Tear out leaves wood looking mangled and can make your project seem like an amateur catastrophe. When cutting or drilling your stock, take a few precautions to ensure a clean finish.
Tear out is when a blade or bit splinters and fractures wood instead of creating a clean line or curve. The distraught wood fibers and chinks in the surface cannot be easily sanded away or corrected. If bad enough, tear out will not only ruin the aesthetics of your project, it can also ruin the integrity of a structure’s strength.
There are a few reasons why tear out occurs. Sometimes, wood fibers on the back side of the stock are not properly supported. Other times, it is a matter of grain versus cut, humidity buildup in the wood, or simply the wood species you’re working with. Try these recommendations to create a clean line or hole.
1.) Use the appropriate bit or blade for the material that you are working with. Ensure that it is sharp and in good condition.
2.) Use masking tape on the back end of the stock to hold the fibers in place. Remove the tape after making your hole or cut.
3.) If the expected tear out is great, support the stock with a piece of scrap wood. Clamp the items together for additional support.
4.) When drilling a hole, consider first drilling a smaller hole using a smaller bit. Then use the pre-hole to guide the larger bit through more easily.
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