Normally when I'm cutting plywood with a circular saw and either a circular saw guide or my Kreg Rip-Cut jig I just throw some scrap 2x4's on the ground or a sheet of rigid insulation to put the plywood on but lately I've been getting tired of the bending over and being on my knees while cutting sheet goods. I've been using a couple of 2x4's on my saw horses but it doesn't provide as much support for short pieces so I've come up with this alteration that provides more support and doesn't take up a lot of space in my garage when I'm done. I can also pack it up in the back of my truck easily if I need to cut some plywood somewhere else.
What You'll Need
- Circular Saw
- 2 bar clamps with a minimum 12" opening
- Combination square or speed square
- Tape Measure
2 of the 2x4's will remain uncut and the entire 8' length. The other 4 will be cut in half to get 8 roughly 4' long pieces mines the saw kerf.
Step 1: Mark Short Notches
Set up your 2 saw horses and place the long 2x4's in the notches of the saw horses as shown. Place a short 2x4 on top of the long 2x4's and center it. Mark the width and location of the long 2x4's on the short 2x4 as indicated by the red lines.
Step 2: Cut Notches in Short Boards
Clamp all 8 of the short 2x4's together keeping all the crown sides facing down. Transfer the cut lines you marked in the previous step across the tops of all the boards.
Set the depth of your circular saw to 1-3/4" and start making cuts through all 8 boards simultaneously. Make one cut, move the blade over and make another cut until all the wood from the notch is cleared. You can use some scrap wood on the sides as stops. The placement of the stops will depend on the dimensions of your circular saw bottom plate. Just line up the blade with one line and place the stop, do the same on the other side. That way you don't have to be too concerned with measuring your saw.
Repeat for the second notch.
Step 3: Mark and Cut Notches on the Long Boards
Clamp the 2 long boards together with the crown sides up. Mark the center of each notch starting 6" from one end and then every 12".
To mark the actual sides of the notches take one of the short boards and roughly center it over the center line and mark the sides. The placement doesn't need to have laser precision as long as the notches on each board line up, which they will since we're cutting them clamped together.
Cut out the notches as described in the previous step for the short boards.
Step 4: Assemble Table
Next it's just a matter of putting it all together.
Set up your saw horses and lay the long boards with the notches facing up in the notches on the saw horses. Don't press them down all the way yet so you can make adjustments.
Place the first short board in one of the end notches and use that to help line up the long boards.
Continue placing short boards on the long boards with the short board notches facing down. Make adjustments as you go if necessary.
Once all the boards are in place make sure the long boards are pressed in fully into the notches on the saw horses and that everything is lined up.
When you're done cutting your plywood just reverse the steps to disassemble everything until you need it again.
Step 5: Add Rigid Insulation
This is optional but recommended. Add a 1-1/2" or thicker 4'x8' sheet of rigid insulation over the boards. This will give you more support and help produce cleaner cuts.
When you cut make sure the good side is down. Also, after placing your plywood on the cutting table double check to make sure everything is still stable and hasn't moved before you begin cutting. Practice general good care when using a circular saw.