5 Tips for Cutting Exterior Plywood

Exterior plywood is manufactured and treated with chemicals and pressure in order to be able to use it for exterior purposes. Exterior plywood will stand up to extreme weather and be able to withstand mold and mildew. You will typically find exterior plywood used for decks, fences and sheds as well as furniture. Cutting this type of wood can be tricky, but the information below will share several tips with you on how to properly cut this plywood.

Raise It

When you want to cut exterior plywood it is important to do so with it not lying flat on any surface. Most times you will be cutting the exterior plywood with a circular saw because they are portable and easier to use than a table saw. Use several wood or cinder blocks to act as risers. Place the plywood to be cut on top of the risers and then cut the wood. You will get the plywood cut and will not damage the ground or the floor. You will also not have to worry about damaging the saw.

Keeping a Straight Line

When cutting plywood it is sometimes hard to keep a straight line when using a circular saw. If you use a table saw then you simply secure the plywood with the fence. A good trick to keeping a straight line is by using another piece of plywood. Draw your cut line on the exterior plywood and place another sheet of plywood on top of it. Make sure the sides are even and the guide plywood is set on top of the cut line. You can then use the circular saw to cut the plywood. If stability is a concern with this tip then use brick or cinder block set on top of the guide plywood.

Save Face

Exterior plywood has 2 sides to it with one side being more finished than the other. The more finished side is the one that appears shinier. This shine is a thin sheeting so when you use a circular saw to cut it the sheeting will splinter because the circular saw cuts upward and not down. In order to prevent the splintering of the plywood always cut it with the shinier surface pointing down.

Never Stop Cutting

One sure way to damage plywood when cutting it is by doing a stagger cut. This basically means you start cutting the plywood and then stop and then start cutting it again. This eats up the plywood causing it to splinter and lines to not be straight let alone even. In order to keep this from happening, never stop cutting once you have put blade to wood.

Right Tool for the Job

There are  saws that you can use to effectively cut exterior plywood: a table saw and a circular saw. All of the tips above (unless specified) will all work with the table saw. The circular saw is a great choice because it is easy to use and portable. A table saw will require help to secure the plywood.