Shed Construction: Three Practical Guidelines on Cutting Plywood Correctly

If you are planning on building a shed in your home, you should consider incorporating plywood in the structure. In general, this material is favourable because it provides the appeal of wood at a low price. Also, you can customise the appearance of the plywood through painting, staining or varnishing. Unfortunately, cutting plywood into desirable pieces for construction can be challenging. If the material is damaged, your shed will not be appealing, and you might experience significant losses. If you are building with plywood for the first time, consider these practical tips for cutting the panels correctly.

Choose a Suitable Blade

You should select the right blade for cutting your plywood. Your choice will determine the quality of the edges and the final appearance of your shed. If you are planning on using a circular blade during your project, you should compare the tooth count in different blades. There is no wrong choice per se, but selecting a higher tooth count will give you smoother cuts. If you are interested in using a jigsaw, you should pay attention to the blade width, length and teeth configuration. In general, wide blades are perfect for straight cuts; narrow alternatives are more suited for curves. Additionally, you should look for a higher tooth for refined edges.

Keep Your Lines Straight

If you are a beginner in woodworking, you might find cutting your plywood panels in straight lines to be challenging. Often, DIY enthusiasts find that their cuts are not as straight as expected. The result is poor aesthetics after construction and loss of material. If you are concerned about this problem, you should find a way to stabilise or clamp your boards. The cutting process is usually compromised when the plywood moves. If you are using a jigsaw, you should use a straightedge guide such as steel squire, long level or a straight piece of wood. This type of tool should keep your saw on course. 

Place the Finished Side Down

Both circular saws and jigsaws tend to cut wood on the upstroke. Unfortunately, this cutting process usually results in the formation of splintered edges on the upper surface of the plywood panels. These edges can interfere with the appearance of the boards during shed construction. You might not be able to prevent the edges from splintering. However, you can control where the rough edges appear. Ideally, you should place your plywood on the finished or visible side. This way, any splinters will form on the unfinished side of the panels.