Its like a thousand little splinters of wood. But when cutting the dados, I still got quite a bit of tearout. “I hang my OEM plate from the handwheel for setting the bevel angle so I don. I’d be curious to know how the 1/8″ plexi works out. When using a circular saw, I often find that I rip up the bottom edge of a sheet of plywood after cutting it. In your photograph above, the cuts are being made on end grain, which greatly increases the odds of tear out, unless you can change the direction of the cut in some way to avoid … This site uses affiliate links. After the cut is completed, the extra width can be trimmed off, leaving crisp, sharp edges. You can accomplish the same thing by making your cuts in two steps. Instead of a conventional cut, I did a climb cut, and tearout was pretty minimal. I have used a scrap piece of ply under the work piece, it acts as a ZCI. The Wood Whisperer is proudly sponsored by brands that Marc trusts. This can also be somewhat remedied with plunge cut track saws Like Festool and others offer now, kind of expensive but nice to use. There really is not effective repair. Now the tooth is swinging down nearly perpendicular to the surface of the plywood so it cuts the fibers with them supported by the rest of the plywood. I know the safety and effectiveness of this is much debated, but it seems to work quite well for some people. The issue may well be that you’re utilizing the incorrect blade. The main problem with it is it’s a real pain to adjust. Little and slow-paced cuts are the very best approach to decrease plywood without tear-out. 1/2’’ Baltic birch is an ever-popular choice of material for drawer boxes - including the dovetailed variety - and so is the question of how to prevent tearout when you cut the joints. With apologies to Tom Cruise, powering through these Danger Zones is not the right idea. No problem man. Plywood cabinet. Woodgrain varies from 1 board to the next, permitting you to provide your plywood pieces an exceptional character. I also use a home made zero clearance insert. It turns out, there are a variety of things you can do to greatly reduce and even prevent router tearout and splintering. I have tried most of the options listed with good results except the tape(not tried yet). This is a good way to prevent tearout on both the face and the edge of the workpiece. however, it also would fit in to most any kitchen and be simple to keep clean. http://woodgears.ca/shop-tricks/tearout.html. You are essentially pre-cutting the surface of the wood where tear out is likely. Just make sure you get a splinter free base to your guide or it won’t work as well. Thanks for the reply Marc. This means that the teeth on the blade are milled at a high angle for more effective scoring of the plywood, thereby creating less tearout. When the bit breaks through those weak fibers, it’s a prime opportunity for tearout. But these days I just grab a new piece and cut it properly. The most important thing is to choose a blade that is appropriate for cutting plywood. All content on The Wood Whisperer is copyrighted, and may not be reprinted in full form without my written consent. a sharp Freud diablo finish blade was used. The best way to do this,in My opinion , Titus is to get a down cut spiral bit wiith bearing also a fence back up board. I make a light cut at first and then follow the line a few more times until the outer veneer is cut thru. Rip & multipurpose blades just don’t crosscut well. Some of the more budget-friendly dado sets will give you tearout no matter what you do. The hubs and I have been working on a project that I should have installed and ready to show you next week, but I thought I'd share a little tip with you in the meantime. Imagine raising the blade to 1″ above the plywood. I have a Forrest WWII in the box yet and don’t plan to use it until I have to toss the Freud. 2. It turns out, there are a variety of things you can do to greatly reduce and even prevent router tearout and splintering. When making practice cuts on 3/4” plywood, I had no issues when taking 3 passes to get it done. When I have HomeDepot cut 4×8 ply to manageable sizes for me, I bring in a roll of painters tape and put it on and press down well. Again, make sure the cutter is sharp. And its a little tricky to explain…. So prevention truly is the key. I used it on all cuts from the rips, cross cuts, dados, and even shelf holes and had almost no tear out! (Another 5 minutes later during editing mode)One more thought… That sounds like a Z-Word for the glossary on newtowoodworking :) I noticed there were no Zzzzzzz’s. I haven’t had any luck with the blue tape method, though. Took a couple cabinetmaking classes and was able to use a commercial saw with the secondary scoring blade, downside- scoring blade needs to be finely tuned it trimmed through my plywood veneer about 1/64″ away from the actual cut. Given this, please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that we will receive compensation from. If you do a lot of plywood cutting then we recommend that you buy a blade specially designed for cutting … First, make sure to always cut plywood with the best side facing down, so the blade won’t mark it cutting up through the wood. Should I ever be compensated to write, I will make full disclosure. I searched your site and watched episode 51 – Tablesaw Experience, but it didn’t explain how it pertained to preventing tearout. Tearout is an issue when running a router on plywood, but I tried something new. The thin layers of plywood can often splinter and chip when cut with a power saw, resulting in an ugly edge that looks like this: To prevent your cut line from tearing: 1. If you have the blade, say, 1/8″ higher than the plywood surface, the tooth is whacking the uncut wood nearly head-on; some fibers may splinter up. If you have access to one, go play with it before attempting to create toolpaths on the computer. Stay with the tantung. Not a problem with stopped dados or where the edge will be concealed. As for making an insert, that’s going vary a bit from one saw model to another. A number of larger saws out there are actually outfitted with a second blade that lives in front of the main blade, and its sole purpose is to make this type of scoring cut. Do you think that would be more bang for my buck?? Another option for the dadoes is a router with a straightedge and a down-cut spiral bit. That will only help the bottom side of the workpiece. The zero-clearance insert (ZCI) makes a huge difference. Plexi might be the ticket. I like using this plywood because its inexpensive. The first happens when routing end grain; as the workpiece approaches the end of the cut, the bit will tend to … Router Tearout and Splintering Danger Zones. So my question is: how do I stop tear out on plywood? As such, make sure you pay attention to the grain of your wood when you are getting ready to run a router. Lay your plywood on top of that, with the blade on your circular saw just a little deeper than the thickness of the wood. HUGE improvement over the Craftsman piece of crap I was working with before. A sharp high quality blade is definitely worth the investment. I like the adjustability with shims when using TS and dado blade. Carefully though. Well, once again, the best thing for tear-out and other woodworking stuff is to read The Wood Whisperer! I just posted in the community today, Which DADO? Thank you for making this possible. The problem I found was that the wood thickness and the router bit did not quite match. But the higher quality dado sets will produce tear out free cuts until they start to become dull, at which point you’ll send them out for sharpening. When you change direction to come back out, keep the rub collar tight to the other side of the channel. The router gives you the option of climb cutting and this should work to eliminate the tear-out you’re having problems with. Sometimes, you just have to make cuts on full sheets of veneer lumber core with ye olde circular saw. I had Home Depot cut my plywood and when I got it home to paint i stood it up on wood blocks and the end began to split/splinter. :) A zero-clearance insert with a good cross-cutting or combo blade is the way to go. Q. Tear out only happens on unsupported fibers when you try cutting them. The fragility of wood often manifests itself in the form of chips, splinters and tearout along a cut edge. I’be been looking for something thin yet sturdy enough. I hang my OEM plate from the handwheel for setting the bevel angle so I don’t forget to switch it out; the handwheel has great mechanical advantage over the blade trapped in the ZCI. Designed and developed by Underscorefunk Design. Router tearout can easily turn a beautiful board into a scarred nightmare if you don’t follow best practices. Shopsmith Academy shows you how to prevent tear-out and practice good shop safety while routing. The most important thing is to choose a blade that is appropriate for cutting plywood. Required fields are marked *. Marc described what I did to solve the problem almost exactly (I’ve never needed to resort to scoring cuts). You are right though, a great idea for a mini. but for now the blue tape with a combo blade gets me by. How can I stop the plywood from splintering after already cut? Cutting plywood without tearing the veneer isn’t easy. Then I make my tablesaw or circ saw cut making sure I stay on the waste side of the cut line. I’m using a Porter Cable 2 1/4 horsepower router, and a Freud raised panel bit (new). Here are a few ways to prevent tearout: Score the cut line with a razor blade. (like marc showed me) use a sharp 60 to 80 tooth blade. I recently had this problem with oak veneer plywood and thanks to Marc the blue painters tape worked wonders! The dados by nature will have a shallow angle to the wood since they are buried in the wood, but they normally have batwings that score the wood before it hits the rakers. Instead of a conventional cut, I did a climb cut, and tearout was pretty minimal. But before that, I used this Freud dado set with great results. Go lower than that you might be asking for trouble. For tearout on the top, the solution is to raise the blade higher. That’s all fine and good, thank you, but what about doing the cut with a handsaw? And the final thing you might try is making a scoring cut (image borrowed from American Woodworker). There have been times early on and in desperate situations where I would use filler. The Wood Whisperer abides by word of mouth marketing standards and holds integrity in the highest regard. There are various ways of taking away the pattern. Ok Greg here is what to do.Spray paint the color of the board you want.Go up to the dollar store and buy a roll of contac shelf paper.Stick the shelf paper on the board (this will be your mask)Take a good sharp 90Deg. I’ve found that a high quality, high tooth count blade in the neighborhood of 60-80 will give you a smoother and even cut. More teeth equates to a smoother cut and less tearout. In addition to using scrap to support the wood during a cut, as Bert said, grain direction can affect tear out. Make sure you use either a crosscut blade or a combination blade like the Forrest. I always give honest opinions, findings, and experiences on products. Any woodworker who’s ever used it can speak its woes, which can ruin an otherwise high-quality project. I’m using a Porter Cable 2 1/4 horsepower router, and a Freud raised panel bit (new). One way to avoid the problem is to start your routing pass at the exit corner and make a short climb cut to remove the corner material first (see Photo 4). Plywood is the most difficult material to rout "across the grain". A zero clearance insert fully supports the wood fibers right at the cut line, which will dramatically improve your cut quality. This is the best way to cut wood without splintering and it is so incredibly easy! Make a quick sketch on a 12”x12” piece of scrap plywood and use a ¼-inch bit to cut it out. I decided to use a cabinet grade birch plywood that I picked up from the hardwood dealer here in Dallas. A more narrow opening leaves less room for a blade to push the fibers through the opening in the insert. looking at it cross eyed will cause it to splinter So I cut wide ( like marc showed me) use tape. It’s worked pretty well for me for both plywood and solid stock. A zero clearance insert fully supports the wood fibers right at the cut line, which will dramatically improve your cut quality. Sometimes all three and a Sharp knife. Infinity Cutting Tools has all of the conventional woodworking carbide router bits you must finish your next woodshop undertaking. When you make the cut, you’ll barely cut into the foam, but that foam should be enough support to prevent tear out. 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