Plywood Cutting Table Plans

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Free woodworking plans to build a plywood cutting table that can store away easily yet still support full 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. This will help you get cleaner and more accurate cuts when cutting plywood with a circular saw.

Normally when I'm cutting plywood with a circular saw and either a circular saw guide or my Kreg Rip-Cut jig I just throw some scrap 2x4's on the ground or a sheet of rigid insulation to put the plywood on but lately I've been getting tired of the bending over and being on my knees while cutting sheet goods. I've been using a couple of 2x4's on my saw horses but it doesn't provide as much support for short pieces so I've come up with this alteration that provides more support and doesn't take up a lot of space in my garage when I'm done. I can also pack it up in the back of my truck easily if I need to cut some plywood somewhere else.

What You'll Need

Materials

Tools

  • Circular Saw
  • 2 bar clamps with a minimum 12" opening
  • Combination square or speed square
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Cut Plan

2 of the 2x4's will remain uncut and the entire 8' length. The other 4 will be cut in half to get 8 roughly 4' long pieces mines the saw kerf.

Step 1: Mark and Cut Notches on the Long Boards


Clamp the 2 long boards together with the crown sides up. Mark the center of each notch starting 6" from one end and then every 12".

To mark the actual sides of the notches take one of the short boards and roughly center it over the center line and mark the sides. Or you can measure 3/4" on the side of your center mark.



The placement doesn't need to have laser precision as long as the notches on each board line up and another board can fit in the notch. Lining up shouldn't be a problem since we're going to clamp the boards together and cut out the notches with a circular saw.

Line up the two boards, with their crown side up, and clamp them together. Extend the marks across the tops of both boards and down one 1-3/4" on one face.



Set the depth of your circular saw to the depth of the cut, 1-3/4".



For these cuts I used a speed square to cut out the notch. This is not a time to forget your safety glasses! I made one cut on each line as a reference then started making cuts in between until I had thin enough pieces that I could break off easily.


The bottom will still need to be cleaned up until you get a fairly flat bottomed notch that you can fit a 2x4 on edge in. You can clean it up with a chisel or by carefully using a side to side motion with your circular saw. If you've never done this please find full instructions for the technique before attempting it.


Step 2: Mark Short Notches


Set up the notched long boards in the notches of both of your saw horses. Place one of the short 2x4's in the front pair of notches, and one in the back pair to line up both boards. Try to get the front board as close to centered as you can between the two boards. Then just trace around the area where the long board notch contacts the short board.



Step 2: Cut Notches in Short Boards


Clamp all 8 of the short 2x4's together keeping all the crown sides facing down. Transfer the cut lines you marked in the previous step across the tops of all the boards. 

Set the depth of your circular saw to the depth of your cut (should be around 1-3/4") and start making cuts through all 8 boards simultaneously. Make one cut, move the blade over and make another cut until all the wood from the notch is cleared.

You can use some scrap wood on the sides as stops. The placement of the stops will depend on the dimensions of your circular saw bottom plate. Just line up the blade with one line and place the stop, do the same on the other side. That way you don't have to be too concerned with measuring your saw.



I used my Bora straight edge clamps as guides.

Repeat for the second notch.

Step 4: Assemble Table


Next it's just a matter of putting it all together. 

Set up your saw horses and lay the long boards with the notches facing up in the notches on the saw horses. Don't press them down all the way yet so you can make adjustments.

Place the first short board in one of the end notches and use that to help line up the long boards. Then place a short board on the other end.

Continue placing short boards on the long boards with the short board notches facing down. Make adjustments as you go if necessary.

Once all the boards are in place make sure the long boards are pressed in fully into the notches on the saw horses and that everything is lined up.


When you're done cutting your plywood just reverse the steps to disassemble everything until you need it again.

Step 5: Add Rigid Insulation


This is optional but recommended. Add a 1-1/2" or thicker 4'x8' sheet of rigid insulation over the boards. This will give you more support and help produce cleaner cuts.

When you cut make sure the good side is down. Also, after placing your plywood on the cutting table double check to make sure everything is still stable and hasn't moved before you begin cutting. Practice general good care when using a circular saw.

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