How can I cut veneered wood with a hand saw without splitting the veneer? I'm ending up with awful frayed and rouged edges after cutting.
With a handsaw, one trick is to score through the veneer with a straightedge and sharp knife. Then use a finely-toothed blade, and let the blade do the work rather than trying to force it into the wood --always good practice, but especially in this situation. You may want to experiment with cutting angles, to cut less perpendicularly to the veneer surface.
With power tools, using a sharp, finely-toothed blade and a zero-clearance guide or faceplate can make a huge difference.
Also, be aware of whether the blade you are using cuts on the push or pull. To minimize damage you want to be pushing the veneer against the substrate rather than pulling away from it...which may affect which side you cut from (unless both sides need to be good, in which case cutting in from both sides and then completing the cut in the middle might help or you might want the equivalent of the zero-clearance solution by sandwiching the cut line between two other pieces.)
4Agree. Also, a layer of masking tape on the side prone to tearout can help. May 20, 2016 at 4:13
@Terry, +1 for scoring the veneer first prior to sawing, using a sharp edge. Most pros will recommend you use a marking knife for this, but a basic boxcutter or craft knife will do the job perfectly well. Use a steel straightedge, no other material will stand up to cutting for very long.– GraphusMay 21, 2016 at 8:55