How to Cut OSB

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OSB, or oriented strand board, is one of the leading alternatives to plywood. OSB is commonly used for many applications, including roofing and other types of construction. OSB is usually sold in 4-by-8-foot sheets and is made of wood chips pressed together. While OSB may look and feel a little different than plywood, cutting OSB is very similar to cutting plywood and any number of saws can be used. A table saw is best when making multiple straight cuts on many sheets.

Things You'll Need

  • OSB
  • Table saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Tape measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Marker
  • T-square
  • Paint brush
  • Exterior sealant
  • Measure the area where the OSB will go and determine the size cuts that will need to be made on each sheet. Measure on the sheet with a tape measure and mark at the desired spot where the cut is to be made. Using a T-square and marker, draw a line across the board where the cut will be made. This will help ensure a perfectly straight cut.

  • Set up the table saw in an open environment where there is proper ventilation and space to work with the large sheets of OSB. Take the first sheet and line up the mark to the blade. Turn on the table saw and feed the board through. Make sure to go slow so the cut is made straight. Feed the board completely through and turn off the saw once the cut has been made. Repeat this procedure for each board that needs to be cut.

  • Sand the edges of the OSB with sandpaper, as the edges will be extremely rough. Sand down the entire side of the board where the cut was made until the edge has been completely smoothed out.

  • Paint the cut edge with a waterproof exterior sealant to prevent moisture from weakening the board. Allow the OSB at least four hours to dry before beginning installation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use eye protection when cutting OSB, as particles will fly up when the cut is being made.
  • OSB tends to chip much more than plywood, so it will need to be sanded extensively to smooth out the edges.
  • OSB is coated with a waterproof sealant so when a cut is made the new edge will be exposed and not sealed, therefore it must be painted with a waterproof sealant.

References

  • Photo Credit Diane Macdonald/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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