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Thread: tearout cross cutting walnut

  1. #1

    tearout cross cutting walnut

    I am finishing up some drawer faces for a walnut dresser. I have the lumber milled to width and thickness and I am beginning the process of cutting it to length. Where the wood grain travels across the front of the dresser left to right, I am trying to preserve as much of the grain as possible when it crosses from the left drawer to the right drawer. I am trying to trim as little as possible off the end that will be at the center of the dresser on both drawer fronts, left & right. My problem is I am using a good diablo crosscut blade, work is being held well and I am getting a square cut. but at the very end/backside of the cut I am getting some tear out. Only way to eliminate this is to the add a sacrificial backer board?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SF Bay Area
    Are you using a zero clearance insert? That should help. You could also score the board on the backside right where the cut will be, or even use blue tape over the cut area. -Howard

  3. #3
    I can change to the zero clearance, but the tear out is actually on the top back corner of the piece so maybe the blue tape will work best or scoring it. Thanks. Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Hi Brian, That's very common - My saw does the same thing because of the direction the blade spins. My blade comes up at the back, so I get some tearout toward the top face. A sacrificial backer will take care of it. Blue tape would be my second choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    US Virgin Islands
    Blog Entries
    Do you have a sliding miter saw? If so, do a scoring cut about 1/8” deep and then make your cut. If not, put a sacrificial board on top when making the cut.

  6. #6
    If the blade is sharp about all I can suggest is to cover the wood with masking tape where you are going to make the cut. That usually helps eliminate blow out.

  7. #7
    Yes, you have to use a backer board, and/or blue tape.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Three Rivers, Central Oregon
    As others suggest, a sacrificial backer will eliminate that type of tear out. I just grab a scrap from the off cut bin for this, just make sure the backer stick is taller than the walnut. What's the tooth count on your blade?
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Runau View Post
    My problem is I am using a good diablo crosscut blade, work is being held well and I am getting a square cut. but at the very end/backside of the cut I am getting some tear out. Only way to eliminate this is to the add a sacrificial backer board?


    Since no one asked, how many teeth and what configuration are the teeth on that Diablo blade? If i were making those cuts, I would use my Freud F80 Hyper Finish Crosscut blade with a zero clearance insert.
    This blade has 80 ATB teeth and makes super crosscuts in walnut and cherry.

    Raising the blade up higher will make the cutting force in a more downward direction which will also reduce tear out on the back edge of boards. Of course a backer board is the surest way to eliminate tear out.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 09-05-2019 at 9:52 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  10. #10
    Are you using a table saw to crosscut using a miter gauge? How many tooth blade are you using? Have you checked your table saw for alignment between the blade and the table? I use a unisaw, for the same cut, and have no trouble with tear out, so wonder what you are doing different than me?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
    Sounds to me like your saw is not properly aligned and the back teeth are rubbing against the back of the cut. If your saw is properly setup the front of the blade does the cutting and there is nothing left for the back of the saw to cut.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Good info so far. I have a 60T that I use for hard woods like ash, white oak and maples. I switch to an 80T for softer things like walnut. Using a sled with ZCI's in the bed and the fence help. An example of this is when cutting mitered corners for boxes.

    Box Sled (17).jpg

    When things get super critical as in your case, I pre-score the line with a marking knife. Try some of the tips here on some scrap and you will find the right mix of methods for your project.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  13. #13
    Run it face down to score it before crosscutting face up.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Gatineau, Québec
    ... Unless I missed something, doing the whole cross-cutting with the board facing down should solve your problem. You may need to transfer your marks to the rear face unless you use stop blocks.

  15. #15
    Jacques, he's talking about blowing out the trailing edge of the cut - not the face.

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