Cutting plywood to size for bunkbed?


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Old 03-18-16, 08:14 PM
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Question Cutting plywood to size for bunkbed?

I need to get a not-too-thick piece of plywood (maybe 1/2" or so) cut down to use overtop slats on the bottom portion of a bunkbed, the intention being some extra support for a memoryfoam mattress without raising the mattress up much higher than it already is.

Lowe's was hesitant to trim a piece one down because of splintering after I told them I'd need it cut down to the size of the bed, and then again in half down the long way for transportation and installation.

But the thing is, I see comments online literally everywhere about people in my same situation, getting plywood cut down to do exactly this.

I realize I can just go back, request they do it since they were willing, just didn't recommend it, and deal with the splintery aftermath... But is there any way I can do this without having that messy result? Is there a thin type of plywood that lends itself to cutting?

I'd apprecaite any thoughts or guidance. Thanks!
 
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Old 03-18-16, 08:29 PM
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I cut literally hundreds of sheets of plywood on the HD panel saw and if the blade was good and you went slow, splintering was minimal. What was left could easily be rasped/sanded off.
 
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Old 03-18-16, 08:31 PM
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They were probably hesitant because you were buying the "nice" AC or BC plywood. If you had asked them to cut 1/2" cdx plywood, they would not have thought twice about it.

Since this is getting covered up by your box spring, the splinters really don't matter. Have them cut it for you.

If they had any smarts they would put the piece on their panel saw with the best side turned toward the table... away from the saw operator, so that the teeth on the blade would spin into the back (good side) and exit out the front (bad side).
 
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Old 03-18-16, 08:47 PM
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Smile

Thanks, both of you.

They were probably hesitant because you were buying the "nice" AC or BC plywood. If you had asked them to cut 1/2" cdx plywood, they would not have thought twice about it.
I admit to not knowing the difference between the types you mention, but my equation that directed me to what piece I took over to the saw was "correct thickness + least expensive," so I'm not sure 'nice' really factored into it all.

I'll head back again tomorrow and try my luck again. I appreciate the assistance.
 
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Old 03-19-16, 05:52 AM
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Have you considered something other than plywood? MDF would work just as well with no splinter problems.

However, I am having difficulty understanding why a big box store can't cut a piece of plywood without it splintering. Any splinters should be on the underside. Another optiion is to put masking tape on the cut line to reduce splintering.
 
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Old 03-19-16, 06:34 AM
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Going the plywood route, I would knock off any large splinters, run a piece of sand paper along the corners, and call it good. As long as you're not counting on it for support, I have also used MDF, as cw mentioned.
 
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Old 03-19-16, 07:54 AM
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Plywood

Have the correct dimensions ready for the piece you need for the bunk bed.

Also have dimensions ready for any other projects utilizing the remainder of the plywood sheet.

You may as well have all the cuts made while you are there.
 
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Old 03-19-16, 08:20 AM
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Got all the dimensions ready to go, so no problem there.

I had not considered MDF, but will. The bed has sturdy slats built in already, they're just spaced a little too far apart for a foam mattress so the plywood or MDF or whatever is just there to produce a flat, even surface.

I was surprised by the splinter reply as well, but my expedition was during a short lunch break so I didn't really have time to argue.
 
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Old 03-19-16, 09:12 AM
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I wonder if the big box store help was just looking for a way out of making the cuts .... or just ignorant
 
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Old 03-19-16, 11:16 AM
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Probably both.

Here's a photo of the MDF mattress support for one of my grandkid's beds. It is two pieces, 6'6" by 19" cut from one sheet. It has endured a dozen years of visiting grandkids and is little the worse for wear.

Name:  MDF Bed.jpg
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Size:  18.0 KB
 
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Old 03-19-16, 12:07 PM
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Nah, the first employee was ready to make the cuts himself before a second came along and cautioned that splinters would be the result. They would've gone ahead and done it, if I hadn't told them to hold off before I lookd into it some more. (Yes, it would've been nice if one had said "Oh don't worry, it'll be fine," but I'm not going to begrudge them being cautious.)

Anyway, success. I went back today, picked out my board, got it cut, and am good to go.

Thank you again everyone for the discussion, it was immensely beneficial.
 
 

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