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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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Set the saw blade ''depth of cut'', so the blade protrudes 1/4" beyond the back side of the material you're cutting.

When cutting/ripping construction lumber, ex 2x stock, set it at 1/2''.

Hi Scott, If you cut plywood very often, the easiest method of either cross cutting or ripping plywood is to get yourself 2 or 4 2x4's, (4 is best) and make yourself a grid by laying them either on the cement floor or on 2 saw horses.  These can become a sacrificial platform and will last for numerous cuts.

 Then lay the plywood on top of the 2x4's.  Set the skill saw so the blade passes through the plywood sheet by about 1/4 inch.  This gives you a clean cut with out trouble like blade binding or pinching.  It allows the plywood to rest on the 2x4's and remain flat and secure. This is my method and at times I may rip as many as 10 to 15 sheets of 3/4 ply or melamine.  Doing it this way makes a hard job an easy job. 


The Rip-Cut base is just over 1/4" thick, so you'll need to account for that when setting depth of cut. Most of the time when cutting sheet goods, I "eyeball" the depth by placing the saw at one edge, lifting the guard (with the saw off, or course), and setting the depth so the blade protrudes about 1/8" to 1/4" below  the sheet.

If you need an exact depth of cut, whether you are using the Rip-Cut or the saw alone, the best practice is to measure from the underside to set the exact blade protrusion. Again, have the saw off, and preferably unplugged, when you do this. The scales on circ saws aren't always incredibly accurate.


Thanks for all the answers.  Never thought of using 2x4's to help support the sheet further but will try it next time.  As you can tell I am an extreme novice right now.

Scott, don't let the feeling of being a "novice" worry you as you will soon be up and running with the best of us. We all start with a feeling of not knowing exactly what to do and how to do it.  It is like I tell everyone I have worked with that the thing to worry about is when you say to yourself "I can't do it.  Then it is time to worry as you have just defeated yourself.
Scott Aldridge said:

Thanks for all the answers.  Never thought of using 2x4's to help support the sheet further but will try it next time.  As you can tell I am an extreme novice right now.

Remember the old saying I've heard about novices and amateurs: The difference between a novice and an expert is that the an expert knows more ways to cover up their mistakes. Everyone starts somewhere. Dive in, have fun, learn as you go, and never be afraid to ask for help! As you can see, this is a great place to do so.


Having a blast here, learning alot.  I am currently trying to copy the build of the 2x4 workbench, with a modified router table built into one of the hinged tables.

let three teeth show below the board you are ripping


What are the advantage of your suggestion?


 I read books and watched videos. I even watch Woodsmith Shop on PBS-TV on the weekends. If you take your time and start slow and do get discouraged because you are slow at it. In the end you will have a beautiful piece of work that will make you feel proud that you built that.  The KregRep is right about raising the saw blade to help with the cut. I raise my skilsaw to the depth of the plywood with a few teeth showing.  It will lower the chip out on the under side of the board, Ken. I found that out by trial and error when I sawed some plywood. I hope this helps you out, Scott.

As Jay posted, I also use the 2x4 method.  Saw it online  a few years ago and wow, what a help.

2" thick (4x8ft) rigid insulation board, placed on a concrete floor, driveway, patio, or the like,

suffices nicely as a platform to rest sheet goods while ripping.

The insulation board can be easily cut in half, making (2) 4x4ft sections.

Use one section for cutting smaller objects, and butt both sections together for larger sheets.

When cutting the sheet goods, in an elevated position, such as on sawhorses, or the like,

place 2x4's under the insulation board, to prevent fracturing of the insulation board.

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