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This may have been discussed elsewhere but I cannot find it so here goes.


How much should I add to the depth setting on my circular saw when it is attached to the Rip Cut?  I just got mine and set my saw to 3/4" for the piece of MDF I was trying to rip and I did not cut all the way through.  I then changed to 1" and still didn't make it.


Am I missing something in my setting up of the Rip Cut here?  Please help.

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I've seen two philosophies on the depth setting:

* LOW SETTING: Set the depth to just beyond what's need to cut through in order to avoid tear out, etc. This - I believe - is generally considered safest approach.

* HIGH SETTING: Set the depth MUCH higher than what's needed. The theory being when the teeth come down into the plywood, they're cutting straight up or down. (It would be down on a table saw, up on a circular saw.) So the idea is that you get cleaner cuts. This is from Wood Magazine:  Wood Mag article on cutting stuff

As far as surface to cut on, I've been using the Kreg Rip tool on my circular saw on boards clamped to a work table. I've not ripped full plywood sheets yet, but I actually need to this weekend. So I'm going to big box store and getting a 4'x8' solid foam insulation board as suggested above. It'll get hacked up, but will be useful for a whole lot of cuts first. (Seen some folks using this method on YouTube and it seems really great and safe since you get plenty of support and can just crawl across the board without having to lean far - and oddly - which maybe risks slipping.)

Saw-cut depth setting:

Set the saw blade depth, so 1/2 of the teeth are showing, where the blade exits the work-piece.

This will result in the saw tooth "slicing" the top layer of plywood.

I most cases a 1/4" of the saw blade teeth will be showing, which is adequate to make a clean cut, when using the appropriate blade.

Use a utility knife---"score" a line into the top layer of the plywood---this is a slicing motion.

When cutting plywood, making the first pass using a score cut of 1/16-1/8", followed by a full-depth.

This will minimize chipping of the plywood.

When the saw tooth cuts in a UP and DOWN fashion thru the top layer, 

splinters will occur.

When using a RAS (radial arm saw), for cutting thru the material, the saw blade is set 1/8-1/4" below the table surface.

On a RAS the saw blade is "downward" and on a table saw the blade it's "upward".

Therefore, set the sawblade 1/8 -1/4" above the surface of the work-piece, on a table saw.

NOTE: When ripping on a table saw, cutting boards or 2x stock, and when using a combination or rip blade, set the depth of cut so the gullet of the blade is showing.  The deep gullets are designed to remove the sawdust rapidly.  When ripping thicker stock, and the cut does not go all the way thru on one pass,

turn the piece over and make a second cut, in the same plane as the first cut.

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