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plan de travail stratifie

It's 38mm thick.

Next week I will need to cut it along a straight line, and I would like the cut to be as straight and clean as possible.

What tools do I need to do this ?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

You can make straight cuts parallel to an existing edge by using a circular saw with a guide.

saw guide

To make the bottom edge of the cut clean, be sure the saw does not cut much more deeply than the thickness of the material. You can also put tape on the cut line, before cutting, to prevent the saw from breaking off small pieces of the material on the top edge of the cut.

tape line

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Nice action shots! –  jamietre Nov 21 '12 at 18:30
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Good pic. Also very important to use a ultra sharp 80 tooth blade or a plywood blade. The laminate on the top is prone to chipping. Go slow, let the saw do the work. –  shirlock homes Nov 21 '12 at 21:31
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If you want to rip it (cut it on its long dimension), the only way to be sure it is straight is to use a table saw:

table saw diagram

If you want to cross cut it (on its short dimension), you can do that with a miter saw if the piece is not too wide:

picture of miter saw

If you are confident in your abilities and it does not need to be exactly straight, you can make a line with a chalk line and use a jigsaw with an extremely fine blade (to avoid splintering the wood): picture of jigsaw

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In the eventuality I choose the jigsaw, is there a way to prevent the blade of the jigsaw to flex and stop being perpendicular to the material ? It happens to me all the time with a very cheap jigsaw, but this time I need it to be really clean and am going to spend some money on the tools. –  Antoine Lecaille Nov 21 '12 at 18:27
    
You can clamp a level or any other straight and sturdy object and use it as a guide with a jig or circular saw too –  Steven Nov 21 '12 at 18:35
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Blade flex usually isn't a problem in straight cuts with a fresh sharp blade. Some jigsaws have a guide wheel near the base plate to help minimize flex. If you use a jigsaw, you will likely need to rework the cut to straighten it, but using a guide, it might be straight enough if you're not super picky. –  bcworkz Nov 21 '12 at 19:31
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@Antoine: To prevent those problems you need three things: 1. firmly press the jigsaw to the surface being cut, 2. run the jigsaw motor at high speed, 3. advance the jigsaw slowly –  sharptooth Nov 22 '12 at 10:10
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Good answer but one exception: A table saw is not the "only" way to make sure it's straight, nor is it a guarantee. Using a skill-saw w/ a straight edge guide works just as well as a table saw and in many cases is easier to do. –  The Evil Greebo Nov 22 '12 at 12:23
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The only way to make this a smooth cut is with a circular saw, either hand held or a table saw. You need a very sharp high tooth count carbide toothed blade. to achieve a smooth cut will require some planning. You need to push the saw through the material at a steady rate as fast as possible without forcing the saw. Make sure you can make the cut in one go. If you stop there will be an imperfection there. Before starting the cut make sure your cord will not get caught as you push the saw through. This is a common error and will create an F-up when the cord stops your forward motion. It is not as hard as it may sound. The main thing is to understand that the best cut comes from a smooth and consistent motion through the cut. Use a guide, and don't push too hard against it. The secret is to find a comfortable way to stand and move through the cut. If you have extra material it is a good idea to practice once or twice.

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