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Tool Needed for Interior Cutout of Plywood

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Forum topic by TaylorM0192 posted 05-05-2021 04:22 PM 723 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TaylorM0192

1 post in 44 days


05-05-2021 04:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plywood powersaw jigsaw woodwork

Hi,

I am trying to build a custom desk to take advantage of a space’s existing features. I asked a local woodshop that specializes in custom cuts and they said they could not do the interior cut in the middle. They are saying it’s because it requires a jigsaw which they don’t use.

I’m looking for advice on which power tool I should purchase to do the cut myself after they do the rest. I have a large outdoor space with a big table that I can work on, but I have never done any woodcutting before. Is this this even feasible for a beginner?

The material is 3/4” birch.

Thanks in advance!


32 replies so far

View DevinT's profile

DevinT

1168 posts in 85 days


#1 posted 05-05-2021 04:29 PM

$50 trim router with a $25 router bit from Align Carbide will get you very clean results. 3/4” birch, I would make 3 passes with a compression bit (again: Align Carbide) so that I get a clean cut on both the top and bottom of the birch with a minimum of tear-out. First pass at 1/4”, second at 1/2”, third at just-over 3/4”.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

212 posts in 1960 days


#2 posted 05-05-2021 04:41 PM

You could also get yourself a jig saw. Whichever tool you use, use guides so your cuts are straight. You can clamp or use double face tape to attach the guides (straight pieces of wood or whatever),

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DevinT

1168 posts in 85 days


#3 posted 05-05-2021 05:44 PM

I would avoid double-stick tape. Too many times the vibrations have kicked the edge guide loose when attached with double-stick tape, causing the cut to veer-off and ruin a perfectly straight cut. Clamps for the win.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View SMP's profile

SMP

4153 posts in 1024 days


#4 posted 05-05-2021 05:52 PM

A place that “specializes in custom cuts” should be able to cut that in 10 minutes.

View metolius's profile

metolius

430 posts in 1849 days


#5 posted 05-05-2021 06:09 PM

Could also be done fairly with a handsaw and a chisel, but I don’t recommend that for you.

For purpose of tool investment, consider which tool you would also be useful to you in future projects.

-- derek / oregon

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

212 posts in 1960 days


#6 posted 05-05-2021 07:20 PM



I would avoid double-stick tape. Too many times the vibrations have kicked the edge guide loose when attached with double-stick tape, causing the cut to veer-off and ruin a perfectly straight cut. Clamps for the win.

- DevinT


My apologies….I meant to say Double Faced tape. I’m not even sure what double-stick tape is.

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DevinT

1168 posts in 85 days


#7 posted 05-05-2021 07:33 PM

Scotch Double Sided tape is what is referred to as “double stick tape” because it sticks on both sides.

I use it (and 3M carpet tape) to hold down pieces that I am cutting quite often, but every time I’ve tried to use it for holding down an edge guide, they have failed. I don’t have much faith in any double sided tape when it comes to edge guides.

-- Devin, SF, CA

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1thumb

442 posts in 3275 days


#8 posted 05-05-2021 07:41 PM

jigsaw and a straight edge.

8’ 3”. Can you lose 3”?

-- I actually have two thumbs

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3864 posts in 4556 days


#9 posted 05-05-2021 08:05 PM

Router as recommended above would do a finish type of job.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1693 days


#10 posted 05-05-2021 08:24 PM

Router will leave rounded corners, if that is ok, then it can make the smoothest cut. If it needs squared corners a jigsaw will do that. I personally would use the router till the corners, then jigsaw.

-- Think safe, be safe

View DevinT's profile

DevinT

1168 posts in 85 days


#11 posted 05-05-2021 08:25 PM

Chisels. They are called chisels. It takes approximately 30s to clean up each corner with a chisel.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3316 posts in 1722 days


#12 posted 05-05-2021 09:42 PM

Do you have a router? If you want to be exact and cut down on the chance of a boo boo I’d make a template out of 1/2” or 1/4” mdf then use a pattern bit to finish it off. You can always use a chisel to square the corners if need be.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1838 posts in 846 days


#13 posted 05-05-2021 09:59 PM

With your experience it would be best to just buy a jig saw and hand cut it.

I’ve always used the Bosch’s so I can’t recommend anything else,
but for what you’re doing and how much you will use it,
I would just buy a mid priced jig saw. something like this would do.

View DevinT's profile

DevinT

1168 posts in 85 days


#14 posted 05-05-2021 10:15 PM

you can also just use a Japanese Ryoba style pull saw (like the Vaughn Bear Saw), then perhaps a coping saw.

-- Devin, SF, CA

View DS's profile

DS

3792 posts in 3539 days


#15 posted 05-05-2021 11:18 PM

The best cut, sometimes, is no cut.

Design around such a funky piece.
Otherwise, there are 1001 different ways to cut it.
Pick the one you are comfortable with.
For me, that is the industrial CNC machine out in the shop and about a 25 second program.

That said, I would still design my piece to avoid needing a strange shape like this.
Odds are pretty good you can get the exact same look without this complication.
My $0.02 FWIW

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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