Salvage Ragged Edges
Whether it comes from using a dull blade, the wrong blade, or a misaligned tablesaw fence, grain tear-out can haunt your crosscuts in veneered sheet goods. Here are three ways to salvage ragged edges.
Fix #1: Cover it
If you don't mind altering your project design, hiding the tear-out behind molding proves the easiest and quickest fix. Use off-the-shelf molding or rout your own in matching stock. Secure it to the assembled project with glue and pins or brads—no one will be the wiser!
Fix #2: Wrap it up
This fix might not look good for some project parts, such as case sides, but for tops, bottoms, and shelves you can "wrap" the workpiece with solid-wood edging. Trim off the tear-out by first making a 1⁄8 "-deep scoring cut to trim the veneer cleanly, and then raising the blade to cut off the scrap end. Next, glue matching hardwood strips around the perimeter to bring the panel to final dimensions.
Fix #3: Highlight it
Use a small cove or chamfer bit to rout away the torn-out grain. Sand; apply a sanding sealer to the entire workpiece, reveal included; and sand smooth. Then use a cotton swab to apply a stain darker than the stain used on the rest of the project to the reveal. This creates a shadow effect that becomes a design element.