Because of their unwieldiness and weight, 4x8 plywood sheets are particularly hard to cut into smaller pieces. On the other hand, due to the strength and price of the material, they have an almost universal application in home-building, renovation and remodeling, so if you plan to upgrade your residence or start a construction business, you should read some pieces of advice on how to cut these huge chunks of plywood, which are often the bane of professional joiners, cabinet-makers and carpenters.
Tip 1–Using a Circular Saw with a Track System
A good way to cut 4x8-foot plywood sheets is to use a circular saw with a metal track which guides its movement in a straight line. Make sure that your saw is fitted with a sharp blade, as dull blades are dangerous to use. Don’t forget to pay attention to the power cord’s position at all times. You don’t want to cut it as well.
Tip 2–Marking the Desired Dimensions on Plywood Sheets
The best way to go about marking is to set the plywood sheet on a solid, balanced table with a large top and using a pencil and a measuring tape to mark the widths into which you want to cut it. You need to have marks on two of the sheet edges, double checking the measurements for correctness.
Tip 3–Setting up the Metal Track
Using the pencil marks as guide points is the smart way to place the track on the plywood sheet. Check the pointers on the track, making sure you will cut along the desired line. To secure the track against shaking and moving about, it is strongly recommended to fasten the track clamps to the plywood sheet.
To do the actual cutting, you need to set the circular saw on the metal track, plug it in and make the cut with firm and steady movements. Once you reach the end of the track, you have to turn off the saw, release the clamps and reposition the track to another place where you want to cut. You can repeat the procedure for all plywood sheets you have to cut.
If you have cut the insulation sheet shorter than the sheet you are about to cut, you may use small clamps, clamping the straight edge to the sheet. This way, you will make the most accurate cut.
Tip 5–General Advice
If you are not satisfied with your woodworking skills and do not find the lines you have cut particularly clean and straight, you may want to do the following: cut with circular saw and track a piece of plywood sheet which is slightly larger than the desired size. Then, use a table saw to trim it up and give it a fine edge. Just remember to leave at least one of the factory edges intact to align the plywood piece against the fence of the saw. Finally, don’t forget to wear goggles and gloves and read the safety procedures in you circular saw’s user manual.