All forms of plywood, even oak plywood, are made out of thin layers. Between each layer of wood is a binder, such as an epoxy adhesive. The problem with oak plywood is that when you cut it, the wood can easily chip and be torn up. The difference between oak plywood and other forms of plywood is that a thin oak veneer is affixed on top of plywood that is of a lesser grade. Oak plywood is hard to work with, as this veneer does not always adhere properly to lesser plywood. With care, preparation and patience, you can properly cut oak plywood, and this article will show you how.
Step 1 - Install Blade
Cutting oak plywood properly hinges on the type of blade you use to cut it. In order to cut oak plywood to keep it from cutting you need to install a double face high ATB grind saw blade onto the table saw. This is an alternate top bevel blade which has teeth on both sides of the blade's alternating sides. This blade works a lot like a serrated knife, which creates a cut that is much cleaner than other blades. This type of blade is also used to cut through veneer and laminate.
Step 2 - Determine the Cut
Choose which side of the oak plywood is going to be used as the top side and make sure to set the table saw to the right dimension you need for your cut. Use the tape measure along with the straight edge to draw a line along the entire proposed cut line. Make sure to place a mark along the top and bottom edges as well. Use a pencil so that you can easily erase any excess markings.
Step 3 - Prepare the Oak Plywood
The vibration from the saw is what normally causes the plywood to break apart. There is no stopping the vibration of the blade, but you can dull it to the point where the vibration is not strong enough to cause chipping. To do this you will need to remove a length of painters tape the same length as the cut you are going to make. Center the painters tape over the pencil line you made and use your hands to smooth it out flat. Turn the oak plywood over and use the pencil and straight edge to draw a cut line on this side of the plywood between the two end marks.
Step 4 - Cutting the Plywood
Place the plywood on the table saw and make sure you line the back of the plywood up flush against the back of the saw with the good side facing down (the side with the tape). Put on your work gloves and protective goggles then turn on the table saw. Make your cut in a steady motion. Starting the plywood in this position allows you to work with and not against the blade.