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Thread: Cutting wood that's already laminated

  1. #1

    Cutting wood that's already laminated

    Can I cut laminated wood without chipping the laminate?

    All my experience with laminates has been limited to bonding Formica to a pre cut piece of wood and then edging the surplus laminate with a router.

    Has anyone successfully cut a laminated board without chipping or otherwise damaging the laminate?

    I imagine a very fine, very fast, very sharp, multiple tooth saw blade would be needed. Right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Islesboro, Maine
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    Do you mean a board that has multiple layers that have been glued together to make it thicker. If so cut it as you would any dimensional stock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lower Burrell Pa. Northeast of Pittsburgh
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    330
    Art
    One of the safest ways I have found to cut a lamiated piece so that you don't splinter it is: first I tape the object with masking tape. Make a few wraps across it or around it. Then mark the line that you want to cut and fiinally take a sharp utility knife and score the line. What you want to do it cut on or beside the score line that way the knife mark will prevent it from splintering. This has worked many tmes with replacing interior doors and so on. In my shop I'm fortunate to have a sliding table saw. I tape, score and cut the line. If in the field I use a power saw and a sharp blade and if possible a straight edge clamp. If you are fortunate to own a Festool saw I believe the straight edge is designed to prevent tear out so some degree.

    hope this helps
    Ben

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
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    6,450
    We're talking formica on particle board, or something similar, right? If so, yes, it cuts easily and cleanly if the blade is cutting from the laminate into the substrate. That is, cut it on a table saw with the laminate up, or with a circular saw with the laminate down.

  5. #5
    I saw that when laminated sheets with a table saw, there is usually blow out/chipping on the bottom of the sheet and not the side facing up.

    Contractors that cut a lot of laminated boards have a scoring saw as a part of their table saw. It's a smaller saw blade that first cuts into the bottom of the board with a depth that's around the thickness of the laminate.

    Then the normal saw blade finishes the cut following right after.

    You can "mimick" having a scoring blade by first making a cut with your saw that's just the depth of the laminate. Then re-cutting that board after adjusting the blade to the height so that it cust through the rest of the sheet.

  6. #6
    I do as Ben states; pre-score the line with a razor knife (both faces). Use a tight ZCI and a proper blade on the TS. A consistent feed rate doesn't seem to hurt either but that could be subjective.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    We're talking formica on particle board, or something similar, right? If so, yes, it cuts easily and cleanly if the blade is cutting from the laminate into the substrate. That is, cut it on a table saw with the laminate up, or with a circular saw with the laminate down.
    Ditto......


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Trussville, AL
    Posts
    3,585
    What about making the cut a little strong, then finishing it up with a straight edge guide and a straight pattern bit in your router...

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