Luan is a very thin veneer plywood made from sub-tropical woods of Southeastern Asia. The product comes in 4'-by-8' sheets and can be purchased in many places through out the US. The brownish veneer product is used sparingly in buildings for floor underlayments, in hollow-core doors and as an inexpensive interior panel. Woodworkers have found the wood beneficial in constructing doll houses and making small toys. Ideally, luan might be cut with a utility knife or small circular saw.

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Sometimes luan is used as a construction material in doll houses.

With a Knife

Step 1

Measure the cut onto the sheet of luan and make a pencil mark where necessary.

Step 2

Connect the marks with a straight edge or T square and pencil.

Step 3

Clamp the straight pine board on the line with C clamps and complete the pencil line. Make sure you use a small plywood spacer on the bottom side of the luan. This small square piece goes between the metal clamp arm and the luan sheet to prevent marking.

Step 4

Score the line on the surface of the luan with the knife. Use the board as a guide.

Step 5

Remove the two clamps and guide and finish the cut by hand, while holding the knife very steady. Note: this takes some strength and skill. If you wish you may use a circular trim saw to finish the cut.

With a Circular Trim Saw

Step 1

Place a medium to fine toothed wood cutting blade in the trim saw and make sure the blade is tight.

Step 2

Measure the cut onto the sheet of luan and make pencil marks where necessary.

Step 3

Connect the marks with a straight edge or T square and pencil.

Step 4

Clamp the straight pine board on the line with C clamps and complete the pencil line. Make sure you use a small plywood spacer on the bottom side of the luan. This small square piece goes between the metal clamp arm and the luan sheet to prevent marking.

Step 5

Score the line on the surface of the luan with the knife. Use the board as a guide.

Step 6

Adjust the guide and clamps for the circular trim saw. To do this first measure the distance from the outside of the metal guide to the outside of the saw blade. This will be the distance between the wood guide and the scored, linear mark.

Step 7

Set the saw blade depth, so it is slightly greater than the sheet of luan. If your luan is 1/4 inch thick, then set your saw blade depth between 3/8 and 1/2 inch.

Step 8

Cut the luan with a slow steady motion.

Step 9

Sand the cut with medium grade sandpaper.