How to avoid chipping when cutting wood with a saw

We all know that to go from being a simple amateur handyman to being considered a seasoned veteran, you first need to know and master all the techniques and secrets learned from years in the shop.

One of the pet peeves that mostly affects novice carpenters, is the chipping that happens to the wood at the time of a cut. The worst case is that this happens a lot.

In this article, I will go over the best tricks and tips from solid carpenters, so that all of us are informed of the common causes of chipping when cutting wood and what we can do to prevent this as much as possible from now on

Today we will go over the secrets that several people use to get good cuts every time without chipping the wood.

Understand the wood grain

Fir, t remember that wood has a grain and that the grain of the wood is the direction and pattern of the fibers that make up a piece of lumber.

These lines are also commonly known as veins or wood grain. They change their name when the cut is in different directions and not straight, in which case it is known by different names. This is confusing but will become second nature soon enough.

Avoid leaving wood chippings on the saw

I must say that, and with great pain, that I know some woodworkers who never got rid of the habit of leaving the chipped wood on the saw after they made a cut. They later use some tricks to hide those mistakes, such as filling the holes with caulking. This is far from being a good technique and should only be considered as a last resort in some rare instances. So, since I do not want you to be like that I can’t recommend using that method.

Wood grain

Wood splinters by nature, this is because of its composition, it is inevitable that wood will crack under the abuse of saws, tools, drills, knives and other cutting tools made of tough materials like metal.

But.. can chipping ever be stopped?

Well, we already know the reasons for chipping, now we will go over a couple techniques or tricks that will help us to stop this from occurring when we cut wood.

The first piece of advice I can give you to avoid the ugly cuts is to have tools that are in good condition and to keep them very sharp at all times. It’s no secret that always having sharp tools for cutting is something that is constantly recommended by all the top woodworkers.

The second thing to help avoid splintering is to use a piece of scrap wood while doing the cut, placing this on whichever side that will hit the cutting blade.

A third thing that can be done to avoid splintering when cutting with a table saw is to use the correct saw for each job or project that you’re working on always.

Table saws

In this first example we will are able to avoid chipping when cutting plywood or triply by first making a small cut in the reverse direction of the blade, and then making the final cut later. ┬áThe table saws here┬ácan be hard to cut wood with, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it and be a pro.

Another widespread method to avoid chipping is the use of tape, in particular, masking tape. Placing a strip of tape along the start of the cut on one or both sides of the wood will help to avoid chipping as you will be able to see.

In Conclusion

Well, that’s it for this article, at this point, many of you will be in a position to be better carpenters and to make some better habits and workplace systems to follow. Now we are in a good position to reduce the splintering of wood when we make our cuts and I feel like that is a very good thing.