Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?
10 posts / 0 new
Last post
teklwb
How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

Hi all, I have one 30" piece of finished wood that matches the kitchen cabinets. I have to cut it to 15" to make room for a new refrigerator. How do I cut it so that it doesn’t rip (leave a jagged edge) or what do I use to cut it. I only get one try and I don’t want to mess it up. Thanks.

kentvw
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

If you don't have access to a tablesaw with a sharp blade or radial arm and a jointer you might consider taking it to a mill shop and pay a small fee to have it cut and dressed.

A. Spruce
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

There are a couple of ways of doing it, both require sharp tools.

The first method is to put a piece of blue painters tape over the area to be cut before scribing your cut line. Then, using a straight edge and utility knife, score the cut line with several strokes to cut through a good portion of the finish layer, then using a skilsaw with a fresh - i.e. sharp - blade cut slightly proud (but imperceptibly ) of the line.

The second method would be to follow the above technique, though cutting just a tad more proud of the line, then using a belt sander to dress the edge back to the cut line OR use a router with a rabbeting bit and a clamped straight edge to dress the edge back to the cut line.

If you have access to a tablesaw it would be easiest. - no scoring required.

RETIREN5
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

Remember if you cut it on a table saw that the "good side",therefore the finished side goes up.

teklwb
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

Thanks folks - I have a table saw - any particular type blade, or just sharp?

A. Spruce
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

Carbide tipped, the more teeth the finer the cut. If you really want to go the extra mile, use a zero clearance insert. These are relatively inexpensive to buy or very cheap and easy to make. Without clearance on the side of the blade you'll have even less problems with tear-out. :)

JLMCDANIEL
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

One nice thing is you have 15 inches to cut off so you can try 1 inch at a time until you find what work best.
Jack

Eric1435
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

This is a related question to this thread. What is the preference as far as blades? Do you prefer a rip blade for ripping and a cross cut blade for cross cuts or do you prefer a combination blade for all cuts? I have been using a Freud thin kerf 60 tooth blade for all cuts and have been thinking of switching to a separate blade for rips and cross cuts. I use a zero clearance insert but don't get the best results with cross cuts. Any info from personal experience would be appreciated.

Eric

Eric1435
Re: How do I cut finished wood without ripping it?

Thanks for answering my question on blade choices. I found an article in Jan/Feb issue of Wood magazine that has a pretty good comparison of 10" saw blades. There was also a follow up article in the latest issue correcting some flaws in the original testing process. Very good information to assist in making an informed blade purchase.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.