Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Cutting Tips For Laminate and Veneer
When cutting material down to size, I usually turn to my table saw or circular saw. But when it comes to cutting plastic laminate and veneer, they aren't the best choice.

Plastic Laminate -
Whenever I use plastic laminate on a project, I always start with an oversize piece. After gluing it to the workpiece, I simply trim it flush with a hand-held router. But quite often the sheet of laminate is too large to begin with and needs to be cut to rough size first. Doing this on the table saw is a hassle because the thin laminate wants to slide under the rip fence and bind. So instead, I use an ordinary pair of tin snips to cut the laminate to rough size, see photo at right.
Veneer - Cutting veneer to size is another matter. It's too delicate to cut to size with power tools. In the past, I've used a utility knife to cut my veneer. But not too long ago, I happened to see a friend using a rotary cutter to size his veneer. A rotary cutter is normally used for cutting fabric, but as you can see in the photo at left, running it along a straightedge leaves a clean, crisp cut on the edge of the veneer.

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