How to Prevent Plywood splitting

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Plywood tearing or “blowout” is when the saw blade causes damage to the underside of the plywood as you are cutting it. Wood fibers are torn off when the blade passed down through the plywood. This is caused by a combination of two things; the wrong blade and the wrong throat plate. Either one can cause tearing but both need to be fixed to prevent plywood from tearing.


How to Prevent Plywood splitting

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Plywood tearing or “blowout” is when the saw blade causes damage to the underside of the plywood as you are cutting it. Wood fibers are torn off when the blade passed down through the plywood. This is caused by a combination of two things; the wrong blade and the wrong throat plate. Either one can cause tearing but both need to be fixed to prevent plywood from tearing.


Turn off the power to the saw and install a cabinet maker's cross-cut saw blade on your table saw. Lower the new blade down below the surface of the table by 3/4 inch.


Pull out your throat plate -- that's the small oval shaped plate that lifts out of the top of the saw where the blade emerges from the table.


Place the throat plate on a piece of 1/2-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Trace around the plate with a pencil and cut it out on a band saw. Sand the edges smooth with a hand block and fit it into the saw tabletop where the metal throat plate came out.


Slide the fence over so that the edge of it is covering the MDF throat plate by 1/2 inch. Turn on the saw.


Raise the blade slowly by cranking the wheel clockwise 1/4-turn at a time. Let it cut through the MDF throat plate slowly from the bottom up. When the top of the saw blade is 1-inch higher than the throat plate, stop cranking. Turn off the saw.


Set your fence to the desired measurement. Place your plywood on the saw and turn it on. Ease the plywood into the saw blade slowly. Use a smooth consistent forward movement. Keep both hands on the plywood on both sides of the blade as you push deliberately. Don't stop or change your hand positions unless needed. When you get to the end of the plywood, slow down to a crawl to prevent the last few fibers from tearing off.


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