December 25, 2022

How to cut panelling | Clearcut Guide

Welcome to our tutorial on how to cut panelling! Whether you want to add new wainscoting to your home or make some adjustments to existing panelling, it’s important to know how to cut it properly. This guide will go over the different tools and techniques you can use to make clean, precise cuts in panelling. We will also give you some tips and tricks for working with this versatile building material. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced DIYer, we hope this guide will be helpful and informative. Let us get started!

How to cut panel board without splintering

To cut wood panelling without splintering, face down with a circular saw. A circular saw cuts upward, meaning the panelling will come out neat and clean. Use the right tools since different tools cut wood panelling. 

The right tools make cutting panels easier. Although all precision tools are for cutting wood panelling without splintering, not all precision tools cut similarly. A sharper tool yields a neater cut and less risk of splintering. Make sure that your saw tool is razor-sharp. That applies to teethed tools such as saws and bladed alternatives such as utility knives.

Use the right technique to prevent splintering when cutting wood panelling. Since splintering happens on the backside of the wood, use a few techniques to ensure a smooth cut. Make sure the face of the panelling is facing the right direction. The upward motion leaves the down-facing side of the wood neat and clean. The panel face, such as table tools, should be up for downward cutting.

Consider cutting along the grain. Splintering occurs when cutting wood across the grain. Cut your panels along the grain ( Use masking tape along the length where you are about to cut. Score the cutting length to reduce the chances of splintering: Scoring the panel length you intend to cut with a knife or razor to prepare the grains in those areas for cutting. Use a ruler to score in a straight line deeply.

Start with a shallow cut to avoid splintering on both sides. Use the saw to make a shallow cut through the top layer of the fibre to reduce splintering when making the final cut.

Work on a smooth-faced surface to ensure a smooth, neat cut. Attempting to cut wood panelling on an irregular work surface causes tremors during the cutting process. Avoid splintering by making the working surface smooth and polished.

Polishing helps to remove minor fissures on the workbench for the smoothest possible cuts. That way you do not risk causing irreversible damage to the thin wood panels before you start bending and breaking off.

How to cut beadboard without a saw

  1. Put your beadboard down and mark where you need to cut. 
  2. Hold down the beadboard with a straight piece of lumber and your clamps to hold it down and keep it from flopping around while you cut. 
  3. Use your cutting tool to cut a narrow strip off. 
  4. Pay attention to balancing the tool on the one supportive edge as you make your cut.
  5. If your cut edge looks like crap, put a piece of trim over the edge, such as quarter-round moulding.

How to cut MDF panelling

  1. Attach a suitable blade between 7-12 TPI to reduce tear-off and fibres. 
  2. Score a cut line. 
  3. Secure your material. Cut.

How to cut beadboard panelling

  1. Measure the beadboard and mark the board with a pencil along the line to be cut. Measure twice to avoid making costly mistakes.
  2. Arrange the beadboard so that the area to be cut hangs off the end of your work table with the back of the beadboard facing up. The side of the board facing up may develop a rough edge during cutting, to keep this rough edge on the back of the board where it will not be seen.
  3. Secure the beadboard to the table with a few clamps to hold it in place.
  4. Turn the circular saw on, and cut the beadboard using the line you drew earlier as a guide. Do not force the saw through the wood; use enough pressure to guide it as it cuts.
  5. Sand away rough edges along the cut edge of the beadboard with 200-grit sandpaper.

Cutting wood panelling with a utility knife

  1. Make markings for the cut.
  2. Set the straight edge on the marks, and hold the panelling down firmly with one arm.
  3. Draw the knife with light pressure across the piece.
  4. Repeat the process, applying more pressure each time until you cut through the panelling.

How to cut panelling straight

  1. Measure and mark where you want to cut. Add a checkmark on your line to determine which side you are cutting on. Secure your wood to a workbench or other stable surface with clamps.
  2. Cut without any guides by following the line with your cut notch on your circular saw or setting up a fence. A fence is a straight member used to guide the plate of the circular saw ( Set up a fence by measuring the distance from the teeth of the saw blade to the edge of the plate. Set your saw fence to this distance away from your cut.
  3. Clamp the straight edge to the wood or the workbench to ensure it does not move. Be mindful when cutting that you want to set up your work so that any cuts fall away safely.
  4. The extra setup may take a little longer, but it is worth it. 

How to cut paneling around windows

  1. Start with a pencil scribe and bend the end to sketch out the parts you need to cut in detail. Set the panel alongside the window closed and use the scribe to draw out the cut marks on the panel. Keep the scribe horizontal as you do this. Take your time and hold it steady.
  2. Use a jigsaw fitted with a fine blade to cut out the marks you made with the scribe. Go back and forth, fine-tuning the marks with the scribe and making more cuts with the jigsaw. File down the material cuts with a piece of fine sandpaper. For rounded cuts, wrap the sandpaper around a pencil.
  3. Fit the cut panel against the window and apron and check it for gaps. Add wood filler into the extra space on the panelling and then fit it next to the window. After installing it, add wood caulking.

Which jigsaw blade for panelling

Different cuts and different materials require different jigsaw blades. Before you choose a jigsaw blade, you should know the type of material you are cutting. Get to know the cut you need to make. Consider if you are making a straight cut or a curved cut.

David D. Hughes

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