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Avoid Tearout When Cutting Plywood

Splintering occurs along edge of stock Plywood often splinters when you cut it with a standard combination blade on the table saw. Luckily, there are a few simple tips to minimize the impact of this splintering.

First off, tearout occurs on the bottom when cutting on the table saw. So always cut plywood with the "show" side facing up.

Fig. 1 through 4 Another tip is to score the cutline as shown in Fig. 1. Then, cover the cutline with masking tape to prevent the wood fibers from pulling apart as you cut (Fig. 2).

The third approach is to score the plywood with the saw blade itself instead of a knife. This is as simple as setting the blade for a 1/32″ cut to score the veneer layer (see Fig. 3). Then, raise the blade just proud of the surface of the stock for the final cut (Fig. 4).

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

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