of course, and needs to be long enough to be able to keep the edge of the panel against it easily.

Adequate support for the infeed and outfeed is necessary for bigger panels. If you are using in or outfeed rollers to support the panels make sure they are lined up properly so they dont pull the panel away from the fence as they roll, and adjust them to the right height. Make sure the table and fence are clean. I generally use paste wax on mine to make things slide better, on the table, insert, and face of the fence.

Bad cut quality could be just the choice of blade. Just look at some of the other threads about blade choices for table saws. I generally keep a 60 t carbide tipped ATB blade on my Unisaw, works well for everyday stuff. I have a drawer full of other blades from back when I was building cabinets full time that do specialty things like cut melamine without chipping or geared for plam cutting. Whatever blade you use should of course be Sharp and make sure it isn't bent or out of balance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,101 Posts
many answers aside from alignment of fence and blade

reduce the friction of bed, fence and material by soaping or dry lubricant.

fixed or portable outfeed tables or at least another set of hands are a "must" otherwise its kinda impossible.

Rip over sized with a circular saw and straight edge into managable sizes, then rip to the right size on the TS.

acquire some cheap crap plywood, the kind most folks throw out. practice ripping again and agian and again cuz as they say,.............practice makes perfect.

What kinda hardware did you use on the Murphy bed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow..this is great! Thanks so much for all the feedback. It sounds like I need an outfeed table but I really like the idea of rough cutting first with a circular saw.

What's the best blade for a circluar saw for hardwood? 40T? I have a framing blade, but that just makes a mess…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks…I'll pick one up.

For those of you who asked, I have the Rigid combination saw with a cast iron top. It's a great saw for me and for the limited space I have - I think I'll check the adjustments and use a circular saw to begin the process. I'll build an outfeed table too that will assist in this.

Thanks to everyone for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
If you cut alot of long stock, consider building a long outfeed table. I added a 2 ft outfeed table to my saw but I find I still want some kind of support for large/long stock like height adjustable rollers on both the infeed and outfeed ends of things. I haven't coughed up the money for rollers yet so I just use a sawhorse adjusted to about half an inch to an inch below the outfeed table height and placed a couple feet back from the outfeed table. It's a decent solution, but skipping the rollers and just having a 4 or 5 foot outfeed table would be nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I have a Delta left tilt contractor saw and had a heck of a time getting the blade/trunnion aligned properly. Somehow "hit it with a hunk of wood" and "align it to 1000th of an inch" didn't go together very well for me.

I opted to get a PALS Contractor Saw Alignment System and I can tell you it made a world of difference. Combine that with the cheapest Harbor Freight dial indicator screwed to a scrap of wood and my miter gauge, and I got the saw/slots/fence/miter/etc. aligned wonderfully and am making fantastic cuts ever since.

My next project is an outfeed table for all the reasons listed above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,289 Posts
I can't imagine even messing with a table saw for sheet goods. The clamp on saw guides and a circular saw are much nicer to work with, give better cuts and a lot safer.

I do lust after some of the new plunge cutting saws with the aluminum track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
I have a panel saw for crosscutting, but rip all my 4×8 sheets on my Unisaw. As mentioned, you need a good fence, and an outfeed table. I hold the outside corner of the sheet, diagonal from the fence. That way you can push forward and against the fence at the same time. I slide the sheet up near the blade, and against the fence, and rock it a little to make sure it's against the fence, and then start pushing. As long as the sheet is against the fence (all along the fence, so it's parallel), once you start cutting, you shouldn't have a problem. If you're getting binding, there's a good chance you're starting the cut with the sheet not parallel to the fence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,212 Posts
As was mentioned above, an edge guide and the circular saw are fine. I'm using a 40 tooth DeWalt blade and get nice clean edges. Just remember to get some rigid insulation to put down on the floor. I leave a gap about 3" between 2 sheets of insulation and just cut on that gap. That eliminates a lot of pink dust flying around sticking to everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
The factory edges of plywood should be fairly straight.
The fact that you say you're getting a lot of binding sounds to me like your saw isn't aligned properly. Make sure you align the blade to the miter slots, then align the fence to the slots. It doesn't matter what jig you use if your saw isn't properly aligned.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top