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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default best circular saw blade

Greetings!
Like many others, I have to break down plywood with a circular saw. I get it done by cutting panels oversize and blue tape over the cut line. Was wondering what others found as the best circular blade to use to minimize tear out.

tia
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:44 PM
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Plywood blades are nicer than carbide to ply.
Another issue could be your fence to blade relation, parallel? .001 too tight at the outfeed end of the blade will tear the cut on the top a tape measure and your eyes won't see the .001 except for the results.
You could try a precut slice with a utility knife to see if it helps.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghidrah View Post
Plywood blades are nicer than carbide to ply.
Another issue could be your fence to blade relation, parallel? .001 too tight at the outfeed end of the blade will tear the cut on the top a tape measure and your eyes won't see the .001 except for the results.
You could try a precut slice with a utility knife to see if it helps.
Look at the blade charts for your diam. of blade, most good manufacturers have them in the tool catalogs, they call out the plywood blades. The ones I have from Freud are very good.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:50 PM
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I use a track saw (Makita) You can make a scoring cut first, then carry on through. Smoove.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilcntry View Post
Greetings!
Like many others, I have to break down plywood with a circular saw. I get it done by cutting panels oversize and blue tape over the cut line. Was wondering what others found as the best circular blade to use to minimize tear out.

tia
hilcntry
Freud...
40 and 60 tooth ATB ultra finish....

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the D07 or the LU79R....

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 01:11 PM
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At least a 40 tooth. The tip about making the saw's base plate parallel to the blade is important. My saw was almost a 1/16" out. I had to drive one of the pins out and shim it into line. I get very smooth cuts with a 40 tooth now.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 01:41 PM
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Herb,

No doubt they do have quality carbide ply blades, I haven't bought a new blade in nearly 6 yrs. I have so many Rip CC and combo blades from 3 1/2 to 12" I'll never have to buy another as long as I can keep them undamaged and get them sharpened. I've had the 8" ply blade for at least 20 yrs, the last time I pulled it out for work was for the 3/4" oak veneer ply base for a water bed platform early 2011.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 03:33 PM
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I break down plywood sheets outside of my shop because my shop is small. I can cut the pieces very accurately with the following method. It's so accurate that I don't need to even trim them to size on the table saw, unless I'm making something where the pieces need to be cut to within a few thousandths of an inch accuracy.

I have a 30 X 70" table that is just a 1 X 4 rectangular frame with 2 X 4 cross pieces laid flat and flush with the upper edge of the 1 X 4 frame. These 2 X 4 pieces are placed only where the legs and leg braces need to attach plus one across the center of the table, for a total of 5. The 2 X 4's and 1 X 4's are all joined together with biscuits and glue. There is no solid top on this table. It's just a frame. The only metal in the whole table is the conference table leg assemblies and the 1/2" long screws that attach them. There is no metal anywhere in the top 3/4" of the table frame, so no chance of hitting metal with the saw blade.

I use this table much like a pair of saw horses, setting my saw blade depth to cut the thickness of the plywood sheet that I'm breaking down, plus 1/8 to 1/4". I don't worry about making the saw kerfs in the top surface of the table. If It ever appears to be weak from too many shallow cuts I can always make a replacement and transfer the legs to it, but it's going on 14 years now and the table isn't anywhere near ready to replace. The beauty of using this table is that when you make a cut, the pieces remain on the table. Gravity keeps them there. Nothing falls to the ground or the floor and the off cut don't break from the main piece as you reach the end of the cut either. Every cut is clean all the way to the end. When the work is complete, the table legs fold up into the 1 X 4 frame of the table and it stores on edge, leaning against my sheets of plywood at the end of my shop. I bought the banquet table legs from Woodworker Supply. Woodworker.com: EBCO HEAVY DUTY BANQUET TABLE LEGS

For splinter free cuts I made a 1/4" thick base to attach to the shoe of my circular saw. I attach it to the saw base with two 8-32 flat head bolts and nuts, countersinking the bolt heads in the base, one through the front and one through the back of the saw base. Once attached, I plunge cut the blade down through this base, then mark the area where the blade guard needs to go through this base to operate safely, but it's important not to remove the area around the leading edge of the blade. This area will function as a zero clearance insert to prevent the blade teeth from chipping the wood as the teeth rise up through the wood being cut. Now remove this base and cut away the material that prevents the blade guard from operating. Re-attach this base to your saw and it is ready to cut splinter free panels. I use a thin kerf high tooth count (60) carbide combination blade for breaking down plywood.

I have two aluminum Pro Grip wide body straight edge clamps, a 50" and a 105" long, that I bought from Peach Tree Woodworking PRO-Grip Straight Edge Clamps (located about 1/3 of the way down the page). These straight edges work very well and clamp easily to the sheets.

I eventually want to make a thicker saw base with dados in it so that it will allow the saw to ride on top of these extruded straight edge clamps, like a track saw but cheaper, but I haven't done this yet.

If anybody wants pictures of all of this, I'll take them and post them.

Charley

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Last edited by CharleyL; 01-25-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
I break down plywood sheets outside of my shop because my shop is small. I can cut the pieces very accurately with the following method. It's so accurate that I don't need to even trim them to size on the table saw, unless I'm making something where the pieces need to be cut to within a few thousandths of an inch accuracy.

I have a 30 X 70" table that is just a 1 X 4 rectangular frame with 2 X 4 cross pieces laid flat and flush with the upper edge of the 1 X 4 frame. These 2 X 4 pieces are placed only where the legs and leg braces need to attach plus one across the center of the table, for a total of 5. The 2 X 4's and 1 X 4's are all joined together with biscuits and glue. There is no solid top on this table. It's just a frame. The only metal in the whole table is the conference table leg assemblies and the 1/2" long screws that attach them. There is no metal anywhere in the top 3/4" of the table frame, so no chance of hitting metal with the saw blade.

I use this table much like a pair of saw horses, setting my saw blade depth to cut the thickness of the plywood sheet that I'm breaking down, plus 1/8 to 1/4". I don't worry about making the saw kerfs in the top surface of the table. If It ever appears to be weak from too many shallow cuts I can always make a replacement and transfer the legs to it, but it's going on 14 years now and the table isn't anywhere near ready to replace. The beauty of using this table is that when you make a cut, the pieces remain on the table. Gravity keeps them there. Nothing falls to the ground or the floor and the off cut don't break from the main piece as you reach the end of the cut either. Every cut is clean all the way to the end. When the work is complete, the table legs fold up into the 1 X 4 frame of the table and it stores on edge, leaning against my sheets of plywood at the end of my shop. I bought the banquet table legs from Woodworker Supply. Woodworker.com: EBCO HEAVY DUTY BANQUET TABLE LEGS

For splinter free cuts I made a 1/4" thick base to attach to the shoe of my circular saw. I attach it to the saw base with two 8-32 flat head bolts and nuts, countersinking the bolt heads in the base, one through the front and one through the back of the saw base. Once attached, I plunge cut the blade down through this base, then mark the area where the blade guard needs to go through this base to operate safely, but it's important not to remove the area around the leading edge of the blade. This area will function as a zero clearance insert to prevent the blade teeth from chipping the wood as the teeth rise up through the wood being cut. Now remove this base and cut away the material that prevents the blade guard from operating. Re-attach this base to your saw and it is ready to cut splinter free panels. I use a thin kerf high tooth count (60) carbide combination blade for breaking down plywood.

I have two aluminum Pro Grip wide body straight edge clamps, a 50" and a 105" long, that I bought from Peach Tree Woodworking PRO-Grip Straight Edge Clamps (located about 1/3 of the way down the page). These straight edges work very well and clamp easily to the sheets.

I eventually want to make a thicker saw base with dados in it so that it will allow the saw to ride on top of these extruded straight edge clamps, like a track saw but cheaper, but I haven't done this yet.

If anybody wants pictures of all of this, I'll take them and post them.

Charley
Post the pictures Charley. That is interesting.

Herb
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 07:30 PM
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Hi Herb

Like Charley I, too, make-up 7 x 3ft breaking down tables out on the job site. They are literally just a couple of 3 x 2 rails (or even 2 x 2) with half a dozen or so 3ft lengths of 2 x 2in softwood screwed across the top - with the screws sunk well under so I can't hit them with a saw tooth. This is dropped onto a couple of trestles, either the fold-away portable type or some quick and dirty timber trestles made for the duration of the job then thrown away. The actual breaking down I do with a Festool TS55, dust extractor (ShopVac) and guide rails, but a standard circular saw with home-made guide rails (8ft or 5ft strip of 6mm plywood with 2 x 1in softwood lath screwed down one edge) would do almost as well. For standard breaking down I use a 48 tooth ATB blades (Festool or Atkinson-Walker - a Sheffield brand) whilst for melamine and veneered stuff I tend to use a Festool 48 tooth triple chip grind because TCG always produces less chip-out than ATB on brittle/fragile surfaces. The Festool blades are 160mm (6-1/2in) I have a couple of pics of just such a set up out on a job, so I'll try to post them later on.

On the table saw I tend to use a 48 to 60 tooth ATB blade on standard plywoods with a 96 to 108 tooth triple chip blade for melamine-faced and veneered stock. Blades are 12in. Brands I have (that you'll know) include Tenryu, Leitz and Guhdo - all better than equivalent CMT or Freud IMHO. I've recently added a 100 tooth high angle ATB blade which cuts well when sharp, but the blade seems to go off a lot faster than the TCG blades and I've had problems finding a sharpening shop who can deal with it

Regards

Phil

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