Behind my workbench at 360 Woodworking, I had a wall to fill. With storage in the shop being in short supply, I knew what I needed to build – shop cabinets. But I wasn’t interested in furniture-grade storage: My aim was a couple of “down and dirty” wall cabinets that would help keep my area clean and organized. To me, that meant inexpensive. And that had plywood written all over it. No plywood for the door and face frames. All that would be poplar. But the balance of the two cupboards would be from plywood.
A trip to my local home center store netted me a sheet of 3/4” birch veneer plywood (veneer core) and a matching piece of 1/4” thick stock for the backs and door panels. Poplar is available in many home centers across the country, but I have that in the shop. (If you need to purchase the face frame material, use whatever wood is inexpensive in your area.)
Breakdown Sheet Goods
Cutting plywood in the shop is not that easy when using a table saw. Whether you’re trying to rip the 4’ x 8’ sheets, or attempting to make a crosscut, hoisting a panel onto the saw and past the blade is difficult at best, especially if you want straight cuts – holding plywood tight to the fence as you move through the cut is challenging. There is a tool, however, that makes this task way easy. It’s a track saw.
You could simply rip the plywood with a circular saw, but I’m interested in tight connections and a clean look. I know I wouldn’t have that if I grabbed my saw and just started cutting. Track saws make breaking down plywood and other sheet-goods easy. It’s where most woodworkers come into contact with this relatively new woodworking tool setup that has a circular saw guided by channels, which keep the saw in line as it runs down a track. Set the track at the line and make the cut. There’s no holding the saw tight to a fence. It just glides along smooth as silk, and the resulting cut is dead straight.
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