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Plywood Edging Bits

These router bits help you dress up exposed plywood edges.

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Blades and Bits

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.

Continued on page 2:  Burgess Edge Set


Comments (9)
dalegj37 wrote:

When making picture frames from barn wood siding, I first use strips cut from the edges of the barn wood plank. However, the remaining center part of each plank has raw edges that need to be covered or the wood is wasted. Can this method of covering plywood edges be used to cover the edges of the barn wood planks center wood?

5/4/2013 03:01:33 PM Report Abuse
Rich J. wrote:

I use the tongue and groove bits for my projects, took a little trial and error to figure out, but they work fine. I usually cut the edging first then figure the final sizing of the plywood panel. This seems to save me some time.

4/7/2012 06:55:29 AM Report Abuse
Joe J T wrote:

To cut strips for edging, I start with a board, milled approx the same thickness as the panel, center the router bit to cut a v-strip. I then rip off the v-strip outside the blade at the table saw. I use my jointer, router table set up as jointer, or a hand plane and sand paper to trim the edges after gluing into the panel

4/5/2012 04:35:07 PM Report Abuse
Joe J T wrote:

To set up, I insert the v-cutting bit in the router table and I raise it to the center of the panel thickness. I use the bit to score a line at the midpoint, then flip the panel over and check that the bit is at the same level as the score. Next I set the fence by gradually moving it back until it is cutting a sharp edge on the top and bottom of the panel.

4/5/2012 04:28:52 PM Report Abuse
Joe J T wrote:

I have used this set for about a year and am very happy with the results. It creates a durable and invisible (my preference) edge One of the "cons" mentioned is the problem when trimming the panel to final size and making a 1/64" oops and ruining the panel. I cut the panel to final size before I cut the. I leave the edging proud and trim it back to the veneer or the face of the plywood. By the way, the panel is not ruined: simply run it over the v-cutter again and insert a new edge

4/5/2012 04:24:47 PM Report Abuse
winterseliza wrote:

It sounds like this could be one of the harder router bit sets to use. I found one here ( ) that looks somewhat easier to use. What do you guys think? I'm buying it as a gift for my husband. What set should I get? Thanks for your help.

11/10/2011 12:43:29 PM Report Abuse
plpercar wrote:

I bought this set and couldn't figure out how to get it to work proerly. It kept getting very wavy on me. I went through a lot of wood trying to master it but finally gave up!

4/16/2010 01:04:28 PM Report Abuse
stevied12 wrote:

No mention of a 60 degree tongue and groove? I've used that on a few projects (with the banding emphasized instead of hidden) and it works very nicely. It is very similar to the v-groove, but when used with a flush trim bit gives very nice results. Plus, it gives a stronger joint than any of those mentioned in this article.

4/8/2010 05:29:54 PM Report Abuse
keithlarsn wrote:

I used hardwood "V" strips to cover the edges of hardwood-veneer plywood on a large armoire. I used my tablesaw to cut all the bevels, both in the plywood edges and on the hardwood. I cut the bevels on the solid hardwood board edge before ripping the strip off. It was a lot of work but it came out really nice. I used a sacrificial fence and a good blade on my tablesaw for the "V" groove work. A good tablesaw and fence is a must, I'm sure for the tolerances to work.

4/8/2010 11:24:14 AM Report Abuse

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