How to Rip Cut Plywood Sheets

Rip cutting plywood sheets is a tricky job and can be a little bit problematic if not done following the procedure accurately. The first problem that often crops up during making a rip cut on a sheet of plywood involves feeding the cumbersome and heavy sheet of the ply through a saw. Once this problem is solved, however, the next challenge is getting a perfect, straight cut. Here is a simple guide to help you rip cut plywood sheets.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Sheet of Plywood
  • Measuring Tape
  • Marker
  • Safety Goggles 
  • Circular Saw

Step 1: Choosing the Saw

You need to choose the best tool that can assist you in perfectly rip cutting the plywood. Instead of a regular table saw, choose a circular saw for cutting. Make sure that it is carbide tipped and has a track system. This will make the saw clamp up onto the plywood and connect in a way that the cut comes off as smooth and straight.

Step 2: Measurements

With the aid of a measuring tape, determine the dimension on the plywood sheet that you purchased from a local hardware store. Now make the appropriate marks of where you want to cut. The marks must be on the reverse side of the plywood sheet.

Step 3: Positioning

Place the track of the saw on the plywood such that both its ends are lined on the marks measured out in the previous step. There are sites on the ends of the track that show exactly where the blade will cut. Tighten the clamps of the track so that it sits firmly in place and make sure there is no chance of it getting dislodged.

Step 4: Final Step

Take the saw and put it on the track so that the blade is on the place where the track shows where the cut will be. Now cut the plywood along the same line. Make sure that the blade does not penetrate too deeply. Only half of the tip should stick through the plywood so that there is not any extra cutting or chipping of the wood. For your benefit, you can attach some masking tape along the line to be cut. However, never use a tape that is extremely sticky, as pulling this out can cause the plywood sheet to get splintered. Remove the tape after you have cut the sheet or else it might melt over the plywood surface due to the heat generated from the circular saw blade. This final step must be performed wearing a pair of safety goggles. Handle the saw with care so that you do not hurt yourself. Once done, keep the saw aside and take off the track from the sheet of plywood.