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I have a 10" Craftsman Tablesaw with extension wings on the sides, but still find it difficult to rip a 4x8 sheet of plywood. I have been using a circular saw, but would like to find a way to do it with the tablesaw if possible. Does anyone have any experience with this?
 

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Even though I work exclusively with a Shopsmith, where you could never cut anything that big I imagine it would be quite difficult with a standard table saw. I've used two methods, both of these work just fine.


1) I lay several pieces of 2" pink styrofoam insulation on the floor. Put the full size sheet of plywood on it and use a standard aluminum or a shopmade guide and my old circular saw. The guides clamp easily to the the plywood with spring clamps. (Remember good side down when cutting with a circular saw. Sometimes I score before making a cut with a utility knief if the edge is real important. )

2) Because I got tired of working on the floor, I built a framework of 2X4's that are notched to fit together that rest on standard saw horses. There are 2 pieces that connect the saw horses each 8' long and 4 pieces, each 4', that are evenly spaced at between the horses. Again, I put the plywood on the framework, use one of my guides with spring clamps and the cicular saw.

Once the pieces are to rough size I can trim them on the table saw.

I hope this is clear? Berry in St. Paul
 

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Hi: I rip a lot of 4X8 sheets of plywood, I have a Delta unisaw, i built a table the same height as the saw on the output end extending out 6ft. You don't say what your saw has for a fence, can you cut to the center of a 4X8? I also sometimes pay an extra dollar a sheet at my supplier, and he will rip it down to 2X8 for me. After a few heart attacks, I find that is easier, I'm not young any more,and a 3/4" 4X8 is about 75 to 80 lbs. MDF is 100 lbs. It also helps if you have a blade made for cutting plywood. I use blades made by Forest Mfg. that have every other tooth a bit longer so that it scores the plywood before the next tooth cuts it, it's called a Hi-At blade.
Hope this helps Woodnut65
 

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ShaneB said:
I have a 10" Craftsman Tablesaw with extension wings on the sides, but still find it difficult to rip a 4x8 sheet of plywood. I have been using a circular saw, but would like to find a way to do it with the tablesaw if possible. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I have a Craftsman 10” table saw that I rip 4x8 sheets on.

I use an in-feed and out-feed table. The in-feed table is small 36x36 and has wheels. I lay the sheet on the in-feed and guide the sheet into the blade. The in-feed table for me is key because I don’t have to struggle with lifting the stock. I wheel the table right to my truck, slide the sheet on top & wheel it into the garage/shop. This made for less trips to the Chiropractor after a project.

My table saw is the 10” bench top model. The saw came with steel legs that I had weighed down with sand bags to prevent it from tipping. I have since mounted the saw on to a cabinet that I built making the saw more stable and a lot safer when ripping large stock. The cabinet top also gives me 32” rip capacity to the right (up from 24”).

Hope this helps.
 

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This is why I have more than one stand that has rollers on it. I have both a sears 10" inch table saw and a shopsmith with table wings/supports. I've had to do the sand bag thing with mine too.
 

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A couple of comment here...

First what is the issue you are having with ripping the plywood? If it hasn't been covered give us some more details.

If it is support then I think that has been answered...... you need supports, for about $20 each you can get get a couple of the adjustable roller stands. You should think of getting at least 2..... nothing worse then pushing the plywood thru only to find the wood is sagging and will not be going on the roller but rather hitting it. A couple of other bad things come to mind but we will leave them.......

If you don't have the distance for say a 2 foot cut between the blade and the fence you can take a straight 2x4 and clamp it to the plywood such that the edge of the 2x4 aligns with the edge of the table saw table when the blade with the 2 foot cut line...

As was mentioned a plywood blade helps with getting a clean cut.... I have seen people use tape over the cut line or even score the cut line with a utility knife.... Even the amount of blade exposure can change the quality of the cut.

I too own a shopsmith well two of them..... and I have ripped a lot of plywood and never had any problems in fact I can cut an 8 foot sheet at the 4 foot line against my fence (I think the max is like 52" or 54"). It is all a mater of supporting the wood.

Some one else mentioned about the home centers or building places cutting the wood for you...... I have used this service when I had only a small car to haul the sheets with.... a lot easier then trying to tie it to the roof. All of the places I have done this they did not charge me.... some have a sign like up to three cuts free but most often then don't want to do the paper work so they just write down the number of sheets and off you go. BTW the panel saws they use are really the best way to cut plywood but the last time I priced them they were like $1200 US.......

Ed
 
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