Tearout and splintering when cutting plywood can be a real nuisance for any woodworker, whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist. Fortunately, there are a few simple techniques you can use to ensure that your plywood cuts are clean and splinter-free. Here’s how to prevent tearout and splintering when cutting plywood, once and for all.
1. Use a sharp blade. A dull blade is more likely to tear out the wood fibers of the plywood, resulting in splintering and tearout. Make sure that you’re using a sharp blade when cutting plywood, and replace it regularly to ensure the best results.
2. Use a zero-clearance insert. A zero-clearance insert is a thin piece of material that fits into the throat plate of your saw. This insert helps to reduce the amount of tearout and splintering by providing a snug fit for the blade.
3. Clamp a sacrificial board to the plywood. A sacrificial board is a piece of scrap wood that you can use to help reduce tearout and splintering. Clamp the sacrificial board to the plywood before making the cut, and the board will help to support the wood fibers and reduce tearout.
4. Use a low feed rate. When cutting plywood, it’s important to use a slow feed rate. A slow feed rate will help to reduce the amount of tearout and splintering, as the blade will have more time to cut through the wood fibers.
5. Use a scoring blade. A scoring blade is a special blade that is designed to make a shallow cut in the wood before the main cut. This scoring cut helps to reduce tearout and splintering by reducing the amount of pressure that is applied to the wood fibers.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your plywood cuts are clean and splinter-free. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of preventing tearout and splintering when cutting plywood, once and for all.