While cutting wood, it is imperative to correctly support it to ensure no irregular cuts happen. Cutting wood seems to be an easy task, however as the wood size becomes larger, cutting it the right way becomes more complicated. So, using the right support is essential.
One of the most common ways to support wood is using small wood planks when cutting the wood. Sawhorses are another method to support wood, as they clamp the wood to keep it in place. Finally, as your third alternative, use an insulation sheet to support wood while cutting.
In this article, we will explore the three most popular ways to properly support wood when cutting, the best ways to support different types of wood (such as plywood, small, or large pieces of wood), and finally some tips on how to cut wood without using a table.
3 Basic Techniques To Support Wood While Cutting
To support wood in order to get good, clean, and accurate cuts only a few methods are recommended. The easiest method is to use 2x4s you have lying around to support the wood; you can use sawhorses for better support or insulation sheets to support wood while cutting.
1. Using 2×4 as support
Almost any scrap pieces of wood can be used as support when you want to cut wood. They are easy to use, and are easily accessible in most workshops. This quick availability and ease of use mean it is a great choice to support wood without any specialized equipment.
If you do not have the right size wood scraps to use for support you can easily cut them when needed from wood in your workshop. You just have to cut them the right length and you have supports that are ready to use straight away without any fuss.
2. Using sawhorses
Sawhorses are a great way to make sure the wood you are cutting has the proper support. Two sawhorses (with clamps) together usually provide the best functional usage and are recommended instead of one sawhorse.
Pro tip: While cutting a wood piece (plywood or any other) never support it on both sides and cut from the middle. (the middle part will move down when it’s almost cut and the cut will be uneven).
Sawhorses come in different lengths and heights which can cater to a wide variety of users. Thus, they can be used for multiple sizes of wood, and keeping in mind their sturdiness, they can support quite a bit of weight so heavy wood can easily be supported.
Sawhorses come in either wood or metal variants and the cost varies depending on what you buy. Many models are even foldable for easy storage and transport when needed.
Besides the basic sawhorses which just provide support and come in varying heights, new sawhorses also come with clamps that can be used to hold wood either vertically or horizontally.
These multifunctional sawhorses with clamps provide great support for all types of wood and are very reliable way to properly cut wood without any damage to the wood or self-injury.
Here are certain guidelines to consider before using sawhorses:
- Set them the right height according to your requirements
- If they are foldable then make sure to open them properly so they support the wood properly
- Do not cut wood in the middle by supporting it from both sides
3. Insulation sheets as support
Insulation sheets are an unorthodox choice for using as wood cutting support, however, they work very well (surprisingly). They are very easy to use and can be used for small and large pieces of wood as and when needed.
The best use for an insulation sheet as support is for large pieces of wood which would cause splitting or irregular cuts if they are cut normally with little to no support. The best part about using insulation sheets is that even if they are cut, they are still useable.
The best way to use insulation sheets when you want to cut wood is to put them on the floor, and then put the wood on top. After you have aligned the wood with the sheet you can then start to cut the wood. The floor is the best choice for cutting large pieces of wood.
In order to properly store the insulation sheet, you can cut them in smaller pieces or fold them (by making a small cut in the middle). Cutting them won’t really inhibit their function as support so that’s as huge advantage of using insulation sheets for wood cutting support.
When buying insulation sheets for use as wood support make sure to get the rigid variety and choose the sheet which is thicker than your cutting blade. A sheet with a minimum of two inches thickness is the right starting point.
The best way to support plywood when cutting
To properly support plywood when cutting you can opt for either using sawhorses or using insulation sheets. If you require small pieces cut then by using your workbench you can bring the wood to be cut near the edge and cut it.
By supporting the bigger piece of wood on the workbench you can avoid the issues faced when cutting wood without proper support. For larger pieces of plywood, you can set insulation sheets on the floor and put the plywood on top for cutting.
The insulation sheet will protect the floor from saw cuts and allow you to cut large pieces of plywood very easily with proper support. The best type of support for plywood is to use the floor for larger pieces and sawhorses in conjunction with clamps are best for smaller pieces.
The best way to support a large piece of wood when cutting it
Large pieces of wood are very hard to manage and it is essential that you know how to cut them properly otherwise you might damage them while cutting or injure yourself. Due to their large size using the right support while cutting is an important factor to consider.
One of the best methods to support a large piece of wood is to use an insulation sheet to support the wood while cutting. If you have a dedicated workbench for this purpose then you can use it otherwise setting the wood on the floor and cutting it there is most effective.
Usually due to lack of space or having a smaller table/workbench than the wood you should just cut it to your requirements on the floor. First, you set the insulation sheet on the floor and then you put the wood piece on top. Now you can cut the wood as per your requirement.
Cutting wood with a circular saw without a table
As we have discussed above you can use the floor to cut wood or you can use a sawhorse for the purpose. Therefore, you do not really require a workbench or table to be able to cut wood properly
A circular saw is a must-have tool for woodworkers and they come with different types of blades for crosscuts and rip cuts. Depending on your need you can opt for blades for more or less teeth (blades with more teeth make more cleaner cuts without damaging the wood).
Before using a circular saw make sure you are aware of all safety instructions and follow them carefully. This will help decrease the chances of injury and damage to the wood or your surroundings.
If you are using a circular saw, make sure the wood you are cutting is set properly so it doesn’t slip. For sawhorses you can set the wood and only expose the edge at the end you want to cut.
If you are using an insulation sheet and cutting on the floor, again, make sure the wood or insulation sheet is set properly so it doesn’t slip which means you can focus on cutting the wood properly and minimize chances of damage to the floor.
Before using a circular saw make sure to follow these instructions:
- Wear safety glasses or goggles (while cutting, lots of wood pieces or sawdust flies all over)
- Hearing protection is also recommended as circular saws can be really loud (optional step)
- Most circular saws are designed for right hand operation so use your right hand to operate the saw.
- If you want to remove or change the blade of the saw make sure it is unplugged (or remove the battery if it is a portable version)
- Use the right blade for the right wood and types of cuts needed
- Make sure the lower blade guard is working properly (it ensures you are protected from direct contact with the blade while operating and also from any debris from hitting you)
Above are some ways you can minimize the risk you incur while operating a circular saw, so make sure to follow them seriously when you are using a circular saw.
We have shared the three best ways to support different types of wood while cutting. These ways will help you to cut wood accurately, and with minimal chance of injury. For large pieces of wood cutting, it on the floor with an insulation sheet support is best.
Using sawhorses with clamps is great if you can afford to use them while using normal wood planks as a support are great if you don’t have anything on hand. Depending on your needs make sure to make the right choice as stated in this article. Happy cutting!