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Cutting Thick Parts

By: Erich Lage
Here's an Iron-clad way to make smooth, square cuts in large, thick panels.

WS220 006f03 I recently made a new workbench for my shop. The top consisted of several layers of MDF. After gluing the MDF panels together, I was faced with the task of trimming the ends to length. The benchtop was too big and heavy to run through the table saw. And it was too thick to make the cuts in one pass with a circular saw. Instead, I used this three-step process using my circular saw and router with a flush-trim bit installed.

First Cut

WS220 006f01 Using a straightedge, I set the circular saw for its deepest cut. I then made the first cut to final length.

Second Cut

WS220 006f02 Now, simply flip the workpiece over and reposition the straightedge so that the second cut is slightly longer than, but just overlaps, the first cut.

Clean Up

WS220 006f03-cropped With your router, set a flush-trim bit so that the bearing rides against the first cut you made. This will leave a perfectly smooth edge.

Published: Jan., 23 2020
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