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Ripping 4x8 plywood?

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  • Ripping 4x8 plywood?

    I need to rip several pieces of 4x8 oak plywood on my tablesaw. I have a person to help, but was wonder if anyone has done this before, and if they had any pointers.


  • #2
    Be Very Careful. The pusher needs to make sure that the plywood stays against the fence and the catcher only supports the wood as it comes off the saw. The pusher stands at the corner farthest away from the fence and pushes towards the fence and forward. It's pretty easy once you get used to it. Good luck!


    • #3

      Your helper should only support the wood, not pull or try to help in any way other than support. You are the "Pilot in Command".

      An outfeed table makes it easier, and a roller stand on the infeed side helps, too.

      To avoid kickback, some sort of splitter,or riving knife behind the blade is a MUST HAVE. The splitter or knife will help keep the ply from twisting into the blade. Since you're working with sheet goods, there is more likelyhood that the material will get away from the fence, even a 64th of an inch.
      When it does that, lookout! There's your chance for kickback.

      Fine Woodworking mag had an article in Aug of 200(0 or 1) that showed a table made of 2X grid mounted on folding legs that was used to cut sheet goods with a Circ. saw and a guide. I have done it both ways on the TS and on the grid. Both work well for me but my table saw is set up to handle sheet goods without help.

      Good luck, please be careful.

      Ryobi cult member spreading the peace.


      • #4
        The times I have used a "catcher", I make them hold their hands out flat, palms up. Tell them grabbing the stock in any way is not allowed. This is not only for your safety and the quality of cut, but for their safety as well. Kicked back stock moves unbelievably fast and can drag their hands into the saw.

        I just don't do it any more. I either use outfeed rollers or break the sheet down with a circular saw.



        • #5
          I tend to have my lumber yard or HD cut 4 x 8s into smaller, more manageable pieces. Then I clean up the edges on my saw.

          Best regards,



          • #6
            I would suggest, as several others have done, that if you don't have an outfeed table, rough cut it first with a circular saw. I usually overcut it by about 1/2" and leave (at least) one "factory edge" on each piece to use against the fence.


            • #7
              I'd go along with having the supplier cut the sheet up---go with your cutting diagram and have them cut maybe 1/2" greater than final dimension. Two great reasons---it's easier taking it home---it's also easier than the planning and set up to cut with either table saw or circular saw.


              • #8
                If you're going to have your yard cut it, eyeball their equipment first, maybe even buy a sheet of something really inexpensive and have them cut it as a test.

                I have seen some truly mistreated, unmaintained gear out there.