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Thread: Cutting 4x8 plywood on table saw

  1. #1
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    Cutting 4x8 plywood on table saw

    I have been following the thread on tablesaw outfeed tables and have seen a lot of really good ideas. Being new to this, here's my question: what kind of a set up do I need to safely cut 4x8 sheets of plywood on my Ridgid 3650? I have a makeshift outfeed table but no extension to the left or right of the blade. Also, I am using the original fence and rails. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have a 52" saw, and I think it is safer to use a guide and my worm drive saw. Just my $.02.

  3. #3
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    Another person to help or a Euro slider.

    I don't like to cut big sheets by myself. They are difficult to heft and keep aligned to the fence.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Schreib View Post
    I have been following the thread on tablesaw outfeed tables and have seen a lot of really good ideas. Being new to this, here's my question: what kind of a set up do I need to safely cut 4x8 sheets of plywood on my Ridgid 3650? I have a makeshift outfeed table but no extension to the left or right of the blade. Also, I am using the original fence and rails. Thanks
    It might depend on what 'type' of cut you're looking to do. If you're ripping sheets down to a more manageable size, then a straightedge and portable saw might be a better idea. If you're looking for a "good" cut, then a TS might be preferable. But I definitely would not want to use a TS cut a full sheet on a TS without at least an extension table, and then either rollers or an outfeed table.
    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger....then it hit me.

  5. #5
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    +1 for ripping down with a straightedge and a circular saw before going to the TS.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    +1 for ripping down with a straightedge and a circular saw before going to the TS.
    Another +1. I'm simply not man enough to wrestle full 4x8 sheets in any safe way through the table saw. Too many things can go wrong from ruining good plywood to ruining good body parts.

    I use a clamp on straight edge and a circular saw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    +1 for ripping down with a straightedge and a circular saw before going to the TS.
    Same thing here now that I am using atracksaw. Piece of 2" closed cell foam under the sheet and I cut right through just into the foam.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    +1 for ripping down with a straightedge and a circular saw before going to the TS.
    Another one here.

  9. #9
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    Yep... straight edge and circular saw to cut full sheets. Just too dangerous trying to do it myself on the table saw. Plywood is expensive here and I would hate to mess it up trying to wrestle with it. Another reason is that my shop is tiny. When I hear of people complaining that they "only" have a double garage... I just envy them for having so much space compared to mine. Everything... and I mean EVERYTHING is on wheels so that some tools can be moved around in order to use another tool. But I've gotten used to it and seem to be able to manage. At least it's heated so I can use it year round. I'll post a couple of pictures just so you guys can have a good laugh.

    --Bobby

  10. #10

    Both

    If yr not using the entire width/length, just cut it rough with yr circular saw and then use yr tablesaw to clean up the cut.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Even Kelly Mehler in his video "Mastering Your Table Saw" shows a helper when he has one available to assist on full sheets of plywood. My Christmas present to my son this year was a 50" tool clamp guide for cutting full sheets of plywood with his circular saw, as he has had need to do so this year.

  12. #12
    Not trying to be smart, but it depends...on how much you are trying to cut off. Trimming a 1" piece off one edge is different than cutting a sheet in half length wise or cutting it in half side ways.

    My saw has 30" left and right of the blade and over 60" behind the blade. I can rip a full sheet easily down the middle of the length, but would have more difficulty cutting 1" off the edge.

    Like wise cutting 10" off one end would be dangerous and cutting more than 30" off the length would be impossible, so I use a clamp on guide and a skill saw for those cuts and the trim them on the TS.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  13. #13
    Your material should be fully supported prior to, through and after the cut.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  14. #14
    I use an EZ-Guide system to cut down plywood. Advantage of the track saw systems is that you really don't need to waste anything. As long as your layout is accurate, you can cut near-perfect cabinet parts without ever using your table saw. I built my whole kitchen, three bathroom vanities and four office cabinets from birch and cherry ply and none of it ran through my table saw. I really only use it for ripping.
    Jon Endres, PE

  15. #15
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    I have no issues ripping plywood with a helper that KNOWS what he/she is doing, my wives used to hate to hear "honey I need you to help me rip some ply" both both of them got very good at it, learning exactly what not to do. The first wife didn't wait long enough for me to have a cabinet saw with a full l shaped extension table, maybe thats why she left... nah.

    I can not say I haven't ripped full panels on even a lesser saw than you have but I wouldn't even consider it alone. A track saw or even just a rough circ saw cut with no guide (cleaned up later via the factory edge) is a much safer idea. In the end even when reduced in size if you are going to do much plywood work build a good support table to handle any sheet you may cut on the TS. Build it with removable or folding legs if you are tight on space.

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