Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome, Guest! Log In  |  Join Now

Wipe Out Chip-Out

Prepare before you cut, and produce smooth, clean edges.

Pages in this Story:
Tablesaw Tactics

Tablesaw Tactics

When fibers, splinters, or even sizable chunks of wood break away from your workpiece while you're cutting or shaping it, that's chip-out. Fortunately, you can avoid nearly all of that surface damage by taking a moment to prepare before you cut, rout, or joint a piece of wood.

Follow two basic rules to prevent chip-out: Use sharp cutting tools, and provide solid backing for surfaces that are likely to be damaged. We'll describe here some of the best ways to lend that support, no matter which cutting tool you use.

Tablesaw tactics

Start with a "scoring" cut on furniture-grade plywood or solid wood that shows a tendency to chip out. Set the blade just 1/8" above the table, as in Photo A, and run the workpiece through. Then raise the blade and make the final cut.

You'll get cleaner results because in a scoring cut the blade's teeth meet the wood at a shearing angle, rather than pushing down on the bottom surface of the stock. Also, shallow cuts produce better results than deep ones because you're not forcing as much sawdust through the kerf.


When crosscutting with a miter gauge, use an auxiliary wooden fence to back the workpiece in line with the blade, as in Photo B. Most traditional miter gauges include screw holes that you can use to add an auxiliary fence. If you have an extruded-aluminum fence on your miter gauge, use double-stick tape to attach a temporary wooden fence.

Continued on page 2:  Router Know-How


Comments (4)
dhuff49 wrote:

Basic baseplates: "You can't guide the saw by eye with this baseplate attached, so you'll have to rely on edge guides. Or, you can make the baseplate with clear Plexiglas or polycarbonate plastic." I used 1/4" hardboard, made the baseplate then drilled two 1/4" holes on the leading end, filed out the figure 8 shape so I have a 1/4"x1/2" oval slot. This way I can see the line.

5/8/2014 10:27:40 AM Report Abuse
jayseagull wrote:

The masking tape does minimize the chipping. However, if you have a good straight-edge, scoring the cut-line with a utility knife will all but eliminate the chances of chipping.

8/20/2010 07:47:55 AM Report Abuse
rtl71 wrote:

I also use 1 1/2" masking tape to not only cross cut but cuts with the grain. Two minutes of preparation saves a lot of grief later...

8/19/2010 12:07:57 PM Report Abuse
rudemeister44 wrote:

I use masking tape to minimize chip-out when cutting with my circular saw. Also makes the cutting line easier to see! Easy to pull off when cut is done.

8/19/2010 10:33:09 AM Report Abuse

Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In

Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."


Connect With Us
  • Recent Posts
  • Top Posts
See More >