Can you plane plywood? You can, but it might not be the best option for your project. But if you don’t have any other option, this article will show you how to plane plywood. We can also discuss the reasons why some people can’t plane their plywood. But before understanding this, you have to understand what is plywood.
Inside of Plywood
Inside plywood can be made up of a number of layers which can vary in thickness. The most common type is called three-ply, where the core layer is sandwiched between two outer veneer layers. Plywood can also have more than one core layer or more than one wood species mixed together to create an interesting style or color mix.
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Plywood can be made of different types of wood, but the most common are hardwoods like oak or birch. It can also have a veneer on one side to give it an interesting and unique appearance. The type can have a smooth finish or can be given a more rustic look with saw marks on its surface.
Can You Plane Plywood?
Woodworkers generally plane wood for two reasons, either smoothing the surface or reducing thickness. If you want to smooth the cutting edge of a piece of plywood, then don’t use a planner, instead use edge supply birch for a smooth edge. Use an edge banding iron to attach the supply birch and a sharp edge banding trimmer to cut the extra edge.
If you want to reduce the thickness of a piece of plywood but don’t have any other options, then your best bet is an electric hand planer. A normal plane won’t work well for this job.
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What Happen When You Plane Plywood?
When you plane plywood, it can actually chip or splinter the surface. It’s possible that the blade will make grooves in the veneer and damage some of those layers inside. And this can happen regardless if you’re using a hand plane or power tool to do the work.
But when you use a good quality blade with plenty of sharpness, this will be less likely to happen. It might also depend on what type of project is being worked on since different types can require more care during crafting than others.
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If you can’t plane plywood, it can be because of the type of blade used. It can also depend on how thick and heavy the material is as well, but this depends a lot more on what project is being done with it.
The best way to avoid these problems altogether is by using a hand plane or power tool at an angle rather than vertical down onto the surface. You might need to go over your work again if you feel like there are some areas where splinters could happen later in life or just use sandpaper for removing rough edges from this process instead. You should plane along the grain of the wood and avoid going across it.
Which Planer Should be Used?
The type of plane that should be used depends on what type of material is being worked with. You might not want to use the same planer for working with softwoods and hardwoods, but you can still do it if needed.
Thickness Planer: these are typically for those who want to plane down wood that’s already been cut to size. This planer will make one side of the plywood smooth, but another side will be rough because it will go across the grain.
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Hand Plane: these are typically for those who want to plane down wood that’s been cut to size and have a rough surface. This type of planer will make both sides smooth but tear out the corner and is not efficient.
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Power Tool: this can be either stationary or handheld, but the latter is easier to use on most surfaces because it has a bit more flexibility. It will plane down the wood in a single pass but tear out the corners, and it does not have an adjustable depth.
Router: This is typically for those who want to remove material from edges or clear-cut areas inside of plywood. It can be used on both hardwoods and softwoods alike because they need more precise control than just a power tool.
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Circular Saw: This is typically for those who want to remove material from edges or clear-cut areas inside of plywood and needs precise control but not as much as a router does.
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If you have any other options, I don’t recommend planning plywood. But if this is the only thing that will work for your project or budget, here are some tips to help with the process. Always try to paint over it afterwards, so there are no visible markings when someone looks at it from head-on. Hope this article was helpful! Comment below and let me know what projects you’ve been working on and how they turned out after using these steps.
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