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Hi, I’m new here, and have a question. I am making a workbench made of 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood glued together. The workbench top is to be portable so I need to rout handles in top for easy carrying, I made a template pattern out of 1/2” mdf and am attempting to rout out this pattern. I am using a guide bushing in my Bosch router to cut out handle. My question is in order to cut full depth I would need at least a 2” cutting edge straight bit to reach full depth, I think a 2 1/2” cutting edge would be better, can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track or a better way to do this with a shorter cutting depth bit?

Thanks,
leftymk
 

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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Hi, I’m new here, and have a question. I am making a workbench made of 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood glued together. The workbench top is to be portable so I need to rout handles in top for easy carrying, I made a template pattern out of 1/2” mdf and am attempting to rout out this pattern. I am using a guide bushing in my Bosch router to cut out handle. My question is in order to cut full depth I would need at least a 2” cutting edge straight bit to reach full depth, I think a 2 1/2” cutting edge would be better, can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track or a better way to do this with a shorter cutting depth bit?

Thanks,
leftymk
Lefty my thought is if the handles in the top are just holes in the top then a different tool like a jig saw would be better for the task.
 

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Hi, I’m new here, and have a question. I am making a workbench made of 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood glued together. The workbench top is to be portable so I need to rout handles in top for easy carrying, I made a template pattern out of 1/2” mdf and am attempting to rout out this pattern. I am using a guide bushing in my Bosch router to cut out handle. My question is in order to cut full depth I would need at least a 2” cutting edge straight bit to reach full depth, I think a 2 1/2” cutting edge would be better, can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track or a better way to do this with a shorter cutting depth bit?

Thanks,
leftymk
First, welcome to the forums. As to your question - to my knowledge the longest straight cut bits are 1”, maybe 1-1/2”. Anything longer and you’re risking breaking it because of the lateral shear. With that being said, there are ways to work around it such as collet extenders. Alternatively, route the plywood from both sides.


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I agree with marco. Drill holes in the 4 corners, with either a brad point or forstner bit, then cut out with a jigsaw using a fine tooth blade and a straight edge to keep to the cut line. You should score the cut lines to reduce or eliminate tear out on the plywood..
 
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Welcome. I'd drill four holes, use a jig saw to cut the opening, then sand the inside of the hand hold nice and smooth.

Finally, I'd use a half inch round over bit on the hand hold opening to make it more comfortable.

Two layers of ply is not a light weight chunk of wood. It's going to be a heavy lift. Are you stretching it across saw horses?
 

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Happy to hear it worked out with a longer bit.
I don't have any real life experience with woodworking yet since we are just starting out in the hobby. My first thought would have been to rough drill everything out with a forstner bit or auger bit the corners out as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Again thanks for everyone’s input. I went with 2 pieces of 3/4 ply for the top, because I wanted a strong stable top. For now I have it on 2 sturdy adjustable saw horses, and plan to build a sturdy base in the future. The top was actually modeled after a Ron Paulk build that have parf holes drilled all over the top to accommodate a wide range of clamping possibilities. Tom had commented that it is a heavy piece of wood, and it is. This was why I needed to have handles to make it easier to move around. I wanted the option to make it mobile for now. I did what Tom had suggested and drilled four holes in the corners and used a jigsaw to cut out the opening. I then wanted a smooth profile inside the handles so that is why I wanted to finish off the holes. The problem that I encountered was when using a pattern made from 1/2 inch mdf was that the reach for my router would be 2 inches. Found 2 1/2 straight bit at Lowes and this did the job. I then used a round over bit on the top and a light sanding and it worked just fine.
Mike
 

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I wonder if you go as deep as you can, then finish with a top bearing flush trim bit. I don't know how deep you'll get but you could remove the template and probably get the bearing down below the surface of the material.
I like this approach but might think about finishing off from the bottom side.
  1. use 1/4" template stock instead of 1/2"
  2. trace the finished outline onto the top
  3. jig saw 1/16" to 1/8" inside the cut line
  4. use template to route 3/4" (plus a little bit) deep
  5. flip stock over and use a bottom bearing flush trim bit for the remaining 3/4" depth
 

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Happy to hear it worked out with a longer bit.
I don't have any real life experience with woodworking yet since we are just starting out in the hobby. My first thought would have been to rough drill everything out with a forstner bit or auger bit the corners out as well.
Hi, This is a great and addicting hobby. Attached is a pdf of the 18 plus things that helped me get going with woodworking. Hopefully it will also save you from a few mistakes I made. Do pay particular attention to dust collection. You don't want to let your lungs take in sawdust, the worst, ultra fine particles do not come out.
 

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Hi, I’m new here, and have a question. I am making a workbench made of 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood glued together. The workbench top is to be portable so I need to rout handles in top for easy carrying, I made a template pattern out of 1/2” mdf and am attempting to rout out this pattern. I am using a guide bushing in my Bosch router to cut out handle. My question is in order to cut full depth I would need at least a 2” cutting edge straight bit to reach full depth, I think a 2 1/2” cutting edge would be better, can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track or a better way to do this with a shorter cutting depth bit?

Thanks,
leftymk
I use to do this all the time in my job. I made Formica counter tops (2 3/4" plywood). I cut hand holds in the tops to help place them in position and also to run computer cables through the top. It was simply I bored two 1& 1/8 " holes thru the top 4 inches apart and used a 1/2" rounding over bit top and bottom sides. Sanded a little if need be and was done.
 
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