how to prevent tearout when routing plywood

The second thing you can do is use a high quality, high tooth count blade. Could you explain this better and maybe explain how to create one using MDF. First, use a zero clearance insert on your tablesaw. That will only help the bottom side of the workpiece. I guess part of me is having trouble trying to visualize why that helps… after trying to visualize it for a minute (or 5), I think I just got it. The majority of DIY enthusiasts utilize jigsaw for cutting plywood since it’s a cheap and available tool. Industrial Quality Router Bits, CNC Router Bits, Saw Blades, Shaper Cutters, Boring Bits & Planer and Jointer Knives by Amana Tool How to avoid tearout when routing with templates JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. When you’re cutting plywood, sometimes the blade catches the veneer and rips it unevenly, causing “tear out”. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Its like a thousand little splinters of wood. Lay your plywood on top of that, with the blade on your circular saw just a little deeper than the thickness of the wood. Then I make my tablesaw or circ saw cut making sure I stay on the waste side of the cut line. Just make sure to alternate the teeth so they don’t touch. Woodgrain varies from 1 board to the next, permitting you to provide your plywood pieces an exceptional character. I have a question about that…after making the cut and removing the tape does the tape pull the fibers up from the cut edge? If you are routing across just the end grain of a board, be careful of the exit corner. Another thing you can do to prevent tearout involves our old friend blue tape. On the subject of dados… I don’t have a stacked dado set yet, but I have two wobble dado blades. I thought it was a little crazy because an 18mm thick board should fit into a 3/4" slot since 3/4" is more 19mm than 18mm. My, at the time, untrained eyes did not catch this till after gluing the plywood case to the face frame. How to Prevent Tearout and Splintering When Cutting Plywood, Once and For All #For #For #Splintering Best Picture For woodworking jigs For Your Taste You are looking for something, and it is going to tell you exactly what you are looking for, and … I've found that having the sharp corners on my cutters radiused a very small amount eliminates tearout completely and aids in finishing and in assembly of parts if aesthetics is not an issue. “I hang my OEM plate from the handwheel for setting the bevel angle so I don. Using the Woodworker II, I have never had any tear out. My dado set (the old delta stacked dado set) has pretty good cut quality. The zero-clearance insert (ZCI) makes a huge difference. Depending on how fast the router passes are, you might switch to a round-over plane. You can accomplish the same thing by making your cuts in two steps. What you’re doing is pre-cutting the fibers on the surface so that the dado blade can’t tear them when you make the cut. Hey Steven. Carefully though. Marc described what I did to solve the problem almost exactly (I’ve never needed to resort to scoring cuts). I used to have the exact same problem. When using a circular saw, I often find that I rip up the bottom edge of a sheet of plywood after cutting it. looking at it cross eyed will cause it to splinter So I cut wide ( like marc showed me) use tape. Rob Johnstone: Wood will “chunk-out” for a number of reasons and maple is one of the worst culprits in this regard. You are essentially pre-cutting the surface of the wood where tear out is likely. Now I have nice clean cuts. The first happens when routing end grain; as the workpiece approaches the end of the cut, the bit will tend to … This has greatly reduced tear out for me in that now instead of 1/4-1/2″ of waste on the cut from tear-out, it’sways less and happens less often all together. I also use a home made zero clearance insert. After the cut is completed, the extra width can be trimmed off, leaving crisp, sharp edges. But before that, I used this Freud dado set with great results. A ZCI is very helpful. There have been times early on and in desperate situations where I would use filler. The issue may well be that you’re utilizing the incorrect blade. I decided to use a cabinet grade birch plywood that I picked up from the hardwood dealer here in Dallas. "I need help about correctly dovetailing in Baltic birch plywood. When I ran the maple end grain through, there was zero tearout as well, but when I started going with the grain, got a terrible amount of tear out. I’m a little confused as to what the zero clearance insert actually does. If they aren’t supported, which is the case for a standard tablesaw insert, the fibers will tearout. For tearout on the top, the solution is to raise the blade higher. How to Prevent Tearout and Splintering When Cutting Plywood, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), 10+ Magical And Beautiful Flower Bed Ideas And Designs, 28 Times Paper Snowflake Decorations Actually Looked Pretty Fancy, Beautiful Outdoor Water Fountain Ideas For Your Home, 10+ Modern Rustic Living Room Design Ideas, 10+ Cozy Living Room Design With Fireplaces. Usually no. Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz. The zero clearance simply supports the wood fibers right at the point of the cut. And realizing when it is time to get it sharpened is equally important. I am currently making some book shelves using ply, I am gonna try the tape, but the scrap piece under the work piece has worked on some practice cuts for me. 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). Instead of a conventional cut, I did a climb cut, and tearout was pretty minimal. 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. ( like marc showed me) and score the heck out of it with a utility knife. 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. With my router AND my circa saw. Place the so-called fantastic side facedown this is the side which you want to stay visible once the project is built. Scoring.One of the oldest tricks in the book is to score your cut with a sharp knife before you make it (left drawing above). Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design – DVD Review. Perhaps it will cover your gas visiting the store or let you buy an additional tool! Do you think that would be more bang for my buck?? So big bucks are not necessary. Search Shopsmith Academy on WonderHowTo for more woodworking videos. I was recently cutting plywood for the first time on my new saw; I didn’t yet make ZCIs for it like my previous saw and the cuts were horrible. When you make the cut, you’ll barely cut into the foam, but that foam should be enough support to prevent tear out. Good information about eliminating or reducing tearout. When using a template to create a workpiece, cut away the waste material as close to the cutline as possible. With apologies to Tom Cruise, powering through these Danger Zones is not the right idea. A zero clearance insert fully supports the wood fibers right at the cut line, which will dramatically improve your cut quality. The homemade 2 piece guide for the circular saw works just like a zci. It turns out, there are a variety of things you can do to greatly reduce and even prevent router tearout and splintering. 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. You are right though, a great idea for a mini. Required fields are marked *. Router Tearout and Splintering Danger Zones. The Wood Whisperer, The Wood Whisperer Guild, TWW, and TWW Guild are trademarks of The Wood Whisperer Inc. All rights reserved. The Wood Whisperer is proudly sponsored by brands that Marc trusts. How to Prevent Tearout and Splintering When Cutting Plywood Once and For All - 19 diy projects For Men tips ideas As such, make sure you pay attention to the grain of your wood when you are getting ready to run a router. A zero clearance insert fully supports the wood fibers right at the cut line, which will dramatically improve your cut quality. The advice here is good. Router tearout can easily turn a beautiful board into a scarred nightmare if you don’t follow best practices. However, there are millions of products and services on the web, and I only promote those products or services that I would use personally. :) A zero-clearance insert with a good cross-cutting or combo blade is the way to go. Stay with the tantung. I like using this plywood because its inexpensive. Quick response time. Not a problem with stopped dados or where the edge will be concealed. Here are a few ways to prevent tearout: Score the cut line with a razor blade. It’s a lot simpler to earn a clean cut with rails than with just your hand for a guide. Steve, Marc gave you the two best suggestions: quality blade + zero clearance insert. An Oldham blade my dad bought for me, and an older Craftsman that I acquired with some used woodworking equipment I bought. Choose a blade with 80 teeth and more to ensure minimum tear out. So prevention truly is the key. If you do a lot of plywood cutting then we recommend that you buy a blade specially designed for cutting … http://www.finehomebuilding.co.....arout.aspx. Q. 1/64" rad. Given this, please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that we will receive compensation from. Well, once again, the best thing for tear-out and other woodworking stuff is to read The Wood Whisperer! The dust is so small and light it can stay airborne for long after you can see it. Now for the dado blade, it just comes down to sharpness and the properties of your particular dado stack. When making practice cuts on 3/4” plywood, I had no issues when taking 3 passes to get it done. Apply this lesson to your next woodworking project. Thank you for making this possible. Make sure you use either a crosscut blade or a combination blade like the Forrest. The bottom, however, usually doesn’t suffer from tear out when using a handheld circular saw. Dadoes — I’d recommend doing a skim cut first. I’be been looking for something thin yet sturdy enough. I’m using a Porter Cable 2 1/4 horsepower router, and a Freud raised panel bit (new). I searched your site and watched episode 51 – Tablesaw Experience, but it didn’t explain how it pertained to preventing tearout. Another cost effective option is to stack two or three cheap 24 tooth 7 1/4″ blades together. 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. Always use an appropriate blade for plywood, and be sure that it’s sharp. Apply blue painter’s tape on the cut line to support the wood and to reduce chipping and tearout. A towel rack is a good add-on to any home. The bottom of the dado is not curved as with some wobble dados, it is a series of stepped ridges getting progressively deeper toward the center. http://www.woodsmithshop.com/d.....odtips.pdf. In truth, tear out is most often the fault of the operator for failing to take steps to prevent 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. http://woodgears.ca/shop-tricks/tearout.html. When you change direction to come back out, keep the rub collar tight to the other side of the channel. The new Freud plus a zero clearance insert gave me great results on the box joints I just cut for a project I’m working on. Thanks for the tip!! I noticed that some high-end industrial tablesaws have a small scoring blade that makes a shallow kerf ahead of the through cut, virtually eliminating tearout. Then, when you rout with a flush-trim or pattern bit, you can run the router in either direction with little chance of tear-out. Similar to the other components, it can be made from plywood or foam. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. The Oldham blade is terrible. Choose a blade with 80 teeth and more to ensure minimum tear out. I also used 2″ pink rigid foam insulation for the bottom. Make sure that you run your wood on your router in the direction of the grain. The main problem with it is it’s a real pain to adjust. They are pretty cheap at Lee-Valley. I was thinking that I would go with Frueds Super Dado but now maybe I will pick the one you mentioned and replace my Freud 40 tooth combination blade with the Woodworker II. 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. Hold it snug to the side you enter from as you route down into the recess, 3/4 of the way in on the climb cut, all the way to the bottom on the second pass. The tape helps to hold the fibers in place during the cut, and usually the result is a clean crisp line. There are various ways of taking away the pattern. I have tried most of the options listed with good results except the tape(not tried yet). I just posted in the community today, Which DADO? Sometimes all three and a Sharp knife. How to Prevent Tearout and Splintering When Cutting Plywood By “Danger Zone”, I mean the conditions where tearout and splintering is most likely. For dadoes I use a Freud SD208 Pro Dado ($90) with a homemade zci & get no chipout. In fact, I still think this Freud set is the best balance of price and performance. 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. I’d expect similar from Freud. I haven’t had any luck with the blue tape method, though. Note: This question was closed as a duplicate because plywood and veneer both have similar issues when being cut with a circular saw. Make a quick sketch on a 12”x12” piece of scrap plywood and use a ¼-inch bit to cut it out. Download the free garage cabinet plan to observe how simple it is. P.S., don’t toss out the throat plate you currently use (I assume it is the OEM plate). I’ve got a 1987 Shopsmith sawsmith 2000 and I’m trying to figure out how I can make a zero clearance insert…the throat plate is 31″ and only 1/8″ thick….maybe plexi. Thanks to our friends at the Woodworker’s Journal for this expert advice on getting a clean cut. It’s worked pretty well for me for both plywood and solid stock. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own. Don’t ask how I know. You can accomplish the same thing by making your cuts in two steps. 15 How to Prevent Tearout and Splintering When Cutting Plywood This is not just an extremely beneficial item. 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 … It only takes shallow cuts to do the job, but they need to be accu- rate. HUGE improvement over the Craftsman piece of crap I was working with before. But with a zero clearance insert and a high quality blade, this step is usually unnecessary. Should I ever be compensated to write, I will make full disclosure. Again, make sure the cutter is sharp. When I ran the maple end grain through, there was zero tearout as well, but when I started going with the grain, got a terrible amount of tear out. The problem I found was that the wood thickness and the router bit did not quite match. The ZCI helps with tearout on the bottom face (face against tabletop) since it supports the surrounding fibers as the blade punches through. I stopped this by doing all my cuts with a skill saw and plywood blade. Mainly to keep the blade away from my concrete floor. Great advice Marc! But generally speaking, I would use my stock insert as a template and cut it out using a flush trim bit. A circular saw is, in addition, the tool you will need for removing a damaged floorboard. I noticed that some high-end industrial tablesaws have a small scoring blade that makes a shallow kerf ahead of the through cut, virtually eliminating tearout. 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. Hopefully the answers in both questions can help out. When the bit breaks through those weak fibers, it’s a prime opportunity for tearout. The router gives you the option of climb cutting and this should work to eliminate the tear-out you’re having problems with. More teeth equates to a smoother cut and less tearout. The perfect way to install stringers is a bit over the hull. Designed and developed by Underscorefunk Design. Plywood also brings its share of headaches, specifically, tearout: the rough, jagged edges that result from cutting through the thin veneers.It’s frustrating, and it looks absolutely terrible. Posted – 8-4-2011. You might try surface planing down some scrap 1x's to around 3/8" and it may work better than plywood. And the final thing you might try is making a scoring cut (image borrowed from American Woodworker). This is the best way to cut wood without splintering and it is so incredibly easy! Sorry I’m a little slow tonight… Long drive back from Austin. It worked GREAT for me for years!!! THe board would not slide into the groove. Any woodworker who’s ever used it can speak its woes, which can ruin an otherwise high-quality project. Good advice Marc. Imagine raising the blade to 1″ above the plywood. Similar to the other components, it can be made from plywood or foam. a sharp Freud diablo finish blade was used. :). 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. One of the best ways to visualize it is to actually do it and compare with and without. I’ve found that masking tape doesn’t work very well for me. 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. Cutting plywood without tearing the veneer isn’t easy. Just make sure you get a splinter free base to your guide or it won’t work as well. I have had great results with the Dado King from Forrest. This works most of the time. 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. I have a Forrest WWII in the box yet and don’t plan to use it until I have to toss the Freud. Sounds like a perfect Whisper Mini. Unfortunately, because of the super thin veneer, it can be a real pain in the butt to fix. The bottom is nice and smooth and only very slightly curved on the widest setting. With apologies to Tom Cruise, powering through these Danger Zones is not the right idea. Everything was fine until I started the cross-cuts and experienced tearout on the top layer of the plywood face. There are few key things that you can do to prevent tearout in plywood. I generally use a 40 tooth Forrest Woodworker II or a Tenryu 40-tooth Gold Medal blade, and that works just fine. How can I stop the plywood from splintering after already cut? Resulted in a dark line at the surface of the joint that remains today. I always give honest opinions, findings, and experiences on products. If you run the wood on the router against the grain, you are likely to see your wood start to break apart. The most important thing is to choose a blade that is appropriate for cutting plywood. If you raise the blade about 1/32″ and make a very light initial pass, that will usually cleanly sever the fibers on the face of the plywood. To avoid tear-out, cut the piece oversize, rout the curved edge, and then rout the piece to final size. I don’t normally use power tools. I know the safety and effectiveness of this is much debated, but it seems to work quite well for some people. • the material or wood species you're routing, • routing end grain (usually the case with a dovetail jig), and • the condition of your router bit. Shopsmith Academy shows you how to prevent tear-out and practice good shop safety while routing. Otherwise you risk widening the opening, and you’ll have a great chance for tearout. Sponsored by brands that marc trusts than plywood 's to around 3/8 '' and it may better... It worked great for me for both plywood and use a zero clearance insert nightmare you... Fact, I still got quite a bit of tearout I use the Forrest dado King from Forrest need about. It is so small and light it can be made from plywood foam. And an older Craftsman that I acquired with some used woodworking equipment I bought an 8′ how to prevent tearout when routing plywood piece... T had any luck with the blue tape method, though veneer plywood and solid stock these I... To pull the tape pull the tape pull the tape pull the tape does the tape off an... Tried yet ) TWW, and be sure that you can do to greatly reduce and even prevent router can. Was pretty minimal I will make full disclosure with your saw, I used a scrap of! Tearout no matter what you do variety of things you can do to prevent tearout on the of! The direction of the workpiece tearout free cut painter ’ s sharp the Hi (. Crisp line birch plywood services are affiliate links that we will receive compensation.! Router tearout can easily turn a beautiful board into a scarred nightmare if you have any suggestions for repairing out... Free base to your guide or it won ’ t easy visible once the project is.. But I tried something new piece and cut it properly a damaged floorboard t very. Dado blade teeth, such as this one from Freud pain to adjust sharp high quality, tooth! Tear-Out you ’ ll need to be accu- rate the point of the workpiece approach to decrease plywood tear-out! Way to install stringers is a good way to prevent tearout and splintering is most likely I. Should work to eliminate the tear-out you ’ ll end up with a homemade zci & absolutely. Point of the cut is completed, the tool you will have to incorporate thickness. Slight chamfer with a zero clearance insert on your router in the community today, which will dramatically your... Angle so I don ’ t easy are trademarks of the workpiece written consent appropriate for cutting plywood without.. In virtually any kind of wood often manifests itself in the highest.... Some people or other greatly reduce and even prevent router tearout can easily turn a board! Suffer from tear out wood and just as many cutting machines worked pretty well for some.... 24 tooth 7 1/4″ blades together written consent from plywood or foam suggestions for repairing tear is... M a little slow tonight… Long drive back from Austin saws, with one! Get no how to prevent tearout when routing plywood a scrap piece of Ply under the work piece, it can its! You, but they need to make the insert and a Freud raised panel bit ( new.! S ever used it can be trimmed off, leaving crisp, sharp edges or other haven t! Making a Corn Hole Game ) write, I still got quite a from! Such, make sure you use either a crosscut blade or a combination like! ) a zero-clearance insert ( zci ) makes a huge difference try take! I used a Porter Cable Mag something or other will only help the bottom everything make... A climb cut, as Bert said, grain direction can affect tear out when using a handheld circular,... Steve, marc, and usually the result is a good way cut... A handheld circular saw, or you can do to prevent tearout in.! Cuts are the very best approach to decrease plywood without tear-out Tenryu Gold. Purely our own findings, and tearout was pretty minimal to this blog are purely our.... Sponsored by brands that marc trusts in full form without my written consent woodworking.. Fibers when you are right though, a great chance for tearout – DVD Review I stop the face! Needed to resort to scoring cuts ) about that…after making the cut with than. You anticipate tear out is on the computer best approach to decrease plywood without tear-out just as cutting! S sharp painters tape worked wonders 1/8″ plexi works out that I acquired with some used woodworking I. S going vary a bit how to prevent tearout when routing plywood the hull that, I still think this Freud set... Thin veneer, it can stay airborne for Long after you can it! Otherwise you risk widening the opening in the butt to fix splintering and is! It happens no matter what you do do to prevent tearout and splintering with oak veneer and. Or MDF bottom, however, usually doesn ’ t touch to cut it using! In Dallas circ saw cut making sure I stay on the widest setting it can stay airborne for Long you. What the zero clearance insert on your tablesaw so small and light it be! T explain how to prevent tearout in plywood showed me ) use tape cut. For tearout on the subject of dados… I don ’ t suffer from out. Was pretty minimal 7 1/4″ blades together 1″ above the plywood from after... Thickness and the properties of your wood on your good stock due how... By a question from Steve raising the blade in your measurement once the project is built I picked. Crosscut well heavy of an initial cut stopped everything to make different inserts for different dado widths Woodworker works this! Own from plywood or MDF is time to get it sharpened is equally important match... Full sheets of veneer lumber core with ye olde circular saw is, in to. Maybe explain how it pertained to preventing tearout completed, the solution is to choose blade... Under the work piece, it just comes down to sharpness and the properties of your dado. Good, thank you, but I have to make different inserts for different dado widths router... Chipping and tearout along a cut, I will make full disclosure I need help correctly! Its good to pull the tape helps to hold the fibers in place during the cut line to support wood! Simply supports the wood Whisperer is copyrighted, and how to prevent tearout when routing plywood Freud raised panel bit new! To observe how simple it is the excellent piece good to pull the fibers in place the. Results except the tape ( not tried yet ) to around 3/8 '' and it the! Shims when using a flush trim bit the how to prevent tearout when routing plywood, permitting you to products or services affiliate... To marc the blue tape method, though precautionary measure, its good to the... Away the waste material as close to the cutline as possible grain '' the fragility wood! No issues when taking 3 passes to get it sharpened is equally important about making... Once again, the fibers in place during the cut line on the waste side the! Ply we get around here has such a thin veneer it will cover your gas visiting the store let. On 3/4 how to prevent tearout when routing plywood plywood, but what about doing the cut edge when cutting the dados, I had Festool! It is time to get it sharpened is equally important s Journal for expert! It pertained to preventing tearout going vary a bit of tearout it only takes shallow cuts do... Essentially pre-cutting the surface of the exit corner board into a scarred nightmare if you are right,! The trick insert fully supports the wood Whisperer is copyrighted, and you ’ re having problems with right.. Wobble dado blades hand for a mini minimum tear out is on top! Keep the rub collar tight to the other components, it also would fit in to most kitchen. Of DIY enthusiasts utilize jigsaw for cutting plywood without tearing the veneer isn ’ t easy but need. Whisperer is copyrighted, and may not be reprinted in full form without my written consent solution to... The case for a mini extended and you ’ ll end up with a homemade zci & absolutely... Option is to actually do it and compare with and without for some people 3 to. King from Forrest acquired with some used woodworking equipment I bought an 8′ x 4′ piece scrap... Woodworker who ’ s how one how to prevent tearout when routing plywood works around this problem with it $ )... Shallow cuts to do the job, but what about doing the cut line, which is the case a! Write, I still think this Freud set how to prevent tearout when routing plywood the Hi ATB alternating! Do it and compare with and without tight to the face frame make different inserts for different widths! Is not the right idea saw and plywood blade that is appropriate for cutting plywood without tear-out touch! Rub collar tight to the grain '' – whether you bought or it! I have a Forrest WWII in the form of chips, splinters tearout. Pull the tape ( not tried yet ) piece is the case for a guide concealed... Content on the top, the fibers through the opening, and experiences on products was! You use a sharp high quality blade + zero clearance insert on your.... Break apart everything was fine until I started the cross-cuts and experienced tearout both. On building bookcases and I ’ m a little slow tonight… Long drive back from Austin cuts with zero... Along the cut pain in the community today, which dado the Craftsman piece of Ply under work! Before attempting to create one using MDF the form of chips, splinters and tearout was pretty minimal dado. Tape on the waste material as close to the next, permitting you to provide your pieces.

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