How to break down plywood. A guide to cutting, moving and hauling plywood by yourself.

How to break down plywood. A guide to cutting, moving and hauling plywood by yourself.

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One of the most challenging woodworking tasks is dealing with plywood and other large sheet goods. They are unwieldy and a challenge to move by yourself and transport. In this video, I show you ways to make lugging it around and cutting it.
Tools and plans in this video:
Free plans for my plywood lifting cleat:
Peachtree Edge Guide►
Kreg Accu-Cut Track Guide►


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  1. James Lester on August 21, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Well, as a former employee of one of those " Home Lumber type stores" I recommend you NEVER use the vertical carts they have, and instead get one of the FLAT carts that are about 24" tall to load your Plywood on. Its TONS easier to load in the store, as the Plywood is laying Flat there, and even easier to load your Truck or Trailer , by just rolling the cart up to the lowered tailgate, put the end of the sheet on the tailgate, and slowly slide the sheet in flat.

  2. Chris Hayes on August 21, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    woodworking. gross. 🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

  3. Roll Corruption on August 21, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    What do you suggest for a warped sheet? I have a single piece 22mm thick and it’s got a lovely 1 inch bow! Makes my floor feel like a trampoline!

  4. David Foster on August 21, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    This video was great. I wish I had watched it before the first time I attempted to cut a 4×8 sheet of plywood down to size using my table saw. I had never thought to just put some scraps down and cut it on the floor with a hand-held circular saw… Genius.

    I really like the way you make your instructions so accessible using common sense approaches that don’t require thousands of dollars of equipment.

  5. Parker Edwards on August 21, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    This guy is the best

  6. Tall Saint on August 21, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    You can fit a 4×8 sheets in a minivan. Low load height and complete weather protection. Get the right tool for the job.

  7. Legoman98 on August 21, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    Having a truck with an 8 foot bed makes transporting it home literally the simplest thing ever.

  8. TAP on August 21, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you. This helped me tremendously!

  9. J T on August 21, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Plywood? How does one afford plywood any more? Prices today are astronomical!

  10. Tony Dubyk on August 21, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Great video, thank you!

  11. KATHY WEIGEL HI-LO PHOTO &VIDEO on August 21, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    So funny, I loaded 5 sheets of 3/4” plywood into my truck with the tailgate up. When I got home, had a helluva time trying to unload:(

  12. Raftika on August 21, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    1:10 never thought about that. How serious is this? Can the tailgate be damaged to the point where it won’t open or close properly?

  13. Gary Walter on August 21, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    I have some clamps like you’re showing at 5:10 – Pittsburgh, Harbor freight. Never thought about using them like this!

    (I was just asked to start a wood shop class for a small private school – I’m finding all kinds of stuff!)

  14. Jay Koerner on August 21, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    "The saw never works" yeah i work at one, ours works but only th managers know the pin to turn it on, and we are told to say its nkt working to customers, they figured out that sales increased more from the extra employees helping then the people turned away because the wood couldn’t be cut, that and for anything other then plywood they just suppled a cart with a handsaw for the customers to use. Is it preferable no, but the store manager decided thays what tphes gonna do

  15. Eric Peltzer on August 21, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    I fail to see how you don’t find the need to store 8′ lengths of sheet. I have some full width, but a lot of cut down widths. You just have to store it vertical. I like your wheeled cart though, at this point I have it stored against walls and 3 of the 4 corners of the shop! I also made my own track saw guide out of 1/4 ply, which was cheap enough to make an 8′ and 4" version both. Saw it on YT somewhere, use it constantly with a cordless circ.

  16. K. Jones on August 21, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    If that were my Home Depot, I would find the store manager’s name, post a video of that store on YouTube and call out the manager by name, and send the link to CEO, Craig Menear. There is NO WAY I would tolerate a store that looked like that, especially if it’s the only store near my workspace. The only way to fix customer service in America: Customers MUST write the CEO and hold these overpaid morons accountable. As long as no one takes a pro-active stand, bad management will get away with murder.

  17. Cheryl Iverson on August 21, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    the local owned lumber yard is awesome

  18. harry doherty on August 21, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    bring gloves to your home center or lumberyard. splinters aren’t much fun.

  19. ed MC on August 21, 2023 at 6:34 pm


  20. XboobtubeX smith on August 21, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    I do not understand how you can "breakdown" plywood for storage, until you know what it is you are going to build with it.

  21. Jerry Richards on August 21, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    Dam your home depot looks like a war zone.

  22. ReCycle Spinning on August 21, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    Great tip on cutting on the floor when you just need a few quick cuts,, but 2 , 2x4s on top of saw horses work great also. I have just picked up the larger portable saw from Makita that takes dual 18 volt batteries . it seems when you just need a few cuts or work remodeling like I do you have to look for an outlet , not to mention cord getting in the way.

  23. Gary Brock on August 21, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    Damn mortals

  24. Oscar B. Monteiro Jr. on August 21, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    Subscribed, thanks!

  25. 0neOver0neThreeSeven on August 21, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    Wear gloves

  26. Te Haunui Art on August 21, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    Awesome video. Thanks for sharing.

  27. John F on August 21, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    Hook carrier is great idea if you don’t have arms like an Orang-Utang! 🤣

  28. Bucket of Steam on August 21, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    I have a special clamping tool to help with picking up/moving sheets. Recently went to home depot for some hardware and noticed culled full 3/4 MDF sheets that were barely damaged… 70% off 3 of them. Could not pass it up. When I was loading it into my truck, unfortunately I tore a ligament in my elbow. Think through it before moving 4×8 sheets by yourself. That 30 seconds could save you from injury.

  29. John Vanderbeck on August 21, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    Wait. I can just break out a saw in the parking lot of Lowes and cut things down?

  30. Lost Kamote on August 21, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you! 🙂

  31. Felicia Persfull on August 21, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    The box stores say their saw is broken sometimes on purpose to keep from cutting!

  32. Maria Manemann on August 21, 2023 at 6:54 pm

    Do you use this method on thin veneer sheet product?

  33. Fred Zag on August 21, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    Had fun watching this video and thanks.

  34. one-off123 on August 21, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    I need to cut plywood as I will be using it to replace the flooring upstairs. I live in the UK so the room sizes are fairly small. I was going to buy a table saw but then realised the cuts would be too long and the sheets too big. I then thought of a plunge saw and track but this might be a waste of money. Would this be useful for cabinet making in the future? Maybe just a circular saw and a straight edge would be best, it doesn’t have to be super accurate for sub flooring. What do you think?

  35. Kim Havey on August 21, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Lots of good info in this one!! Thanks!!

  36. Spirocat on August 21, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Wow! And I thought my Home Depot was bad.

  37. gary jones on August 21, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    If you have a short bed get yourself a real truck!

  38. James McRae on August 21, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Just moved houses and don’t have the work bench I once inherited. I am a huge rookie. Tried cutting a full sheet plywood on saw horses, knew it would fail but I still tried it anyway. Should have watched this video. At the cost of plywood these days I LOVED your suggestions. Needed as I attempt an outfeed table build soon as I finish unpacking. Cheers and thanks

  39. Grilling and Chillin With Big Daddy on August 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Steve, what method would you use for cutting a 4×8 sheet of 3/4" into 18" wide full strips? I am struggling getting the precision that I want. I have the 2 piece Bora straight edge but it actually bends in the middle – I realized this mid cut…ugh. I have a festool track saw but the edge is only 55". I tried cutting it to 19" width and then tried to rip to final 18" on my SkilSaw jobsite SPT-11 table saw but failed horribly. I tried and tried and could not keep the panel against the fence and even when I used a featherboard for some reason. Had to leave all the tools in the garage and walk away.

  40. Drew foxx on August 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Perfect guy to ask a question! I saw this amateur trying to cut a giant plywood piece alone. Ignorance isn’t bliss here I seen him standing the wood up against a wall and trying to cut a line all the way across it. It was positioned like you would put a board up against a wall with the bottom of it about 3 feet away from the wall. While it was positioned like this he was trying to cut a straight line across the plywood! Is this not such a moronic move? Or is my common sense lying to me?

  41. Nono Brochacho on August 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Great tips. This is like the new new yankee workshop.

  42. Motocicleiros on August 21, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    The panel of plywood he uses for demonstration in the video is still a *small* one (in Brasil we call it "naval plywood"). Here the regular plywood sheet is the DOUBLE of its width (and weight) making it near to impossible to lift and carry around without the help of another person.

  43. Matt on August 21, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    I cringed a little, @ 5:34 One finger on the blade, one finger on the trigger of a saw plugged in. I only point this out as I love Steve’s general attention of and his promotion of safety.. and I am also the guy that moves extension cords and other hazards my peers setup on jobsites.

  44. Jenna Miller on August 21, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    I feel really lucky, I paid $170 for my track saw at menards. It works really well.

  45. Ming Li on August 21, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    It’s a pleasure watching this

  46. Tang Heyman on August 21, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Use another board for a edge guide is a method for a long rip cut. As a DIYer, I don’t have the skill to free hand it nor have the long edge guide tool. Factory edge works everytime.

  47. MrGallbladder on August 21, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Ah, back when plywood didn’t cost its weight in gold… Good times!

  48. Guillermo CD on August 21, 2023 at 7:12 pm


  49. Pete Butler on August 21, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    That lifting clete looks handy, but unfortunately, the links are dead. Steve, are the plans for that tool somewhere on the new site?

  50. Eugene Layhue on August 21, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    As far as I’m concerned have ones body in very awkward positions when lifting anything is an accident waiting to happen.