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Make use of these 7 simple tips and tricks to help you achieve cleaner, straighter and safer cuts on plywood using a table saw. The cut quality depends on a number of techniques that you will find out in this article. Honing them is the first step to becoming a successful user of plywood for your DIY projects.

Plywood has established itself as the best sheet good for home improvement. But to unlock its potential, you must know how to cut it properly. The layered structure of the sheet makes them prone to tear-outs; something you’d not want for your new woodworking project. This can result in little-ragged splinters in the wood fibers and thus revealing the ply underneath.

There are many ways to cut plywood. However, many woodworkers, carpenters, and DIYers agree that the table saw is the best. With the right technique and some DIY skills, this type of saw can produce cleaner, safer and straighter cuts. This article will teach you how to use a table saw to cut plywood safely and successfully.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Blade

While this may be surprising to some people, the saw blade that comes with your table saw will just not give you the quality of cuts you desire. Such blades are often designed for rough cuts common with construction-grade soft lumber. You will need to upgrade if you must use your table saw for sheet goods.

Experienced carpenters and woodworkers recommend you upgrade to something like 80 TPI plywood blade that is designed to work with rip cuts. A great blade can prove useless if you do not have the right technique to use it.

To do this, ensure you orient your plywood so that the blade exits the sheet on the excellent surface. Thus, you should have the excellent surface of the wood facing up.

Tip 2: Make Use Of Zero-Clearance Feature  

To make precise cuts, you have no option but to go for a zero-clearance insert. The insert will close the gap around the saw blade in the shoe or throat plate. So for your table saw, you can purchase a sellout insert.

Alternatively, you can make an insert on your own if you have an idea what it should be like. There is quality information online to teach yourself how to make a zero-clearance insert on for your table saw. It is essential that you go for zero clearance for your saw to make high-quality cuts on plywood.

Tip 3: Seek or Improvise Some Support

The standard dimensions of plywood sheets are 4 inches by 8 inches. The size of these sheets makes them challenging to wield with any tool. Such large size makes it almost impossible to lay the sheet flat on the table and at the same time hold it tight against the fence.

This will force you to seek help from a friend or family if you must make clean, safe and straight cuts. If no one is available, you can hold the sheet flat using a roller stand or a sawhorse. This will allow you to focus more on what you are doing. You can conveniently push the wood or saw at a consistent feed rate. Only this way will you get cleaner and straighter cuts.

Tip 4: Prevent Kickbacks by Raising the Blade Height

One common and dangerous problem with power tools is a kickback.  This term describes the sudden and unintended movement of the device or your workpiece. It can be hazardous to you and others in the vicinity of your work area. The cause of kickbacks is the pinching or binding of the workpiece.

To prevent kickbacks while using a table saw to cut plywood, set the blade to come off the wood at the gullets.  Gullet is a term used to describe valleys between the teeth of the blade. Raising the blade serves to change the direction with which the blade’s teeth enter the sheet. This will cause the saw to shift to an almost vertical cut from the usual angled cut.

However, you will need to provide for that change by being much more careful with your cuts. A feather board and slowed feed rate can help you achieve this. This maneuver is dangerous. The recommendation is that you do not do it unless you are an experienced DIYer. Remember not to raise the blade more than an inch above the gullets and support the plywood on each side of the blade.

Tip 5: Use a Low-Adhesion Masking Tape for Better Results

Your aim when cutting plywood with a table saw is to set up yourself for a successful outcome. That is why you need to come up with ingenious ways to improve your results. Surprisingly, something as mundane as a painter’s tape can do you miracles.

Add some low adhesion blue or other colored masking tapes to each surface on the cut line. The aim is to hold the wood fibers together while cutting the sheet good. Make sure you secure the tape tightly and firmly and only lightly peel off to reduce the chances of splintering.

Tip 6: Always Use a Sharp Blade

Earlier, we talked about changing the blade that comes with your table saw if you must cut plywood correctly. You must ensure the new blade you have installed is sharp at all times to produce clear and precise cuts devoid of any splintering.

The good news is that most brands ensure the blades they sell come razor sharp as a marketing surgery. This does not mean the blade’s teeth will not grow dull. You may need to learn how to sharpen a table saw’s blade so that you can do it when the situation calls for such an action.

Tip 7: Put Your Safety First

Power tools have a reputation for causing deadly and debilitating accidents. It would be great if you were to put safety first. When using a table saw to cut plywood, ensure you wear safety glasses, face shield or goggles at all times. Wear a dust mask if you suspect the cutting operation will be dusty. Avoid wearing gloves while operating a table saw. You are also to avoid long sleeves, dangling jewelry, ties as well as other loose-fitting clothing while running the saw. You footwear must also be non-slip.

Final Verdict

I hope the information you have learned has answered your question on how to use a table saw to cut plywood. If you employ these tips, the chances are that you will end up with a clean, straight and beautiful cut. But the quality of the cut should not be your only concern. In fact, safety should be your number one concern. Doing this requires a lot of keenness and accuracy both of which come with experience.

Goat milk is said to make your skin silky smooth, has tonnes of skin benefits and is easy to make. You’ll soon be the expert in your field and be producing some udderly amazing soap!

The benefits of using goat milk soap:

  • It’s a great fighter of acne. Goats milk contains antibacterial properties which prevents acne organisms from developing.
  • It’s creamy and high in fat, therefore effective in reducing inflammation, puffy-ness and moisturising the skin.
  • High in vitamin A which is good for repairing skin tissues.
  • Contains hydroxyl acid which helps remove dead skin cells.
  • It contains a mineral called selenium which is believed to prevent skin cancer.

You will need:

12.4 oz Goat Milk
10.8 oz Coconut Oil
10.8 oz Palm Oil
16.2 oz Pure Olive Oil
1.3 oz Sodium Lactate
5.3 oz Sodium Hydroxide
2.5 oz Sage & Lemongrass Fragrance Oil
2 drops Sweet Almond Oil
Herbs (optional)
2 containers – one bigger than the other
Hand held blender
Silicone Cube Mold

Method:

  1. Prep for your soap making by planning 24 hours ahead. Measure out your goats milk into ice cube trays and leave them overnight until completely solid.
  2. The next day, piece out all your individual cubes together in a container. Place this container in another larger one full of ice so that they stay chilled.
  3. Incorporate the sodium hydroxide into your frozen milk by slowly mixing half tablespoons at a time. Please take extra care when handling sodium hydroxide as it is a very corrosive chemical.
  4. Ensure that you’re mixing the entire time. This process will cause the mixture to warm up which can risk turning the colour darker so it’s vital that you keep your jug of cubes in its surrounding ice bath so that you end up with a lovely creamy colour.
  5. Once it’s all completely dissolved, add in the sodium lactate.
  6. Combine all of your oils in a separate bowl, using a bit of heat to incorporate them all together.
  7. Once cooled, add in your milky mixture gently into your oils on the edge of the bowl to prevent bubbles.
  8. Use a hand held blender to whist the two together in small, short bursts.
  9. Fill your silicone mould with the soap mixture and then place in your fridge immediately.
  10. After about a week they should be ready to de-mould, and then be ready to use in about 4 to 6 weeks once all dried!

You can adapt this method to whichever scents you prefer or after seeing what works best for you. The ones we’ve included are not hoof bad but you could even add in bits of thyme or lavendar before moulding, whatever floats your goat!

Once you’ve prepped and are ready to use your soap, place it in a soap holder of your choice. For more bathroom inspiration, check out our bathroom accessories!

 

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If you’ve ever wanted a neon light but can’t justify the cost, this project is for you! Thanks to the invention of electroluminescent wire, it’s now possible to DIY a neon-effect light in any shape you like. Seeing as Christmas is approaching, we decided to create a white neon snowflake, with a sprinkling of glitter for added sparkle. Read on to find out just how easy it is to create a neon light of your own.

What you’ll need

To do this DIY project you’ll need the following tools:

Jig saw

Palm sander

Drill with drill bits

In addition, these materials will be needed:

1 small piece of MDF

Block of wood

Assorted sandpaper to fit your palm sander

Ready-mixed fine surface filler

Quick-dry primer and undercoat paint in white

Rust-Oleum Sparkling Glitter spray paint

EL Wire in white with battery pack

Hanging hook

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials for this project is £25. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used through this link. Depending on your DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer 2 hours to complete, excluding drying time.

Step 1

Print out a snowflake shape to the size you want your finished neon light to be. Use this as a template to trace a slightly larger shape onto the MDF board. Use a jigsaw to cut out this shape.

Step 2

Cover the edges of the snowflake with quick drying surface filler. This will prevent the edges of the MDF board from absorbing the paint too much. Allow to dry thoroughly before using a palm sander with sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.

Step 3

Mark out where the EL wire will be positioned on the snowflake shape. Mark a cross at the points where the EL wire will need to be pushed through to the back of the shape. Use a drill bit with a slightly larger circumference than the EL wire and make holes at these points. Add one larger hole in the centre to fit multiple pieces of EL wire through.

Step 4

Paint the whole snowflake shape with a primer and undercoat paint in white. You may need two coats, so allow to dry between layers. Once the final coat is dry, for extra glitz you can use a glitter spray paint to cover the whole shape in glitter. This also provides a protective clear top coat to seal the paint.

Step 5

Cut a block of wood the same depth as the battery pack and screw this into the back of the snowflake in the centre. Add a hanging hook to the block. Tape the battery pack to the back of the snowflake beneath the block.

Step 6

Feed the EL wire through the central hole from the back and weave it into the hole at one of the tips of the snowflake. Feed it through the ‘branches’ of the snowflake on either side of the line. On the reverse, take the wire back to the centre and repeat until all the arms of the snowflake have an EL wire design. Tape any remaining EL wire to the back of the snowflake.

 

And there you have it, a DIY neon-style light! Turn on the EL wire and proudly position your snowflake decoration on a sideboard or hang it on a wall to add an eye-catching feature to your festive decor. If you want to create a different design to decorate your home all year round, simply trace out the shape onto MDF and follow the same steps to outline the design or write out a phrase.

 

As with all our projects, please take care while using tools, materials and equipment. This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts on Christmas DIY projects, upcycled finds, low-cost festive recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a lovely life on a budget.

 

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Here are some easy DIY projects which you can put around the house to make you the best cat owner ever. We’re paw-sitive that your cat will love every single one of them and forever be by your side, we’re not kitten you!

 

Hanging cat bed

This extremely easy DIY is also what some would call cat heaven. Simply take a fabric of your choice, we’d suggest something along the lines of lycra as its stretchy and comfortable, and  measure the width in between each leg, add 5cm for cat weight, and cut out the width of your needed material. Finally, sew velcro strips onto each corner of fabric and bob’s your uncle! You’ll have the purr-fect space saving cat bed.

 

Self petting station

This claw-ver hack is the best solution to making your cat feel loved 24/7. Start by detaching 2 new bottle brushes from their handles. Then, drill a hole through a 1X1 inch wooden cube, and apply glue to 1 wired end of each of the brushes and slide them through from each end. Wrap some of your chosen 14X14 inch fabric around a 12X12 inch wooden base and secure underneath with a staple gun. Drill 2 holes on opposite ends of your wrapped surface, then insert and glue the other ends of your wired brushes to the base. You’re done!

 

Cardboard skyscraper scratcher

This economical cat scratcher will save you from having your fur-niture damaged by your cats claws, and is recyclable! This particular scratcher was designed as a skyscraper but you can make this as intricate as you like. To make it yourself, drill a hole into the centre of a wooden 12″ x 12″ x 1/2″ board and 36″ wood dowel. Screw the dowel into the base with a a 1-1/2″ wood screw. Then prep, cut and trace your template onto your cardboard. Assemble your layers as you wish, making sure to secure each layer with glue to be safe. Once it’s dried, it’s ready to get scratching!

 

Kitty wall mount

If you’re feline creative, this DIY design is perfect for you. It has the paw-sibility of lots of creative freedom to play around with how you’d like to your wall mount to appear in your space and can play around with the shapes of your boxes – even add a rug for your cat’s added comfort. Cats love being high up and in small enclosed spaces, for the simple reason of making them feel secure and safe from any potential threats. It’s purr-fect for your feline friends!

 

DIY cat griffer

This cat owner must-have is hiss-terically easy. Cut a wooden board into 3 strips of about 50cm and nail them together to create a triangular shape. Paint them your cats favourite colour for some added jazz. Glue your cats favourite hanging cat toy at the tallest triangle tip and your griffer is ready to use! As a plus, you could use a hot glue gun to wrap around and stick down some rope on each surface of your triangle so that your griffer doubles up as a scratching post! It’s pretty paw-some.

 

We hope you enjoyed these hacks and hope to see you get inspired by some of them! If you make your own please don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag #ManoManoUK. Happy DIYing!

 

DIY Cat Bed with Scratching Post

 

DIY Cat Scratcher

Geometric shapes are super trendy at the moment, and what’s cooler than a giant 20-sided icosahedron hanging from your ceiling? If you want to create your own bespoke and very unique ceiling light, then this is the DIY for you.

Tools & materials:

Wood
Tape Measure
Pencil
Table Saw
Digital Mitre Gauge
Wood Glue
Masking Tape
Drill
Ceiling Pendant

Cost, Duration and Difficulty:

We used free reclaimed wood for this project, however, should you need to buy wood, this project shouldn’t cost any more than around £15. The whole DIY took us no more than 2.5 hours to complete.

Step 1 – Cut Wood with an Angled Edge

For this project, we’re using some reclaimed wood, but you can use new planed wood if you choose. You want your wood to be around 1cm thick by 2cm width and you will need around 10m of this.

The first step is to put an angled edge onto one side of your wood. Using a digital mitre gauge, set the blade on your table saw to a 68.7degrees tilt with your fence 1cm away from the blade. You can then cut your wood lengthways along this set-up to add that angled edge.

Once you’ve done this, the side profile of your wood should look like this:

Step 2 – Cut 30º Angles on Either End

Now your lengths of wood have an angled edge on them, you’ll then want to cut them up into smaller pieces with a 30º cut on each end. These small pieces of timber will form a triangle when aligned together.

To do this, set your table saw mitre gauge to the 60º position and align your wood so the angled edge is on the far side away from the blade. Cut one angle and then flip your wood around and make the same cut in the opposite direction around 15cm down.

If you’ve cut these correctly the bevelled edge you added in step 1 should be on the longest side. You will need 60 individual pieces of these and they look like this:

Step 3 – Glue Wood into Individual Triangles

Now you have all your pieces, you can go ahead and begin to assemble the icosahedron shape. This is made up for 20 triangular sides so you will need to create 20 individual triangles. To do this, use some wood glue along each of the 30º cuts and firmly push together, wiping away any excess glue.

We recommend leaving this for a minimum of 24hours before moving onto the next step.

Step 4 – Glue Triangles Together

Once your triangles have dried, all you need to do is assemble them together. Apply some wood glue to the edges and push the triangles together. The angled edge you added in step 1 should ensure the shape begins to ‘close in’ as you do this.

You’ll want to wrap each glued edge in masking tape whilst it dries and we recommend only glueing 5 triangles together at one time to make sure it doesn’t become ‘too heavy’. Once they’ve dried, you can continue and add more.

Once you’ve glued all 20 sides together, it should now look like this:

Step 6 – Creating the Pendant Fitting

Now we have the shape fully built, we just need to turn it into a light fitting. To do this, we’ll need to be able to secure a pendant fitting into the centre on the icosahedron shape we’ve just made.

Cut a solid triangle shape from a thin piece of plywood. This should be the same size as one one of the triangles on its smallest side. Drill a hole through the centre of this, and cut the triangle into two pieces.

 

Step 7 – Attach Pendant Fitting

Slot the pendant through one of the triangles of the icosahedron shape so it’s positioned in the centre. Apply some wood glue to each piece to triangle you just cut and glue this to the inside of the same triangle. The hole in the triangle should slot around the cable of the pendant. Once this has dried, the pendant fitting will rest on this triangle when it’s secured to the ceiling.

  

Step 8 – Fit to Ceiling and Enjoy!

Now all you need to do is fit the light to a ceiling and enjoy your bespoke and unique geometric creation!

 

This article was written by Kerry, who’s blog you can find at kezzabeth.co.uk. Kerry is a DIY blogger who shares inspiration for home renovation, interior design and hacks for those on a budget!

 

 

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