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Plywood Cutting Platform

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  • Plywood Cutting Platform

    Like others on this forum I tend to pre-cut my sheet material then, I haul the pieces around to the basement door where I finish cutting and do assembly in the shop.

    I have improved on this by getting the Makita track saw in 2010. Beyond that not much changed. In 2011 we moved from a three story town house to a single floor ranch. Most of the second half of 2011 was filled with making cabinets, drawers and the like to make better use of the space. The point here was I probably did more plywood cutting between 2011 and 2012 than I have every done in my life.

    So, I was dumbstruck the other day when I was watching Wood Smith Shop and they casually mentioned a plywood cutting platform. With all the plywood I have wrestled with why didn't I think of this before. I should add that a 4X8 foot chunk of 3/4 plywood is no longer easy for me to handle. I can do it but pay for that the next day.

    I had a few other projects to finish up before I got to making the cutting platform. Yesterday I began making the platform out of fir 2X4's I had laying around. I used my BT3K to saw a kerf in each 2X4 for the notch that will nest to the cross 2X4. Then on the bench with a chisel I knocked out the center plug, that worked quite well.

    I drilled a hole in the center of the 4 foot pieces and used a tee nut and knob/stud to attach it to the metal saw horses I use. The ends of all the 2X4's were rounded. I am hoping that this will help keep the plywood from being marked as I tip a sheet up and slide it on the platform.

    My hope was that I could make these parts interchangeable so that they could be assembled in any order.

    Today I finished the project by adding a handle to the carrier and then coating everything with polyurethane.

    http://www.condoman.us/PlywoodCuttingPlatform-1.JPG
    http://www.condoman.us/PlywoodCuttingPlatform-2.JPG
    http://www.condoman.us/PlywoodCuttingPlatform-3.JPG
    http://www.condoman.us/PlywoodCuttingPlatform-4.JPG

  • #2
    My platform doesn't knock down and is made of 1x4s. It's harder to store but pretty light. I just throw it across saw horses or over the top of the table saw or bench. It makes cutting up plywood a lot easier. I've also just sacrificed a sheet of OSB by cutting other sheets on top of it. It's easy to set the track saw (I have a DeWalt) to only go about 1/16 into the bottom sheet so it is still usable for rough things.

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    • #3
      I simply lay my sheets over a 14 under where the cut line is... This looks a LOT easier on the back and knees. I need to fab one of these up...
      Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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      • #4
        Am I right in assuming that this platform requires that your track saw plunge depth is only just enough to cut through your sheet goods, so as not to turn your platform into firewood?

        I was thinking of making something like this lumber cart with panel cutting guide: http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/099/...g-lumber-cart/

        I don't have a track saw and lack the floor space for another table/platform, though I like that your's knocks down for storage. Nice work.
        Michael

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        • #5
          Thought this was a pretty neat idea as well....

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpra92hsOFY

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cray- View Post
            Am I right in assuming that this platform requires that your track saw plunge depth is only just enough to cut through your sheet goods, so as not to turn your platform into firewood?

            I was thinking of making something like this lumber cart with panel cutting guide: http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/099/...g-lumber-cart/

            I don't have a track saw and lack the floor space for another table/platform, though I like that your's knocks down for storage. Nice work.
            I would think the platform would be "sacrificial"

            The way I personally do it now, I have a piece of 1x6 that I lay under the cut line, and the carbide extends just past the work piece, cutting slightly into the 1x6. I consider the damage to the 1x to be just part of doing business as it were...

            I would think this would also be part of the reason this was made with cheap, easily reworked 2x4 stock...
            Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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            • #7
              Yes, the plan is to nick the top of the 2X4's for cutting. Firewood is another department. I have a label on the saw that translates depth marking to the common ply's I cut.

              This is just for use in the garage and only when one or more vehicles is out. No space in the basement for it and I would have to lug the ply around the house to the back basement door anyway.

              I use a sheet goods carrier so I can get the sheet to the horses, but then they would start to collapse if I shoved to much. By locking them to a more rigged platform I am hoping this issue is solved.

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              • #8
                Update

                Yesterday was the first trial of cutting plywood on the new cutting platform. First, getting the full sheet onto the platform was easier than ever. In the past the saw horses were not connected and they tended to walk when a sheet was dragged onto them. The platform tied the two horses together so it was easy. I rested the sheet at the side, walked around to be behind the platform and merely tipped it onto the platform.

                The sheet was easy to position. In the past I had carpet on the saw horses and dragging a sheet would usually drag the horse also. I had to remove the carpet so I could attach the cross 2 X 4's. I did have to carefully set the depth of cut so as not to score the platform to deeply. Another benefit was that in the past I would have a clamp to hold the cut end when a long cut was done. This was to stop the cutoff from falling and damaging the final part of the cut. With the platform the cut off just sits there with no falling part to worry about.

                One down side to building this was the nice smooth carpeted saw horses were a thing of the past. I reasoned that the wood 2 X 4's would be better than the metal saw horses, but not as good as the carpet. Then an idea popped into the old brain. Bench cookies with clips could be used for a soft mount with the 2 X 4. I added them to the mix and to the carrying handle.

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                • #9
                  After spending the morning cutting down a few sheets of melamine on the garage floor, I thought I should really knock up some kind of table arrangement and I remembered this thread.

                  Alas it looks like the photo links are dead. =[ Condoman, any chance you can re-post them? I need some visuals for inspiration.
                  Michael

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cray- View Post
                    Am I right in assuming that this platform requires that your track saw plunge depth is only just enough to cut through your sheet goods, so as not to turn your platform into firewood?

                    I was thinking of making something like this lumber cart with panel cutting guide: http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/099/...g-lumber-cart/

                    I don't have a track saw and lack the floor space for another table/platform, though I like that your's knocks down for storage. Nice work.
                    Michael did you ever get around to making this one from ShopNotes? I did and love it. Used it just yesterday to cut some OSB sheets.
                    Bill in Buena Park

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                    • #11
                      Just found the posts from the cart build -

                      http://www.bt3central.com/showthread.php?t=40059

                      And then I added clamp storage to the back of it. (Around post 8 of the same thread).

                      The back now is completely covered with clamps, and I added even more clamp storage to the sides. Funny how that changes over time.
                      Last edited by Bill in Buena Park; 01-10-2015, 02:46 PM. Reason: Fix the post link
                      Bill in Buena Park

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                      • #12
                        Hey Bill, thanks for the link. Unfortunately my shop time is near non-existant with 2 kids under 3 so I haven't managed to construct much at all. I decided against the lumber cart due to lack of space, looking at something I can knock down and store. I like the integratedclamp rack though, good consolidation of uses.

                        This TrueTrac system looks interesting but I'd prefer to save the $99(+insane shipping prices to Australia) and come up with something myself.

                        http://www.sgtool.com/product/truetr...tor-table-kit/
                        Michael

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