How to Kerf Cut Wood


Kerfs are cut in the side of a piece of wood to enable the wood to bend. By cutting kerfs side by side most of the way through the wood's thickness, the wood becomes pliable. Woodworkers use kerfs to bend wood around counter tops, for concrete forms or window transoms. You can kerf cut wood with an ordinary table saw using an ordinary saw blade. Kerfs can be cut on plywood or lumber.

Things You'll Need

  • Table saw
  • Miter gauge (optional)
  • Raise the blade to cut 2/3 through the thickness of the wood. For example, if the wood is 3/4-inch thick, raise the blade to 1/2 inch.

  • Set the fence at 1 inch from the blade. Place the wood behind the blade, against the fence, with the grain perpendicular to the blade.

  • Turn on the saw. Run the wood over the blade, and pull it back to where it was. Reset the fence 1/4 inch to the right.

  • Run the wood over the blade, and pull it back. Reset the fence 1/4 inch to the right. Continue resetting the fence 1/4 inch to the right and cutting kerfs until you reach the end of the wood.

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