In Projects, Questions And Answers, Techniques

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Q & A: Veneered-Plywood Tear-Out


I have some planks with a pronounced
crook.The grain is beautiful and I would
like to make use of the crook in a desktop
design. How can I edge join the
boards without loosing the crook?


Assuming your dado
set is sharp and your fence is
exactly parallel to your saw
blade, the best device for
making clean cuts is a zero clearance
throat plate. You
can buy ready-made ones,
(available at Woodcraft,,
or make your own.

To make your own, trace
the outline of your existing
throat-plate insert on 1⁄2-in.
ApplePly (contact States Industries at for local distributors) and
cut it on the bandsaw. File and sand the edges until
you get a good fit in your saw. If the insert is too tall,
it can be sanded flush. If it sets below your table, add
small setscrews to the underside where the insert is
supported by the saw and adjust accordingly.

Finally, try using a damp rag to moisten the surface
where the dado will be cut. There’s no need to get the
wood soaking wet, just a little damp. This will soften
the wood fibers enough to help prevent tear-out.

Click any image to view a larger version.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker December 1999, issue #77.

December 1999, issue #77

Purchase this back issue.

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