Winning tip

Date:25 July 2012

When cutting veneered board with a table saw, the underside can end up looking very ragged as a result of the downward-travelling blade tearing or chipping the brittle veneer. This can be avoided with a simple strategy. First, lock the table saw
fence at the desired width, then lower the saw blade until only about 3 mm or so projects above the table (the actual depth is unimportant as long as it’s considerably less than the thickness of the board) and run the board through the saw.

This will produce a smooth-edged groove on the underside. Now raise the blade to a height greater than the thickness of the board and repeat the cut without changing the width setting, this time cutting right through the material. Turn the board over and you’ll have a smooth underside, with no ragged edges.

A word of caution: to do this, you may have to remove the riving knife (if there is one) and possibly the blade guard, leaving the blade exposed. Be very careful, and take it slowly. – CHRIS GRAHAM, RANDBURG

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