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Thread: Plywood and my Planer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Lincoln, Nebraska
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    Plywood and my Planer

    I'm planning a plywood project and I have a question. I'll be going for the look of the desk in the blog post that I'm going to link to. My question is this: Once I get the panels glued up and flattened on one side can I run them through my planer to get them to final thickness or will that ruin my blades? Thanks in advance.


    http://www.sarahsbigidea.com/2014/02/plywood-gets-sexy/
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."

  2. #2
    It will certainly dull and damage steel knives. If your planer has carbide knives it will be ok. But I think you really need
    a wide belt sander, and it won't be cheap to pay someone to do it. There are other novelty type ideas ,I would look at
    some.

  3. #3
    I ran about 4' of plywood edge over my jointer & it serrated the edge of the knives. Way more than can be removed by honing; they needed to be sent out for sharpening. So no, I wouldn't try it without carbide cutters.

    If you like that linear layered look, check out bamboo ply. It has a similar contemporary appearance, but doesn't have the cheap look that plywood edge grain has. It's also very hard & durable. Much easier & faster too.

  4. #4
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    Don't have access to a wide-belt sander? Not many of us do. But there is a way to make that panel without a wide-belt. There's a fairly common router jig used to flatten workbench tops or slab table tops too wide to pass over a jointer. Look it up. Use that jig to flatten both faces. Pick the face you like better, and sand out the milling marks left by the router bit. Done.

  5. #5
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    Here's a link to a thread in which I outline use of a router bridge. https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....ght=flattening

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Cabinet shops in my area will run stuff through their WB for a fee. I bring it and help load it on the machine but the guys to the rest. I'd worry a planer would chip out the end grain plys. Dave

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by David Kumm View Post
    Cabinet shops in my area will run stuff through their WB for a fee. I bring it and help load it on the machine but the guys to the rest. I'd worry a planer would chip out the end grain plys. Dave
    I do it all the time for people. $1/minute, which is basically free.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by David Kumm View Post
    Cabinet shops in my area will run stuff through their WB for a fee. I bring it and help load it on the machine but the guys to the rest. I'd worry a planer would chip out the end grain plys. Dave
    Yup. I always call a cabinet shop and they do it. I would not run that plywood through your planer.
    The router bridge is a good solution too.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    Can you give us some deeper perspective of your thinking behind this design approach? The plywood on edge design seems like a terrible surface for a desktop, which I would personally want to be as smooth as possible. To each their own, I suppose, but I kinda don’t get the utility or aesthetic appeal of this design.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    New Jersey
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    I wouldn't do it. Your planner knives will get dull or ruined. Take the advise of the experts, find a cabinet shop and use their wide belt sander. If a local cabinet shop can't I would just get ready for some long hours sanding.
    Last edited by Bryan Lisowski; 01-08-2019 at 11:14 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Tasmania
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    Put it through a wide belt sander. Planing will tend to pull out random spots of timber and there is a high risk of burning the surface as the blades lose their edge. HSS blades will knock off and go home rather that look at it. Send the top to Martin. You won't get a better deal. Cheers
    Every construction obeys the laws of physics. Whether we like or understand the result is of no interest to the universe.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Jason Christenson View Post
    ...I'll be going for the look of the desk in the blog post that I'm going to link to...http://www.sarahsbigidea.com/2014/02/plywood-gets-sexy/
    ^^^^^Ugh!!!!!
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Lomman View Post
    Send the top to Martin. You won't get a better deal. Cheers
    Until he decides to do a 3 pass per side at 1ft per min rate.
    -Lud

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I 'flattened' a desk top once with a hand belt sander. And winding sticks. And a straightedge (believe it was a level).

    Worked through some grit progression then finish sander.

    It is possible.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    ^^^^^Ugh!!!!!
    I was trying to be diplomatic, but ya, my sentiments exactly. That plywood edge grain is just fugly. Using Baltic Birch ply would make it marginally better, but still pretty bad.

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