Plywood Edging Bits
These router bits help you dress up exposed plywood edges.
Blades and Bits
Hardwood-veneer plywood may be a woodworker's best friend: Dimensionally stable, it won't swell and shrink like solid wood when humidity levels change; it costs less than solid wood; and you can find it readily at home centers in several common species. Of course, this workshop standard has an ugly side -- or more accurately, an ugly edge.
The thin layers (or plys) of wood that make up plywood show themselves as an unattractive striping best hidden on your projects. Woodworkers sometimes glue and/or tack on a thin band of solid wood to mask the plys, but a mismatch in grain or color can belie the fix. Thin iron-on strips of veneer banding provide a less noticeable remedy; however, the heat-activated glue sometimes weakens over the long haul, and you can't add an edge treatment, such as a round-over.
Looking for a better way to treat plywood edges (and those of other hardwood-veneer sheet goods, such as MDF), we found three bits or bit sets designed specifically to improve -- though not necessarily make easier -- the task of edge-banding 3/4" plywood. (Similar bits also work with 1/2" plywood.) After testing them in our shop, we're ready to reveal the pros and cons of each.
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