How to Minimize Tearout on Veeneered Wood

When cutting veneered wood, there is often tear-out on the bottom side of the wood, or  where the blade is cutting out of the wood.  The tearout is created from the teeth of the saw blade pulling the fibers of the wood when the blades teeth exit the wood.  There are many things that can be done to minimize the tearout.  I found several tips and tricks for minimizing tearout on Woodgears.ca.

Some of the tricks to reduce tearout are:  tearout on veneered wood

  • Cutting more slowly
  • Setting the blade relatively low
  • Using a zero clearance insert
  • Taping the end you are going to be cutting
  • and Using a scoring blade

 

Scoring blades are a fairly common addition to higher end table saws.  The scoring blade turns in the opposite direction of the main blade so that it cuts with the teeth cutting into the wood instead of out of the wood.  The scoring blade makes a shallow cut in the wood before being passed through the main blade, which will make the final cut.  When the main blade passes through, it exits the wood in the shallow cut that was made by the scoring blade so that the teeth from the main blade do not pull the fibers out of the surface and create tearout.

 

They also mentioned that if you don’t have a scoring blade you can try scoring the veneered wood with your table saw blade.  Although this little trick may work to reduce tearout, I would never recommend someone to use any saw blade in a way that it was not intended for.  The Woodgears.ca recommended making a scoring cut by making a shallow pass with the blade cutting into the veneered wood backwards.

I believe the safest and most effective way to reduce tearout would be to invest in a scoring blade.  Popular Tools manufactures two types of scoring blades.  Their Conic Scoring blades have cone shaped teeth that allow you to set the kerf or width of the score cut by adjusting the height the scoring blade is raised to.  They also have a Split Scoring Blade that allows you to adjust the width of the initial scoring cut by the use of shims.

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