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Wipe Out Chip-Out

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Jointer Tricks & Basic Baseplates

Jointer Tricks & Basic Baseplates

Jointer tricks

Sometimes you need to trim the ends of a rail-and-stile frame, and the jointer can do that in a jiffy. But it's almost certain to splinter the edges of the stiles unless you take precautions.

One method is to hold or clamp a block of wood against the rear edge of the workpiece. We show another approach in Photo E. Push the piece far enough to trim all of the first stile, then pick it up, flip it around, and finish the cut from the opposite end. These same principles apply to hand planes, too.

Basic baseplates

Bandsaws, scrollsaws, jigsaws, and portable circular saws will give you a much smoother cut if outfitted with a zero-clearance baseplate to provide backing on both sides of the kerf. As an example, here's how to prepare a circular saw.

Cut a piece of 1/4" hardboard or plywood to the size and shape of your saw's base. Drill holes in the board to match the base's existing holes and attach it with countersunk machine screws and nuts. Our saw has holes only along one edge of the base, so we secured the other edge with cloth-backed, double-stick tape.


Retract the blade, and set the saw on a double thickness of 3/4" plywood so that you don't saw into your workbench. Switch on the saw, lower the blade, and you'll get the result shown in Photo F.

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.

Continued on page 4:  More Anti-Chip Tips



Comments (3)
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

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