Reply by John Smith

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Posted on Routing Plywood vs Solid Wood

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John Smith

2083 posts in 723 days

#1 posted 02-15-2018 02:48 PM

be aware that the cheaper plywoods have voids in the inner plies.
so you have to have a purpose to engrave plywood. just for fun, practice, etc.
for more serious work – you have to use the more expensive brands with no voids.
on a HEALTH SAFETY note: you have no idea what the manufacturer used to
glue the plies together with…..... if it comes from outside the United States,
it could have some significant harmful chemicals in it that are not good for your innards.
I would suggest a full face respirator – not a paper mask – but a charcoal filtered respirator.
you don’t want that nasty stuff in your lungs that may cause you a lifetime of problems.

if you need bigger stock for your projects, I would suggest gluing up panels the size you need.
just for fun panels do not have to have dowels or biscuits – just edge glue, some sanding, and you are done.
and like Johnstone said – new [very sharp] carbide bits will give you a much cleaner cut. (and last longer).
as for speed: you will have to determine that yourself. some woods behave differently than others
with a router – personally, I use full speed of the tool in just about everything.
and yes – plywood will splinter – that is their nature. and not just the top layer, but all layers.
a slower speed will produce more splinters – a faster speed for a smoother “less” splinters and tearout.

good luck !!

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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