JEM Watercraft

Cutting ply without splintering
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Author:  LEE SCHNEIDERMANN [ Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Cutting ply without splintering

I've read on a couple of entries that some folks are having a problem with splintering on thier plywood while cutting out the panels.
I'm sure most have figured this out already, but if you take a utility knife and score the top ply (especially on the cross-grain areas), the cut will be nice and clean. Start the scoring by lightly going over the lines. progressively cut deeper with each pass until you're through the top ply.
Leaves a nice edge to sand to if you are keeping the saw a skosh off the line. :wink:


Author:  jem [ Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

good tip.

For very small cuts, I sometimes just use a sharp utility knife to cut the ply. Takes a couple passes. But it does the job nicely.

Author:  Bruce36549 [ Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

An effective woodworkers trick to eliminate splintering on your cuts is to make a zero clearance insert/baseplate for your saw. Trace the outline of the baseplate of your saw on a piece of thin hardboard or plywood and cut it out. Then cut down the center of the new baseplate with the blade that you will be using to create a zero clearance opening for your blade. In the photos I used 1/4" hardboard, however 1/8" would work just as well.


Using double sided carpet tape, attach the zero clearance plate to the sole of your saw's baseplate.



This luan plywood was cut with a Bosch T101DP blade. The top cut was made with the zero clearance baseplate attached to my saw, and the bottom cut was made without the zero clearance plate.


I didn't touch the wood after cutting. The beginning of the top cut shows some slight tearing at the beginning of the cut I think because I didn't have the saw baseplate resting flat on the wood at the start of the cut.

If you prefer using a circular saw, attach the zero clearance plate to your saw with the blade above the baseplate, then turn the saw on and lower the blade through the zero clearance plate to create the blade slot.

Hope the photos attach okay. I've never done this before. If they don't show up maybe someone could give me some detailed instructions on how to get them into this post. Thanks.


Author:  FlaMike [ Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

WOW! :shock:

If a fellow wasn't real carefull, he could learn something around here! :D

I really liked that "zero clearance" plate idea, complete with pics. Nice going!

Mike S.

Author:  hairymick [ Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

G'day Bruce,


thank you for the tips re the base plate - brilliant.

G'day Mike, and welcome back!! Hope all is good for you and yours.

Author:  LEE SCHNEIDERMANN [ Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

That's a trick I've used on the table saw before, but never thought of using it for hand held power tools. Thanks for passing it along! :)


Author:  Graham [ Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

If you mark out your lines on the face side, as per your drawings.The use of up cut or standard Jigsaw blades cause severe (spelching) ripping of the face veneres. :? To avoid this check out your tool suplier for some down cut blades. These used for laminate work top cutting give a clean cut every time on the face and minimal spelch on the rear.
Give it a try it works for me 8)

Author:  Bruce36549 [ Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

Thanks to all for your kind words. I am hoping to start a Laker build in the next month or so and have been doing a lot of reading of all your posts on the forum trying to glean as much information as possible before starting. While I have been a woodworker hobbyist for 25 years or so, I have never tried building a boat and have no experience with fiberglass and epoxy. All of you have been very generous with help and advice at this site making it a very valuable source of information. Hairymick and Lee especially are true masters that I would like to measure up to.


Author:  Kayak Jack [ Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what's the score??

Slick idea! Happy Holidaze to all.

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