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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here ever tried routing a sign out of plywood? Thought I'd give it a shot. As might be expected, it was tear out city. 2nd pic is a close up of a spot I lost a literal entire letter to tearout lol. Lots of other spots I lost serifs and whatnot. Hope y'all enjoy. Peace and coconut grease.
Brown Wood Artifact Font Handwriting
Wood Font Art Carving Circle
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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What are the differences? Advantages? Disadvantages?
A downcut spiral shears downward and prevents the face veneer from splintering and fraying. It will leave a very clean edge and will require very little cleanup, if any. It doesn't do as good on pocket bottoms, though. An upcut bit does better if you're trying to get a very clean cut there. I use both, depending on what I'm cutting.

I rarely work with plywood except for Baltic Birch for Longworth chucks and on those I use a compression bit to cut the full thickness in one pass. A compression bit cuts up for a portion of the bit and down for the rest of the bit so it leaves a clean bottom and top. I also use the spiral downcut bits on Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Purpleheart, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A downcut spiral shears downward and prevents the face veneer from splintering and fraying. It will leave a very clean edge and will require very little cleanup, if any. It doesn't do as good on pocket bottoms, though. An upcut bit does better if you're trying to get a very clean cut there. I use both, depending on what I'm cutting.

I rarely work with plywood except for Baltic Birch for Longworth chucks and on those I use a compression bit to cut the full thickness in one pass. A compression bit cuts up for a portion of the bit and down for the rest of the bit so it leaves a clean bottom and top. I also use the spiral downcut bits on Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Purpleheart, etc.
Very helpful information. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to look into the Baltic Birch, and if I do, I'll make sure I have the right bit this time!
 

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You have some excellent talent to pull of a nice piece like that even thou the cutter used wasn't up to the task on that type of wood. I myself would have used a straight bit as well since that is what comes in the 2 router bit sets I bought.
I appreciate your post, its the prefect learning experience for me as well once I get started.
Did you use your router in a plunge base to accomplish that or just by itself handheld?

David,
Thank-you for posting!
I agree, very helpful information on the different cutters that would have worked out much better.
I will be on Youtube later trying to find a video on those different types of cutters you spoke about and adding a couple to my list.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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I will be on Youtube later trying to find a video on those different types of cutters you spoke about and adding a couple to my list.
I made a video about two years ago on cutting Longworth chucks in BB with a compression bit if you want to look at my channel (link in signature).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You have some excellent talent to pull of a nice piece like that even thou the cutter used wasn't up to the task on that type of wood. I myself would have used a straight bit as well since that is what comes in the 2 router bit sets I bought.
I appreciate your post, its the prefect learning experience for me as well once I get started.
Did you use your router in a plunge base to accomplish that or just by itself handheld?

David,
Thank-you for posting!
I agree, very helpful information on the different cutters that would have worked out much better.
I will be on Youtube later trying to find a video on those different types of cutters you spoke about and adding a couple to my list.
Thanks for the kind words. Plunge router all the way. It's integral to my workflow. I work with a Makita 3.25 and expect I will until the day I die (or Festool comes calling with an endorsement lol).
 

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Try use Spiral bits when cutting plywood. You can use single or double flute bits, but as said earlier, use a down cut. Since you're not going very deep a down cut would be the way to go. You won't find the Spiral bits at any of the local hardware stores as they are usually used on CNC machines. If you're close to a Woodcraft or Rockler store they will have those type of bits.
 

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Anyone here ever tried routing a sign out of plywood? Thought I'd give it a shot. As might be expected, it was tear out city. 2nd pic is a close up of a spot I lost a literal entire letter to tearout lol. Lots of other spots I lost serifs and whatnot. Hope y'all enjoy. Peace and coconut grease.
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To start with, Plywood is notorious for tear out. Even with a downward spiral. Doesn't matter which router bit you use. you will get tear-out with plywood. I would do this project with a wood panel not plywood. If this was a wood panel in stead of plywood. You still get some fuzz type edge which can be sanded smooth. But plywood always expect tear-out!!!

A downward spiral bit pulls the cutting edge downward. Verves a up-cut spiral bit which which pulls up the grain to help remove the dust. A straight bit plows though the cut. With a up-cut or straight bit, expect tear-out on plywood.

If it was me doing this project with plywood, I would pretreat the surface to help prevent tear out. I would use Gorilla Wood Glue (it does not foam-up). I mean, spread Gorilla Wood glue over the entire plywood like a paste wax. This will fill in the fibers and bond the wood fibers together. After the Gorilla Wood Glue is dry or cured. Then route the sign. This will greatly reduce tear-out. After your done you can paint your sign or use a belt sander or orbital sander to sand out the glue surface.

Using Gorilla Wood Glue like a paste wax finish, is also a good indoor use as a finish. And you can use a wood paste wax finish over the Gorilla Wood Glue if you like.

If this was a wood panel in stead of plywood. You still get some fuzz type edge which can be sanded smooth. But plywood always expect tear-out!!!

This I did on tongue & groove pine. All the recessed areas were painted in.

Window Tree Plant Building Motor vehicle
 
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