This week’s question comes from Sylvester in Illinois’.
Hey Cody I’m building a dresser for my wife’s birthday coming up out of hardwood and have been running into some problem with tear out. I was wondering if you had any advice on how I can prevent tear out there have been many articles I’ve read online but several have countered it did themselves I’ve experimented with it a little bit but really can’t afford to waste any would do to the fact the hardwood is very expensive. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Well Sylvester that is a great question. Dealing with tear out is a problem all woodworkers face. When I first started I struggled with this on and off for a long time but really the solution is pretty simple. Now sense you didn’t specify the exact type of wood you are using I will go over this topic in a broad range. For example wood like oak splits easily when cutting lengthwise, but when you cross cut it becomes very difficult to avoid tear out. The blade of the saw will pull the fibers and band and snap them causing splintering in tear out. Now this will hold true whenever cross cutting hardwood. Many things play a factor such as a well tuned and aligned table saw, band saw, chop saw or any others saw you’re using. Making sure you always have a good sharp blade is also very important when trying to prevent tear out. A dull blade will have to work much harder and has a tendency to burn and tear out on your cut. Keeping good sharp blades on all of your machines is always a good idea. There are really two simple methods I use when trying to prevent tear out. One is simply using blue masking tape, when I run the board through the saw the tape will help prevent thair out. All you’ll have to do is apply the tape, maker your line and then simply make are cut. An alternative options and also a good option when using tools such as a router table is to use a sacrificial block of wood. When pushing your board through the router table you will not stop the cutting process at the end of the stock, instead just continue to push the material into the sacrificial block of wood which will produce a clean cut on your work peace and any burning and tear out will be done on the sacrificial piece of wood. Now I know there are other ways and methods that people use to prevent tear out but these are a couple simple methods that I use and their very effective.
Get more info at