Anyone who has tried to cut a sheet of plywood on a table saw knows that it can be a daunting task. If you’re not careful, you can easily end up with a piece that’s not quite the right size or shape.
In short, to cut a 4×8 sheet of plywood on a table saw, you’ll need to use a saw blade that’s at least 8 inches in diameter. Then, measure and mark your cut line. To make the actual cut, start the saw and slowly feed the plywood into it, following your marked line. When you’re finished, turn off the saw and unplug it.
If you want to know more then in this blog post, I’ll show you how to make sure your cuts are accurate every time. We’ll also give you some tips for safe and efficient sawing.
How To Cut 4×8 Sheet of Plywood On Table Saw Step By Step
Here are some steps to follow when cutting plywood sheets with a table saw:
Step 1: Make your measurements
The first step to cutting plywood on a table saw is making accurate measurements. If you use the wrong measurements, you might end up with an incorrectly sized piece of plywood. And once the cut is made, it can’t be undone!
So before you make any cuts, measure twice and triple-check your measurements. You don’t have to use a tape measure for this step. In fact, the board itself can be used as a straight edge for making other measurements.
So if you’re cutting a piece that’s 4 feet long and 8 inches wide, you would make your final cut at 16 inches.
If the edge of the plywood isn’t smooth enough to provide a reference point, you can always place it against something else like a fence or a stop block to get an accurate measurement before completing your cut. The trick here is to keep things aligned correctly while you’re sawing.
Step 2: Attach stops
The best way to keep things lined up is by attaching stops along both sides of the fence on your table saw. This will help to maintain accurate measurements while you’re cutting.
If you don’t have stops, make “L” or “T” shapes out of 2x4s and attach them to both sides of the fence. When making your cut, the saw’s blade should stop right at the edge of the longest piece of material on your board.
Step 3: Use feather boards
Feather boards are an invaluable tool for table saws. They keep your stock firmly pressed against the fence, which helps eliminate variations in measurements that can occur when moving materials around on a table saw.
Feather boards also reduce kickback, so they’ll definitely come in handy if you’re starting with rough-cut plywood! Use one on each side of your saw, making sure they’re attached securely.
Step 4: Use a push stick
Using a push stick is the safest way to move materials on the table saw. But you’ll need to make sure it’s well-suited for your job. A push stick should be at least 5 inches wide and have a small notch cut out of one side to allow clearance for the blade.
When using your push stick, always place it against the fence rather than just pushing directly into the blade.
Once you’ve pushed your stock all the way through, clear any remaining material off of your board before lifting it off of the table saw. If you want extra protection, make an auxiliary fence that’s 8- inches longer than your workpiece.
Then attach your feather boards to this fence instead of the table saw’s original fence. Read more here How to cut 60-degree angles with a table saw.
Step 5: Use a good quality blade
Table saws come with several different types of blades, but in most cases, it’s best to use high-quality, carbide-tipped blades for cutting plywood. These blades are much more durable than conventional steel blades and can be used for lots of applications.
And because they last much longer, you won’t have to replace them nearly as often! As for the size of the blade itself.
Well, that depends on how thick your material is. If you’re using ¾ inch stock, use a 22-tooth fine finish blade (18 teeth per inch). For ½ inch stock, use a 24-tooth fine finish blade (16 teeth per inch). The higher the tooth count, the finer the cut.
Step 6: Attach your workpiece
Once you’ve got your measurements lined up and your stop in place, attach the plywood to the table saw’s fence using clamps or screws. Then tighten down any feather boards that are attached.
This will ensure that when you start cutting, everything stays in place securely. Take note here that it would be much safer if you set up just one feather board on each side of the board before tightening them all down at once.
And make sure they’re all facing slightly away from the blade! Once things are starting to get really close to being cut (about 3 inches away), you can start tightening down all of your feather boards at once.
If the material starts to move around while you’re sawing, it’s a good time to quickly get things lined up again before proceeding with the cutting.
Step 7: Cut
Make sure everything is nice and tight on your table saw, then turn on your saw and slowly lower the blade into your workpiece. Once you’ve made contact, carefully push the stock through until it reaches the backside of the blade.
Then stop! After a few seconds, you can continue pushing until both pieces have been completely cut in half.
As long as nothing has shifted out of alignment while you were making this cut, chances are that the second piece will also come out perfectly straight.
Once you’ve got the first cut done, you can move on to splitting it again! But this time, make sure your material is lined up so that it crosses through the blade at a 45-degree angle (rather than 90 degrees like before).
After making the second cut, there should be four equal pieces of plywood remaining attached to what used to be one single piece of plywood.
Now all that remains is to separate them by hand and voilà! You’re done! Read more here How to cut 45 degree angle with table saw.
Here are some safety tips to follow:
- As always, you should wear the proper protective gear when using power tools. This includes wearing safety goggles, hearing protection, and gloves to avoid any injury or splintering!
- You also want to make sure that your table saw’s blade is nice and sharp. Dull blades will result in more force being needed to complete this cut.
- If necessary, replace it with a new one before attempting this process again! You’ll find the spare blade nearby the machine itself.
- Finally, never attempt this process, if possible, without first locking down your workpiece!
- There are two simple ways of doing this: clamping your material directly into place using clamps or temporary fixtures or placing screws beside both lines that mark where you need to cut. Both of these will make your job much safer and easier!
Tips for cutting plywood on the table saw:
- Use feather boards or push sticks to keep materials in place when cutting.
- Do not use scrap lumber for push sticks because the end grain will catch the blade and kick it back at you.
- Once you’ve lined up your material, clamp it down firmly before turning on the saw. If clamps are not available, secure them against something that is sticking out of the table (like a miter gauge). Do NOT use magnets because they can be knocked loose unexpectedly while cutting. Read more here How to cut a 135 degree angle with table saw.
- Using a sacrificial board beneath your workpiece will prevent splintering if there’s any risk of your material snapping during this process. However, this should only be used as an absolute last resort it doesn’t always work too well.
- When marking out where you want to cut your material, make sure to use a guide as well as a sharp blade. A dull blade tends to tear the wood apart rather than cleanly slice through it, which is why it should always be replaced before doing any serious work.
I have shown you how to cut a 4×8 sheet of plywood on a table saw. We started by discussing the necessary safety precautions and then moved on to show you the steps for cutting the sheet.
The first method is more accurate but takes longer, while the second is faster but less precise. Whichever method you choose, be sure to take your time and use caution when operating the saw.