How to fix chipping on plywood?

Hey all, I’m currently cutting out a bunch of different states for our customers with 1/4" birch plywood. I’m wondering if you guys have any solutions to minimize chipping and peeling of the thin layer.

I’m currently using an 1/8" upcut
FR: 40in/m
PR: 9in/m
DPP: .0625

Just wondering if there’s any bits out there I should look for that maybe give you guys finer finished cuts?

Here’s the chipping I was talking about.

If it’s chipping that bad with a 1/8 uncut, it’s probably cheap ply; Baltic Birch is much better. I’ve used a straight cut bit with good results.

Awesome thank you!

Yeah, it’s just birch ply from Home Depot.

Straight cut also works pretty well on plywood should you have one and not the other. You can sometimes save a bad cut plywood by running it through a planer or drum sander to get into the next ply.

There’s a difference between ‘birch ply’ and ‘baltic birch ply’. HD doesn’t sell baltic birch…at least not around here. You usually find that stuff at the local wood stores. It’s a bit pricy too. :frowning:


There is no danger in running plywood through a planer. I have a feeling you’re repeating something you heard and losing the original purpose of people’s aversion to it. I worked for a cabinet company that ran thousands of panels through a planer a month. I challenge you to find evidence of it being a safety concern.

Wouldn’t running ply wood through a planer defeat the purpose? The only good looking layer of ply is the outer layers, which is the part that was chipping.

1 Like

Not at all. Once the adhesive is exposed you’re going to have trouble getting an even stain in the surface. So long as you remove the material with the correct orientation, and you’re using grade A plywood you can certainly get a usable surface. Cheaper plywoods, however, sometimes have gaps, always best to eyeball what ply should be best.

Keep in mind this entire conversation is based on saving an existing piece, not what I would recommend as a regular practice. I’m simply providing options.

I own an antique firearm restoration business and have a unique perspective on fixing screw ups and other odd issues. A lot of my business deals with laminates and restoring/repairing them.

I noticed you provided no evidence of any safety concerns. The reason being there isn’t any. There is nothing unsafe about planing plywood. I’m sure you spent some time trying, at least I hope you did. Let’s try to move past the ego and just focus on the facts.

Some shops tell their employees not to plane plywood because if you do not orient the wordpiece correctly it can dull the blade cutting against the grain. I have a feeling that is where you heard this from, because it is certainly not anything to do with safety. The shop ran standard linear planers, not spiral cutters.

Now I understand where the animosity is originating from. I apologize if I hurt your feelings in that post, Robert. I believe you’re over-indulging a little in the simplification of that prior topic, though. If I’m not mistaken many people had a dissenting thought regarding the necessity of unplugging a router that’s powered off through a relay and a switch.

I think we both agree the widow maker picture painted by your six exclamation post was a little misleading given there isn’t any evidence out there to support it. Your initial post concludes with a dismissal of any anecdotal evidence going forward, but now we’ve arrived at your sole evidence being anecdotal and then what I can only assume is an attack on my character based on another thread. I find your posts quite educated and respectful on the board, and I enjoy reading your input. I cannot say the animosity is mutual. I hope there’s no ill will going forward.

If that is your experience, I would certainly agree with you.

Lowes sells a 4x8x1/2" maple veneer plywood@$45/sheet. Not all stores carry. Only 2/5 in my city do.

I avoid planing plywood but not for safety reason rather knife preservation. In this case he was edge planing but you get the idea.