How to Cut a Square Hole in Plywood

How many times have you been in a situation where you need to cut a square hole in plywood or wood? For most people, this happens more often than they would like. That’s why you need to know how to cut a square hole in plywood or any kind of wood before starting a wood project. The good news is that it’s not nearly as difficult as one might think. With the right tools and some tips and tricks, anyone can do it! In this article, we will discuss how to cut a square hole in the wood, which tools are necessary, how to cut process goes, and tips and tricks.

Necessary Tools

1. Saw

The best way to cut out an accurate, clean square hole is by using a jigsaw with either a laser guide or straight edge as support. There are some advantages to using this saw over other types of tools since it will provide an accurate and clean cut for you which can be very useful if you’re making something that requires tight corners as well as smooth edges.

This will help keep your lines and angles precisely while cutting, which can be very useful if you’re making something that requires tight corners as well as smooth edges such as picture frames, shelves, etc.

An alternative way to do the same thing with just one tool would be using a coping saw. Still, these have their disadvantages, such as being difficult to control while doing fine cuts because they tend to wobble more than others due to how small their blades usually are in comparison.

If using a circular or band-saw, then it is advisable to buy an extra-long blade. Circular blades are usually 16” in length and can be purchased separately from the tool; some band-saws have metal teeth that need to be replaced with new ones when cutting plywood. When purchasing these blades, make sure that they are designed specifically for use on wood. It will save you time if your instrument has 24 TPI capability because this allows one pass through the plywood rather than two or three passes needed at 48tpi.

A table saw would work just about as well, but it would be more difficult to maintain tight angles.

There may also come a time where your blade becomes dull or breaks, so make sure that you purchase extras at the same time as purchasing the instrument itself.

Know More: 9 Best Tools For Cutting Plywood in 2022

2. Workbench/table surface of some kind on which to work

3. Straight edge

4. Pencil or marker

5. Drill bits

Drill bits for drilling pilot holes to avoid splitting. Some people recommend using a hole saw and coping saw for this, but these are expensive tools that most woodworkers won’t need more than once in their lifetime. A simple screwdriver will suffice as well if you don’t have any other options available to you.

6. Masking tape

7. Protective eyewear

Safety glasses are usually enough; a face shield is also recommended when using large circular blades 

Optional

Jigsaw blade guard; dust collection vacuum attachment (if your tool doesn’t come with one)

How to Cut a Square Hole in Plywood 

For making a perfect perfect plywood project you should always use a piece of nice straight plywood. Plywood should always be stored in a way that avoids it warping and becoming unusable. If you have a warped plywood then your project might not look as good as you want. In that case you have to make the warped plywood straight enough to do your jobs.

1. Mark the center of each side with a pencil or marker and then connect the points with lines using a straight edge.

marking the point

2. Use your drill bits to make pilot holes in all four corners, again making sure that you’re drilling on at least some kind of work surface (folded up newspaper will do) so that if any wood does splinter, it’s not going to hit an unprotected area of skin.

making hole

3. Apply masking tape in one continuous strip around both sides where you’ll be cutting out for added safety by preventing slivers from protruding when they split off during blade cuts. When taping either end, use two pieces parallel to each other instead of just one because there won’t be any large open gaps.

4. Take your saw and score the red lines with a back-and-forth motion, again being careful not to touch your skin or any unprotected surfaces for safety reasons.

5. Holding the blade of the saw at about two inches from the surface you’re cutting through, cut along each line to free up enough space around each corner so that when it’s time to start making cuts perpendicular to them, they won’t be impeded by already present material on either side. If you want an even more precise square than what could result from this method, then take one inch off both sides before starting with these perpendicular cuts instead of just taking half an inch off all four corners as was done in this example – this will create a perfect 90-degree corner.

cutiing with saw

6. Cut all four corners by marking a line and then cutting along the lines with alternating diagonal cuts, removing enough material to allow for two inches of unobstructed space when measuring from the outside edge on one side to the opposite corner. This process is similar in concept to how you would use a chalk line – except instead of drawing it directly onto your wood. You’re using your blade as an indicator so that each cut creates identical edges.

perfect plywood square hole

7. To finish off this project, sand down any rough or jagged edges with a good sandpaper until smooth and clean looking before placing them into the desired location!

Know More: 9 Best Sandpaper for Wood | Sandpaper Guide

Tips

  • Before starting plywood project at first understand plywood material.
  • When using plywood sheets thicker than one inch, consider making multiple cuts instead of trying to complete all steps in one pass unless you have extra help available.
  • When cutting in the shape of a square, it is important to use as many straight cuts as possible. This will help keep even and allow for better overall accuracy with your final measurements.
  • Be careful not to go too deep! You want to stop before you reach the bottom edge but only by about ½ inch – ¼ inch. The reason for this will become clear when used later on.
  • Plywood can also be prepped ahead of time if needed but is not typically as strong and should be used accordingly.

Tricks

  • Sometimes, it’s easier to cut a hole in plywood if you make the cut from both sides of the board as opposed to trying to drill through and then flipping over for cutting the other side. You can also use an old or less desirable piece first, which saves time on having perfect cuts with new wood that will not be seen after installation.
  • When using plywood’s thicker than one inch, consider making multiple cuts instead of just one pass when possible. This is because thick materials are more prone to breakage during this process due to how much pressure is required for saw blades reaching deep into them. They may look nice at first but don’t hold up well long term.

Know More: What Size Screw for 3/4 Plywood and What Type of Screw do I Need?

Conclusion

We’ve given you a few tips on how to cut a square hole in the plywood or any kind of wood. If this is something that interests you, please let us know, and we can give you more information about the process as well as pricing.

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