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Diablo 1060X

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  • Diablo 1060X

    Hello Folks,

    Although the question is about my blade I hope it is OK to post here as you guys are my only source of knowledge for my BT3100 and woodworking. As I have started to learn and use my table saw more, first thing I did is bought a brand new Diablo D1060X fine finish blade. My current project involves using 1/2 plywood.

    Initially the blade cut so beautifully I was just blown away by the quality. I have so far cut through just 40 linear feet at the maximum and all of that is the 1/2 inch plywood - nothing else. Now today I see that I am getting quite a bit of tear outs (pictures attached). And this is on the top side as I believe tear outs are supposed to be on the bottom side.

    My question is do I need to remove and clean up the blade now? And how often one is expected to clean the blade? Hope the blade life is not so short

    Or is there anything else I need to look into?

    Thanks a bunch in advance and again hope it is OK to ask this here.

    - NG
    Attached Files
    Last edited by nicer20; 01-04-2021, 12:41 AM.

  • #2
    Is that plywood, the first picture shows the edge very obliquely but it appears to be layered like plywood.

    There are special blade for plywood... either cheap 200 tooth ply-blades with steel teeth relatively cheap but not ling lasting, or some high end carbide blades specifically for laminates like plywood and laminated particleboard.

    For tearout on the bottom side you can always use a zero clearance throat plate. For top tearout, sometimes a strip of masking tape over the cut will keep it intact. There are also scoring cuts (very thin first pass flip it over and make the cut, or an exacto knife recut on the bottom to cut the surface fibers). An blade type matters, an ATB (alternate top bevel) blade with non uniform teeth set (usually left bevel and right bevel and alternating rakers), I think a lot of this is discussed in my BT3 FAQ if you don't have one, its linked at the signature line of this answer.

    The LU96R is a thin kerf blade that is designed to give long life and excellent finish on the top and bottom of laminates, melamine & veneered plywood. The laser-cut anti-vibration design yields the plate acoustically dead. This reduces the sideways movement of the cutting edge to prevent chipping in man made materials such as laminates. This dramatically extends cutting life and finish. No scoring blades needed with this blade!
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 01-04-2021, 11:30 AM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -


    • #3
      Cut quality and amount of tear-out depend on many factors, not just the blade. The quality of wood itself - especially variations in brands and types of plywood - make a big difference too. Lesser quality glues between the layers in plywood - especially between the core layers and the face veneers - means the face veneer fibers aren't as strongly bonded to the core so they'll tear easier. Cutting across the face grains of plywood will generally result in more tear-out compared to cutting with the face grain for example. The thickness of the plywood layers, especially the upper and lower face veneers, makes a big difference in their total strength. The height of the blade above the top of the plywood being cut makes a difference too. Raising the blade extra-high changes how the blade edges contact the material: changing it from a knife-like shearing action to more of a chopping motion for example. As you noted, you expect more tear-out on the bottom where the blade is exiting the material... but how the blade "impacts" the upper surface when making the cut (due to type of blade, tooth sharpness, and how high the blade is raised) has an effect as well. If the fence isn't parallel to the blade, or if the sliding miter table doesn't slide parallel to the blade, the up-going teeth at the back of the blade will impact one side of the already-cut kerf creating tear-out. Lower tooth count blades generally lead to more tear-out as well on plywood. Supporting the lower surface of the workpiece, via a "zero clearance throat plate" (aka ZCTP) instead of the factory throat plate, will improve cut quality on all materials - not just plywood. I have several ZCTPs for my BT3 to match the different blade types I routinely use: one for normal blades, one for the Freud box joint blade pair set for 1/4inch cuts, and one for my dado stack used when making rabbets, plus others for less-frequently used blades. The rectangular opening of the BT3 makes it much easier to make ZCTPs compared to the Excedrin-capsule shaped openings found on many saws.

      Gunk (wood resin/pitch) build-up on the sides of the blade and especially on the sides of the teeth creates extra friction, extra heat, and can magnify tear-out. It aint sharp after all!
      There are several inexpensive blade cleaner solutions on the market; some folks say Simple Green works well too though others (including folks at Simple Green if I remember correctly) don't recommend soaking carbide saw teeth as it can weaken the bonding to the blade body. Just spraying and quickly wiping off Simple Green, then rinsing with water, is okay though. Simple Green Pro HD is a variant that is recommended for saw blades Rockler sells a blade cleaner material that I've used and it seems to work well. Any tough build-ups get a short soaking and scrubbing with a brass-bristle brush; I've never had any build-ups that didn't clean up quickly that way.

      As Loring already posted, there are some things you can do to prior to cutting to reduce tear-out:
      * As he noted, a strip of masking tape across the cut line helps. I routinely apply a piece of blue painters tape (it removes easily without leaving gooey residue) across the line to be cut; when I mark the line to be cut I'll mark it on the tape itself.

      * Using a sharp knife to pre-cut the upper layer of thin plywood layers helps a lot as well; make the cut right on the "keep" side of the cut. Many hand planes do this via the "knicker" knives/wheels ahead of the main blade to reduce tear-out.

      * Some very high-end cabinet shop table saws actually have a "scoring blade" ahead of the main blade to make a shallow cut in the face of the material or have X-acto-like blades barely protruding from the table top. You can mimic this on a regular table saw by making a scoring pass with the blade barely poking out of the slot, then raise the blade and run the workpiece a second time.

      * A trick that works with thin materials, fragile materials, highly-figured materials, or when cutting thin metal like copper plates: sandwich the workpiece with upper and lower sacrificial panels. These act like ZCTPs on both the top and bottom of the workpiece and are worth doing when absolutely perfect cuts are required or when very fancy/expensive material is being cut.

      * A slower feed rate helps too. Anything that reduces the chopping impact of the tooth reduces stress on the workpiece. Crosscut saw blades, rather than rip blades, typically have teeth with knife edges. Rip blade teeth are more like itty-bitty chisels slamming flat into the workpiece as they're designed to cut WITH the wood grain fibers - not cut across them. Cross-cut blades use knife-like edges to slice across the fibers; when cutting with the fibers they have a tendency to want to follow the grain. (ever try using an X-acto knife to cut with the grain?... and have it wander away from your straight edge? Same thing.)

      * Verify the rip fence, sliding miter table (SMT), or or miter gauge if you're using one, are in fact parallel to the blade so the aft teeth (moving up from the saw body) move totally within the existing kerf rather than trying to widen it. Note: if this is the bug with your saw, the tear-out will be much more pronounced on either the workpiece or the cutoff but not on both... whichever one the blade is dragging against.

      * Clean the blade if the sides of the teeth have pitch/resin deposits. It doesn't take much build-up to significantly degrade cut quality. Router bits benefit from cleaning too - but remove any bearings first! Lube router bit bearings with thin oil while they're dismounted from the router bit.

      Note that cutting any gritty material (some wood species have a fair amount of hard grit internally) and/or glued-up pieces like plywood is far harder on blades than plain wood. So don't be surprised to find cutting plywood dulls blades faster.



      • #4
        40' is nothing to have run through that blade. And you don't have tearout on the bottom face?

        Did you change the saw blade height from the first batch of cuts to this batch? I'd start there. I typically set the bottom of the blade gullet just below the top of my board. MPC said it above. If I have my blade too low, the teeth can lift up the grain on the top side rather than chopping down on it.



        • #5
          Wow so much of science behind the cut !!!!

          Can't thank you enough - Loring, MPC & Paul.

          Glad I asked as I got so much to look into including the tuning up of my saw. MPC I am going to print this and stick it in my shop - so many things to consider.

          I think the blade height could have made the difference. I normally have a gullet worth of blade sticking out but for this batch it is a bit lower than that. So will try raising a bit higher today. I thought lower the better but guess too low can be bad too.

          Yes BTW it is 1/2" plywood and the blade is a 60 tooth "fine finish" blade recommended for multiple types of wood including plywood.

          Thank you so much.



          • #6
            Thanks for all the pointers. Raising the blade restored the quality of the cuts (see photos - no tear outs on top or bottom).

            Nonetheless learnt a lot more information to keep in mind. Thank you so much for helping a newbie like me.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Originally posted by nicer20 View Post
              Thank you so much for helping a newbie like me.
              That's a big part of why this site exists.
              An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
              A moral man does it.


              • #8
                In retrospect, I missed the blade height clue, and it does now sound most plausible. Just above the top of the workpiece it cuts sideways which can make tearout.. Raising the blade makes it cut more downwards on entry and thereby the grain is supported.
                Good final solution. but I think perhaps we all learned a bit about how cuts and tearout are related.
                Loring in Katy, TX USA
                If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                BT3 FAQ -


                • #9
                  I'd always read that having the blade as low as possible is best. No?


                  • nicer20
                    nicer20 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's what I had thought as well but too low is bad as is evident from the quality of the cuts. So optimum setting appears to be just a tad bit above the gullet at highest point.
                    Last edited by nicer20; 01-06-2021, 03:34 PM.

                • #10
                  Many years ago I went to a woodworking show and at the Forrest Blade booth, mr Forrest was there and he told me that keeping the blade above the wood (1/2”-1” if I remember correctly).

                  The following is from the Forrest company:

                  “Once the machine is in use, it's important to avoid overheating the blade by keeping it too low when cutting hardwood. This can create a thermal crack in the carbide, causing tip fragments to fly backward to possibly injure the operator.”


                  • #11
                    This should get you the article I quoted previously.