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Old 20th January 2006, 04:51 PM   #1
Vikash is offline Vikash  United Kingdom
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Default Woodworking questions

Beginning wih Birch Ply. I've been asking around about Baltic Birch, but suppliers local to me talk about the Latvian Birch available on tap. Is this the same stuff? It's labeled as BB/BB whatever that means.

I've found a major supplier of the above on my doorstep, but they don't provide a cutting service. To cut the sheets into manageable sizes for use on the table saw, I was thinking of laying it on the ground supported by eight blocks of wood and cutting down the middle with a router and guide. The aim being to get accurate square cuts without the splintering/breaking at the end of the cut. Any tips/alternatives here would be much appreciated.
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Old 20th January 2006, 04:57 PM   #2
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Latvia is in the Baltics so your probably OK there...

You find this wood excellent to work with... doesn't splinter much at all... with sharp tools anyway.

You can make a small 2" cut at one end of your line. Then start from the opposite end and come back to meet you're first cut.
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Old 21st January 2006, 07:59 AM   #3
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Ripping with a circular saw and a guide works well with large unmanagable pieces. If you use a router you might want to make a series of passes with increasing depth to prevent the bit from breaking. If your performing a crosscut (against the grain) some masking tape comes in handy to reduce breakout.
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Old 21st January 2006, 12:36 PM   #4
Volenti is offline Volenti  Australia
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If you score through the top layer of ply along your cut line with a sharp knife the ply will cut cleanly.
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Old 21st January 2006, 12:48 PM   #5
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Default circ saw with straight guide

I have used a circular saw against a known straight edge clamped to the sheet myself, starting cut one way and finishing from the other is probably good advice.
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Old 23rd January 2006, 01:57 AM   #6
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when using a circular saw with a straightedge; cut with the good side down for less splintering on the face of the plywood
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Old 23rd January 2006, 02:15 AM   #7
gengis is offline gengis  United States
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^^I disagree w/ your assessment. The top side should be the good wood.

Put the good side on the entry of the saw.


The exit of the saw normally splinter and rip the plywood.


Put masking tape on the cut line will minimize splinters and rips.
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Old 23rd January 2006, 02:23 AM   #8
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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gengis... you are nuts.

If you are using a circular saw or jigsaw, the "good side" goes DOWN.

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Old 23rd January 2006, 08:56 AM   #9
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Definately good side down. And if your marking up and cutting is accurate, running a knife along the cut line helps as well. I tend to cut big sheets to within 5mm or so with a skilsaw, then finish off on the table saw for perfect dimensioning.
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Old 23rd January 2006, 11:31 AM   #10
Vikash is offline Vikash  United Kingdom
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Thanks for the feedback. I only have a router but I guess the same applies.

What about when you pass long sheets though the tablesaw and you want to avoid damaging the off cut when it becomes loose and sometimes angles into the blade? Any ideas here when a second guide and a second helper isn't available?
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