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Cutting slots in plywood

Old 11-17-2005, 02:37 PM
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Default Cutting slots in plywood

How do you all cut slots that are prefectly straight and level? I have to cut one that is 1/8" wide and 2 1/2" long in a small sheet of 1/8" plywood. Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

dremel
tabel saw
drill bits
jigsaw
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Dremel can drift and the slot needs to be PERFECT.

Table saw I thought about but one side will be cut longer than the other; although the slot will be perfectly straight and level.

Jigsaw just seems too be too hard to hold straight.

I did think about using a table router but I'm not sure that I can get a bit that small.
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Use whatever method you're most comfortable with to cut the slot slightly undersize. Finish it to size with an emery board.

Dr.1
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Use the tablesaw to take it as closs as you can, then finish it off with a razor saw. The straight cut from the tablesaw will guide the razor saw the rest of the way.
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:03 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Razor saw?? OK... Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:11 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Any cutting (saw, knife, or otherwise) will not yield the exactness you seem to need. Using sandpaper or an emery board will allow you to take off .001s of an inch with each stroke. VERY precise.

Dr.1
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Guess you could use a hack saw if you don't have a razon saw. You just want something manual with fine teeth.
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:15 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

I've got a razor saw... What is an emery board?
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Check with the women in your life. One of them will likely have some. They are used to manicures nails.
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:07 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

like a nail file but quicker and made out of paper--kinda like real fine sandpaper
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

How do you all cut slots that are prefectly straight and level? I have to cut one that is 1/8" wide and 2 1/2" long in a small sheet of 1/8" plywood.
Often when I take a slightly different approach the straight and level slot may not be required. What are you attempting to accomplish?

Bill
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

I would use a router table with a fence I think you can get high speed steel bits from sears or use an 1/8 inch end mill. Randy
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:12 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

I am thinking about getting a RotoZip tool and making a table for it or adapting a router table. This might be better for the purpose than a router.

http://www.rotozip.com/attachmentsde...intAttachID=15
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Can you cut the slot first - say in a piece of oversize plywood on a rise-and-fall bench saw, and then cut the outer shape afterwards?

Alan W
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:41 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

RotoZip bits are available for Dremel tools. When hand cutting they tend to wander. A tile-cutting bit appears to wander less. The tile-cutting bit is more like a burr. Smallest bit that I have seen is 1/8. Cutting on both sides at once will make a real mess.

Bill
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:14 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

ORIGINAL: AlabamaRaptor
I did think about using a table router but I'm not sure that I can get a bit that small.
A router table will be the most accurate of the suggestions so far, but if you want the ends square you will still need to do some touch up. 1/8" straight or spiral bits are commonly available. However, just cutting with an available coping saw, jig saw, scroll saw, etc and then cleaning up with a file or emory board may end up being quicker and cheaper than buying a router table and bit. The most accurate choice would be to find someone with a laser or CNC cutter.
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:15 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

I have cut slots in both wood working projects and airplane parts by drawing the slot outline on part, drilling a hole smaller than width of slot in each end, keeping the bit inside the line- cut out inside the line with a scroll saw using a wide blade and finish with a small flat file for edges and round file for the rounded ends. Works for me-nice straight slots-just take your time. ( I get in trouble borrowing emery boards)
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

( I get in trouble borrowing emery boards)
I find it best to steal the emery board and hope she thinks she misplaced it. Returning one with balsa dust will always create a ruckus.

Bill
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Thanks for the replies.

The slot will be on the Retract Slide Board of the Dan Palmer C-130. The main gear is mounted to it and an arm lifts and lowers the slide board through this slot. With that said you can see why it needs to be smooth, straight and level. Spectators love a gear up landing but they are never loved by the pilot!

I do have a router table available... my neighbor has a mega workshop.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:15 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

ORIGINAL: BillS

( I get in trouble borrowing emery boards)
I find it best to steal the emery board and hope she thinks she misplaced it. Returning one with balsa dust will always create a ruckus.
Don't be so cheap! Go to Dollar General, or any other local discount store, you can get an assortment for a couple bucks.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:16 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

ORIGINAL: AlabamaRaptor
I do have a router table available... my neighbor has a mega workshop.
Sounds like a plan. Bring a couple cold ones for AFTER you finish cutting it.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:21 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Forget cold ones... after cutting this I'll need a shot of something.
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Old 11-20-2005, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

Liteply up to one eighth inch and birch ply up to one sixteenth can be cut most accurately using a Stanley knife ( with a new blade ) and a straight edge. Make repeated light cuts along the same groove. If necessary turn over to the reverse side and complete the cut.
On one eighth or more birch ply make the groove with a knife and then cut with a saw such as a japanese saw ( pull saw ) or razor saw.
( japanese saws do not have a thick ' back ' like razor saws, dovetail saws etc, they cut on the pull stroke and therefore can be made very thin -excellent tool. )
Make sure the slot you cut is the same size as the part to go in it - if it is another piece of ply measure the actual ply because ' one eighth ' ply is sometimes only 3 millimetres.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: Cutting slots in plywood

I got it cut...

I used my neigbors scroll saw and it looks awesome. Thanks.
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