For a change, I am working with the rules of thumb and not against them. Normally, overlooking procedures and finding my own way is my true nature. Sometimes it is good to learn the correct way first before breaking the rules but not knowing them in the first place can be liberating.

Recently, I needed to cut a full sheet of ply into long lengths and a smaller piece into even smaller pieces. Working on a large scale isn’t completely new to me but definitely somewhere where I have had plenty of experience observing, rather than actual doing.

Unequipped with a table saw for ease, Brett helped me to dissect my sheets in straight lines and without tearing the underside of the cut.

Cutting with the grain isn’t always plausible when dissecting found wooden objects but it is, refreshingly, when it’s a sheet of ply. It is instinctual for both Brett and I to make do with what we have and through some testing we found that using Brett’s skill-saw, with the grain, for the long cuts and my jigsaw, for the cuts across the grain, we fundamentally marginalized tearing. Ply has a good side and a not-so-good side, so cutting with the good side up is pivotal too.

The thing that excited me here was how to cut a straight line without a rip-fence! Searching around between both our workshops we found long, straight enough pieces of timber to G-clamp to the sheets as guides, placing them at the measured distance between the blade and its safety plate for the desired width of the cut.







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