How to saw plywood without chipping

How to saw plywood without chipping?

Plywood is several layers of wood veneer bonded together with an adhesive. If you do not follow the technology of sawing such material, the teeth of the cutting blade will tear off pieces of the top layer. We get imperfections, called chips.

Plywood can be sawn with any of the following tools:

Each of these tools is recommended for use under certain conditions.

Cutting with a plastic escutcheon on the sole plate

One of the reasons for chipped jigsaws is the soleplate. It does not press the edge of the kerf, so it can break off when the file moves back. This is solved with a simple plastic overlay.

A sheet of plastic is cut out to cover the sole. It is necessary to make a cut for the file. It is simply clamped to the board and sawn with it. The sawed-in overlay is glued to the sole with double-sided adhesive tape.

The jigsaw then makes an even cleaner cut than with masking tape.

Finishing an edge

For the edges to turn out without chipping, it is necessary to choose the right tool:

  • Hacksaws are used when sawing out complex shapes. Thanks to them, the edges can be made rounded or angular. The set includes a triangular file, a flat file, and a round file.
  • For coarse work, two files, a flat and a round one, can be quite sufficient.
  • When plywood sheets need to be trimmed before roughing walls, a flat rasp is used. This is used by the craftsman to deburr the edge of the chip.

Important! In the process of sanding it is necessary to follow the direction of the fibers. Do not let the file move perpendicular to them.

  • Small parts are sanded with sandpaper.
  • Another way to achieve smooth edges is to glue the sawing track with insulating tape.

Protect the edges from chipping with insulation tape

How to saw plywood properly

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If you are going to do any construction or carpentry work, at some point you may need to cut something out of plywood. At the same time sheets of plywood are usually quite large and quite difficult to saw, especially in the absence of special tools. But if you remember a few basic rules, you can easily cut plywood with a simple hand or circular saw, also called a circular saw. The main thing is that your saw blade should be sharp, and the plywood sheet itself should maintain a stable position.

  • You can even find special saw blades “for plywood” in the store, nevertheless, check the number of teeth on them. [2] X Source of information
  • Blades for circular saws come in different sizes, so make sure that the saw blade you choose will fit your saw. [3] X Ref
  • If you choose to saw plywood with your circular saw blade as it is, the edge of the plywood you cut will most likely be jagged and torn. [4] X Ref
  • Make sure that the saw should protrude 5 mm more than the underside of the plywood when sawing. If you are sawing a 2 cm thick sheet of plywood, the depth of cut on the saw must be 2.5 cm. [6] X Source of information
plywood, chipping
  • Lay some 5×10 cm wood beneath the plywood sheet to support it when you saw it. Only use the 5 x 10 cm square timber for this purpose because the circular saw will cut into the top edge of the timber when sawing the plywood. [8] X
  • If you have no wooden boards on hand, you can use a piece of styrofoam insulation instead. Lay it on the floor and place a sheet of plywood on top. Make sure that the plywood does not slip on the surface of the foam board. [9] X Source of information
  • If you choose to use foam insulation, you can safely move around the surface of the plywood sheet while cutting, and you don’t have to worry about the plywood sheet breaking off at the end point of the cut. [10] X
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Saw the plywood face down. To cut plywood with a hand-held circular saw, the plywood must be laid face down. In this case, the saw teeth will enter the base of the plywood from the front side and exit it from the back side. When the saw teeth come out of the thickness of the plywood, they may slightly tear the edge of the cut. So stacking the plywood face down will ensure that the cutting line on the face of the sheet looks neat. [11] X Source of information

The pendulum stroke of the jigsaw

Pendulum stroke or otherwise called “pumping” is needed to increase the speed of wood sawing, to be able to work with soft materials and for the production of complex cuts. The pendulum motion of the jigsaw is based on the swinging principle. It significantly reduces the quality of the cut and causes chipping.

We recommend to disable the pendulum function to reduce chipping. The Makita electric jigsaw shows where the jigsaw shuts off as an example. Find out if your jigsaw has this feature and how to disable it. With this feature turned off, the jigsaw moves in a standard motion for even sawing and a better cut.

To summarize

In today’s article we looked at 4 ways a jigsaw can cut plywood or chipboard with a minimum of splintering and scoring. Find the way that suits you best and try it out!

Cut thin plywood without saw and chippings

You can also combine several different methods to get the best and highest quality results.

Make cuts without stopping

Under normal conditions the saw blade should run easily and gently. If it is too tight, then either the disk is blunt, or you drive the saw too fast.

If you drive too fast, you will see traces of teeth on the cut. If you drive too slowly, the drive can overheat, the plywood will begin to smolder, and you will feel the characteristic odor.

To obtain a straight and beautiful cut, do not stop when sawing. Make sure in advance that the electric cord from the saw can not get caught in the corners of the plywood sheet or the clamp. If the sheet is too big, it makes sense to climb on it.

How to saw plywood. Tools for sawing plywood at home.

Plywood is a sheet material. Sheets are a glued veneer, the fibers of which with each successive layer are directed perpendicular to each other. This gluing technique is what gives plywood sheets their stiffness and strength. Depending on the type of plywood and its moisture resistance, its veneer is glued with different adhesives. Plywood is available in 1525x1525mm, 1220x2440mm, 1250x2500mm, 1500x3000mm and 1525x3050mm formats. On factories, plywood is sawn with professional machines and equipment, but in home conditions, there are certain difficulties in choosing a tool for sawing plywood sheets. In this article we will tell you what you can saw plywood and how to get a perfectly straight edge of the sheet.

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Tools for sawing plywood:

Hacksaw / wood saw 2. Hand-operated jigsaw 3. Electric jigsaw 4. Electric hand saw 5. angle grinder / angle grinder 6. Circular saw.

plywood, chipping

Sawing plywood with a hacksaw.

In construction stores you can buy a universal wood hacksaw (fig.1). It is good for cutting plywood, but the cut is not always straight. Still, we advise to buy a special plywood saw (fig.2), due to the small and frequent teeth it allows you to get a perfectly flat edge of the sheet. Another fine-toothed hacksaw for laminate and plastic is great for cutting plywood as well.

Disadvantages of using:. Sawing plywood with a hacksaw will take a lot of time and effort due to different directions of veneer fibersThe hacksaw can only perform a straight cut, curved details and strongly curved elements cannot be sawed When sawing it is necessary to follow the technology of sawing: it is recommended to place sheets of plywood on two supports to avoid failure of hacksaw and damage of sawed fragments.

Sawing plywood with a hand jigsaw.

To saw plywood into small, shaped pieces, as well as for sawing inside the sheet a hand jigsaw is used. The advantage of manual jigsaw is the formation of complex areas, where it can not cope hacksaw for wood, to the disadvantages may include the complexity, as well as cutting thin sheets of plywood. for sawing sheets of thickness over 8mm hand jigsaw is not used.

Sawing plywood with an electric jigsaw.

Electric jigsaw allows you to quickly and accurately cut a plywood sheet. When choosing a cutter it is necessary to take into account the size and pitch of the teeth, it will depend on the quality of the edge of the sawn sheet. The smaller and more frequent are the teeth of the electric jigsaw head, the better will be the cut, and you will get less chips in the sheet. The best result of cutting is obtained when using special saws for plywood. As an alternative, you can use a saw for metal, it also has fine and frequent teeth, but when sawing they can be clogged. Particular attention must be paid to the direction of the teeth, depending on the direction one of the sides of the saw will be free of chips.

Sawing plywood with a handheld electric saw.

In the range of handheld electric saws there are saber saws (Fig.3) and a circular saw (fig.4) (circular saw). Saber hand saw is more suitable for roughing, it cannot be used to make a straight and accurate cut.

For even cutting of veneer sheet use circular saws, they easily saw your sheet without chips to specific dimensions. A circular saw can saw a large volume of plywood without difficulty, the disadvantages are only straight cuts of plywood, shaped elements it does not saw. The advantage is ease of use, cutting speed and depth adjustment of the saw. For cutting plywood with a disk saw choose disks of small size with fine teeth, as well pay attention to the teeth pitch: for cutting thick sheets you need to buy a disk with maximum pitch.

Cutting plywood with angle grinder

the angle grinder is seldom used when sawing plywood, but in domestic conditions, when there is nothing but an angle grinder, it is possible to saw plywood in your size with its help. To hold an angle grinder when sawing requires a little effort. For sawing plywood on the angle grinder set disk from a circular saw, but still, if you do not use the hood, this method of sawing is the most traumatic, be careful.

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Sawing plywood with a circular saw

Circular machine is a device for sawing plywood, which is a cutting disk fixed on a tabletop. The advantage of cutting plywood is that it is fast and easy to do. The tool does not need to be held as in the case of an electric hand saw, it is only necessary to fix the sheet of plywood on the surface of the table. When choosing a disk, you should consider the number of teeth: the more teeth on the disk, the cleaner and more accurate the cut of plywood will be. The disadvantages are that the machine takes a lot of space, unlike hand tools, to work on it you need a separate room or garage.

How to cut plywood without chipping?

And finally, let us try to answer briefly the question: “How to cut plywood without chipping with an electric jigsaw?”

Here you should pay your attention to a few fairly simple tips that will help you get a smooth and even cut:

  • Not recommended for sawing plywood on uneven surfaces or in a hanging position without strong support of the plywood sheet. to prevent slippage and shifts both up and down as well as sideways. Ideally. use a specialized workbench. If you do not have such a possibility, consider options for positioning and securing plywood sheets with the help of some clamps or other improvised means. Otherwise, a skewed cut and a higher probability of saw blade breakage are almost guaranteed.
  • If your jigsaw has a run-out mode, we recommend you turn it off. The cutting blade should run smoothly, without jerking.
  • Try to keep the cutting blade at right angles to the plywood surface throughout the cut.
  • Do not force the jigsaw to speed up the cutting of plywood. a high-speed tool with a low cutting edge feed speed will already do the job just fine. And excessive pressure can break the saw blade and cause unwanted chips or other damage to the cut appearance.
  • If you are sawing laminated plywood, then the front side of the plywood can first pass along the planned line of the future cut with the blade of a construction knife. This also helps to prevent unnecessary damage to the laminate when sawing.
  • To avoid chips when sawing plywood not laminated, some masters offer to pre-process the place of the future cut (along the entire length) with PVA glue. Or protect the cut trimmer line with duct tape or masking tape. (In the case of PVA glue you should only start cutting after it has dried completely).

Cutting Plywood without Tear-out

Expert tip:

If you need to saw a sufficiently large amount of plywood, or if you want to simplify your life, you can always use the services of professionals. For example, our experts will help you make a cut veneer to your size on professional equipment. quickly and without hassle.

plywood, chipping

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