Cutting Plywood Without a Table Saw

Duration: 6:51

Plenty of projects call for plywood or other sheet stock. If you don’t own a table saw, you might figure those projects are out of reach for you. Not so! Dave Munkittrick has come up with a great way to handle sheet goods. If you have a plywood-hungry project in mind, check out Dave’s great technique for cutting plywood without a table saw.

Tools Required

Dave’s got this process dialed in very well. He uses a jigsaw to rough out the material, and a shop-made straight edge in conjunction with a hand-held router to complete the pieces The key to the router work is bit selection. He’ll show you exactly what you need. A really cool aspect is that once you have one good piece, it becomes the template for your remaining pieces. It’s like using a cookie cutter on plywood. You’ll see that cutting plywood without a table saw is pretty simple.

Dave’s Project

Dave has been using this technique for quite a while, and is showing it here as part of his article covering How to Build a Bat House. The bat house is a great project to do on your own, or with a group. How about having a group of kids in your shop working on bat houses? Why bats? Their habitat is endangered all over the world. Plus, they eat tons of bugs a day. They provide an insecticide-free way to keep an area clear of flying pests.

Or, a Bird House

Maybe bat houses aren’t your thing, and you’d rather build for our feathered friends. If so, check out our bird house plans. They’re very simple, making this another great project to do with kids.

You may also be interested in:

Shop-Made Circular Saw Guide

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5 Responses to “Cutting Plywood Without a Table Saw”
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  1. Patrick McGuire
    Patrick McGuire

    The title is: “Cutting Plywood Without A Table Saw” but then it says that you should have a friend with a table saw cut one side with a table saw. If you have a friend with a table saw then you could have them make all the darned cuts on it couldn’t you? Kind of a wasted article.

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  2. Thomas
    Thomas

    Wish you would have explained more about how to set up the Router. I have no knowledge of using a router and it’s bits.

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  3. Jay
    Jay

    I’ve been using this technique for a while and it works reasonably well. You can also use double-stick foam tape to keep the template on the workpiece. What I have found is that the bit chews up the straight edge, especially at the bearing-bit interface. An alternative would be using a router bushing to follow an adjusted template/straight edge, which shouldn’t mar the edge at all. I haven’t tried that yet on my Porter-Cable router.

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