If you treat all materials the same, some are bound to punish you for this bad habit.

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tear-out

If you treat all materials the same, some are bound to punish you for this bad habit. For instance, hardwood veneer plywood splinters instantly as demonstrated by the oak plywood sample in the left photo, which was crosscut in a single pass.

For tear-out-prone materials, including oak, ash, and panels veneered with melamine, start with a tablesaw equipped with a zero-clearance insert. Next, set your blade height to 116 " high so that the tips of the carbide teeth slice through the veneer and most of one ply of the panel, and make one shallow pass on the saw. Unlike cutting the panel in a single pass, the blade teeth in this shallow pass create less downward pull on the wood fibers. The photo on the right shows how a 116 "-deep scoring cut cleanly slices through the veneer.

Then, without moving the fence, raise the blade to final height and repeat the cut. The result: no tear-out.