How to Saw a Particle Board

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Particle board is created by compressing saw dust, or wood chips and shavings. It has a wide array of uses around the home and workshop, but cutting it into shape is often marred by its natural tendency for splintering. Cutting boards such as these is typically accomplished using a jig saw, table saw or a circular saw, depending on what type of cut you want to obtain. A circular saw or table saw creates long, straight cuts and a jig saw makes shaped cuts or curves.

Things You'll Need

  • Four board supports
  • Jig saw, table saw or circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Place the particle board supports on the ground if you're cutting with a circular saw or jig saw, then place the particle board on top of the supports. Ensure that the cutting line is not obstructed by the board supports. If cutting on a table saw, set up the appropriate supports for cutting wood sheets.

  • Transfer the necessary measurements for the cut to the particle board using the tape measure and pencil. This gives you a guide line to work with for the cut. Set the blade to 3/4 the depth of the board, if using a circular saw or table saw. Make a double pass to ensure a clean, splinter-free cut. Purchase or rent a new blade specifically intended for cutting particle board, if using a jig saw to cut the board. These blades are very sharp and cut the board in both directions to avoid splintering. For additional protection, apply painter's tape or masking tape to both sides of the cut.

  • Align the blade of the circular saw, table saw or jig saw to the guide line on the particle board. Pull the trigger to begin making your cut. Move the circular saw or jig saw across the particle board slowly and steadily. Keep the blade aligned with the guide line until the cut is completed.

  • Flip the particle board over if using a circular saw or table saw, then cut the bottom side to maintain a crisp, sharp edge without splintering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Measure the cut twice before cutting the particle board. This helps to ensure an accurate cut.
  • Particle board splinters easily. Be certain to wear safety goggles when cutting this material.

References

  • "Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings"; Aldren Watson; 2002
  • "The Homeowner's Ultimate Tool Guide"; Sandor Nagyszalanczy; 2005
  • "Working with Power Tools"; Paul Anthony; 2007
  • Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
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