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Plywood is a strong building material because of the way it’s manufactured. Layers of wood are laminated together to create a great product that can be used for a wide variety of projects; it is especially well-suited to boatbuilding.

Of course, because it’s composed of very thin layers with their grain crossing each other perpendicularly, it can splinter when you are cutting it. This is called “tearout.”

The X mark on the board indicates the waste side of the cut.

One way to avoid this splintering or tearout is to run a sharp utility knife along a straight edge (where possible) to score your cutting line. If you do this before getting out your saw, your edges are much less likely to splinter and you should get a smooth, clean cut.

Try this method and see how it works for you, then leave your feedback to share with our other readers.


Note: You can find dozens of tips like this, as well as 100’s of informative articles archived in the Glen-L WebLetters, the forerunner of this Boatbuilders’ Blog.

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