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Best way to flush trim lots of 3/4" plywood?

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Forum topic by huyz posted 02-22-2017 05:34 AM 2096 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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huyz

58 posts in 694 days


02-22-2017 05:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router flush trim plywood whiteside carbide mcls pattern table

I’m looking to cut lots (hundreds) of approximately 7×7” curvy shapes out of 3/4” plywood, and was wondering what the best way is. I was leaning towards making a pattern, trimming pieces on a band saw as close as possible, then using a flush trim bit on a router table.

Was considering the Whiteside compression carbide bit or a narrower carbide bit from MCLS. But any idea how many feet of 3/4” ply these bits can cut before needing sharpening? I already tried a ~$10 MCLS flush trim bit and it dulled after cutting about two pieces. It’s only important that one side of the wood is cleanly cut, so using just an upcut bit is possible, but mainly considering the Whiteside bit for its larger size/longevity before sharpening (would that be accurate?).

I thought about hiring out a someone with a CNC, but would rather do this myself. Not needing these all tomorrow or anything but want an efficient method to use in my own shop.

Is this a good route to look into or is there a better method altogether?


25 replies so far

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builtinbkyn

1921 posts in 774 days


#1 posted 02-22-2017 05:43 AM

Maybe I’m naive for asking, but why not a TS and sled? Cut 7” strips on the TS and then set a stop for 7” on your sled. I would think this is much fasted than rough cutting on a band saw and then cleaning them up with a router.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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papadan

3584 posts in 3202 days


#2 posted 02-22-2017 06:31 AM

My exact thoughts! A good plywood blade on the TS and crosscut sled. = finished

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huyz

58 posts in 694 days


#3 posted 02-22-2017 07:20 AM

Thanks guys I guess I should clarify. They are curvy shapes, definitely not “squares.” I was giving dimensions roughly to estimate how much life each bit would have cutting these. Ive updated the original post to reflect that.


Maybe I m naive for asking, but why not a TS and sled? Cut 7” strips on the TS and then set a stop for 7” on your sled. I would think this is much fasted than rough cutting on a band saw and then cleaning them up with a router.

- builtinbkyn


My exact thoughts! A good plywood blade on the TS and crosscut sled. = finished

- papadan


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papadan

3584 posts in 3202 days


#4 posted 02-22-2017 07:33 AM

Clarity of what’s needed does seem to help on occasion! Buy a quality flush trim bit and make your template so you can trim any shape you need on the router table. I have $5 woodcraft bits that are still sharp after cutting hundreds of feet of wood.

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AlaskaGuy

3633 posts in 2143 days


#5 posted 02-22-2017 08:41 AM

Hundreds, how many hundreds? Repetitive stuff like that become so boring after a while you’ll start dreading going out to the shop after a while. I’d go CNC route. Life is just to short. I’d spend my time building something more interesting.

Your mileage my vary

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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RobS888

2316 posts in 1678 days


#6 posted 02-22-2017 01:21 PM


I m looking to cut lots (hundreds) of approximately 7×7” curvy shapes out of 3/4” plywood, and was wondering what the best way is. I was leaning towards making a pattern, trimming pieces on a band saw as close as possible, then using a flush trim bit on a router table.

Was considering the Whiteside compression carbide bit or a narrower carbide bit from MCLS. But any idea how many feet of 3/4” ply these bits can cut before needing sharpening? I already tried a ~$10 MCLS flush trim bit and it dulled after cutting about two pieces. It s only important that one side of the wood is cleanly cut, so using just an upcut bit is possible, but mainly considering the Whiteside bit for its larger size/longevity before sharpening (would that be accurate?).

I thought about hiring out a someone with a CNC, but would rather do this myself. Not needing these all tomorrow or anything but want an efficient method to use in my own shop.

Is this a good route to look into or is there a better method altogether?

- huyz

Sometimes we all don’t read the question before answering…

That looks like a monster bit. I have a Freud 1/2 inch trim bit and have used it for years.

I think your approach sounds fine.

A band saw duplicating pin would really help by making the cuts fool proof and reduce the amount needed to be routed. I think the glue in the plywood would be the hardest on the bit, so getting that to a small consistent offset would be best for the bit.

http://www.rakuten.com/prod/bandsaw-duplicating-pin-set-by-peachtree-woodworking-pw1770/227994094.html
EDIT:
Hmmm, Rocker doesn’t seem to carry it anymore.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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bondogaposis

4475 posts in 2185 days


#7 posted 02-22-2017 01:46 PM

Buy 2 bits of whatever you decide on, and then you can rotate the sharp one in while the dull one gets sent out to be sharpened.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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builtinbkyn

1921 posts in 774 days


#8 posted 02-22-2017 02:11 PM

I’m pretty sure I’m not that crazy yet. The OP said “7×7” squares.” “Curvy shapes” never would have elicited my response.

Edit: Ah I see your later post. Thanks for giving me my sanity back LOL

I m looking to cut lots (hundreds) of approximately 7×7” curvy shapes out of 3/4” plywood, and was wondering what the best way is. I was leaning towards making a pattern, trimming pieces on a band saw as close as possible, then using a flush trim bit on a router table.

Was considering the Whiteside compression carbide bit or a narrower carbide bit from MCLS. But any idea how many feet of 3/4” ply these bits can cut before needing sharpening? I already tried a ~$10 MCLS flush trim bit and it dulled after cutting about two pieces. It s only important that one side of the wood is cleanly cut, so using just an upcut bit is possible, but mainly considering the Whiteside bit for its larger size/longevity before sharpening (would that be accurate?).

I thought about hiring out a someone with a CNC, but would rather do this myself. Not needing these all tomorrow or anything but want an efficient method to use in my own shop.

Is this a good route to look into or is there a better method altogether?

- huyz

Sometimes we all don t read the question before answering…

That looks like a monster bit. I have a Freud 1/2 inch trim bit and have used it for years.

I think your approach sounds fine.

A band saw duplicating pin would really help by making the cuts fool proof and reduce the amount needed to be routed. I think the glue in the plywood would be the hardest on the bit, so getting that to a small consistent offset would be best for the bit.

http://www.rakuten.com/prod/bandsaw-duplicating-pin-set-by-peachtree-woodworking-pw1770/227994094.html
EDIT:
Hmmm, Rocker doesn t seem to carry it anymore.

- RobS888


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

1921 posts in 774 days


#9 posted 02-22-2017 02:12 PM

Duplicate

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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jbay

1852 posts in 733 days


#10 posted 02-22-2017 02:25 PM

Bill, your not crazy

Sometimes we all don t read the question before answering…

- RobS888


Thanks guys I guess I should clarify. They are curvy shapes, definitely not “squares.” I was giving dimensions roughly to estimate how much life each bit would have cutting these. Ive updated the original post to reflect that.

- huyz

Sometimes we all don’t read the replies before answering! :)

Have you thought about using a shaper.
If you had one you wouldn’t need to band saw them first, you would need a good jig to hold them though.
If your doing hundreds I think I would consider it.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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builtinbkyn

1921 posts in 774 days


#11 posted 02-22-2017 02:39 PM

Thanks Jbay ;) Actually after having my first cup of coffee this morning, I think the OP may have said “pieces” and not “squares”. It was late when I read the post and replied. Watched the two hour season finale of The Treasure of Oak Island late on my DVR. Ah well, in any of the above cases, it seems like a lot of tedious work :O

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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sawdustdad

334 posts in 718 days


#12 posted 02-22-2017 03:48 PM

To attempt to answer the OPs question, the life of the bit depends on a lot of variables including quality of the bit itself, and how it’s used. A solid carbide 1/4 inch bit should be able to cut several hundred feet of 3/4 inch plywood without dulling enough to dramatically affecting the cut.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2900 days


#13 posted 02-22-2017 03:52 PM

If you have a lot of them to do, you may want to shop for a cnc shop to cut them for you. If you have your patter already and can be done with single tooling, should not cost too much. Your times worth something. If not, get a long top bearing bit, stack em with double sided tape and cut em in multiples. I did that with my wine rack holders for my wine cabinets i make till i got the cnc.

Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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waho6o9

8026 posts in 2410 days


#14 posted 02-22-2017 03:57 PM

I’d get the Whiteside router bit as it’s on sale. Good luck on your endeavors.

http://www.woodpeck.com/whitesideultimatetrimbit.html?_bta_tid=411860746576000619741452060468799766675351288740869453891798260195044551126686763688219&_bta_c=20rktedf9e5g18na1mqmve1mzs87s

Whiteside Ultimate Trim Bit – Combination
$193.11 $139.99 Sale!
4UDC9112
7/8” Diameter x 1-1/8” Cut Length x 1/2” Shank
Quantity

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9606 posts in 3481 days


#15 posted 02-22-2017 04:00 PM

pin router.

They are copy machines and the right tool
for the job.

If the curves are mild, you can consider investing
in a small shaper and using a rub collar
and cutter to cut to the template. The
larger od of a shaper cutter makes a
cleaner cut.

Just be advised that this is likely to be a
tedious, dusty exercise.

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