Tip: Cutting laminate on table saw

Here's the tip: for smoothest cuts, cut plastic laminate *upside down* on a table saw (face down).
Discovered this by accident the other day trimming a piece of Pergo flooring. I had to cut it upside-down on the client's table saw, using a combination blade (non-carbide, few teeth). Cutting it right-side up, got some chipping even when cutting painfully slowly. But the upside-down piece had a perfectly clean edge, contrary to what I expected.
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Maybe you didn't have the blade up far enough?
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On 10/18/2010 11:17 AM Larry Fishel spake thus:

I had the blade just a little higher than the thickness of the material, being in the habit. Is it better to raise the blade when cutting laminates?
Like I said, it was really the wrong blade for cutting that material, but it was all I had at the time. Cutting very s-l-o-w-l-y seemed to make the most difference.
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You had the blade correct.
I have not done any laminate flooring for about 7 years. I seem to recall that the directions said, face one way for miter saw and face the other for a table saw. The goal was the same, in both cases you wanted the teeth biting into the laminated part, not ripping it up. Some very minor chipping will occur anyway. That is why the cut edge always goes under the trim. It is all about the direction you lay it in.
I don't recall what blade you said you had but a carbide tipped blade is the only thing that will last when cutting it.
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On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 19:08:25 -0400, "Colbyt"

Another trick is to clamp a piece of plywood on the table and run the blade up through it so you have a tight fit to the blade. It gives you support around the cut.
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On 10/18/2010 4:08 PM Colbyt spake thus:

Well, I was surprised because I cut it "wrong"--that is, with the laminate face *down* on the table saw. At least that's the wrong way for cutting wood. But it turned out to give a much smoother cut, much less chipping.

Wasn't carbide-tipped, just an ordinary "combination" HSS blade. Not the one I would have chosen, that's for sure. It's what was available. Since I only had a few cuts to make, blade longevity wasn't an issue.
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