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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a roughly one-foot portion of a side of what is to become the top of a workbench; 3/4 in. birch plywood. I'm planning to roundover-ize the top*; will that fix this as a side benefit? Or should I do something first?

* my first use of a router -- to give you an idea of how far along I am as woodworker.

Rectangle Wood Beige Grey Table
 

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If your round over bit is big enough, then it will work. You'll simply have a rounded over edge with the plies showing. It will look like this picture.

What does the other side look like? You could simply turn it over.
 

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I think unless you used a really coarse blade to cut that plywood the veneer isn't glued down very good. If that is the case when you route the edge it will continue to tear. For a work bench it would be safer to trim the edge with a solid wood strip and putty where the veneer is chipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If your round over bit is big enough, then it will work. You'll simply have a rounded over edge with the plies showing. It will look like this picture.

What does the other side look like? You could simply turn it over.
I have a set of roundover bits with sizes 1/8”, 5/32”, 3/16”, 1/4”. Do I need larger?

The other side's edge is OK, but the other side's face is the "bad side" because it has some large-ish dark marks -- esthetic issue only, as their effect is only visual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think unless you used a really coarse blade to cut that plywood the veneer isn't glued down very good. If that is the case when you route the edge it will continue to tear. For a work bench it would be safer to trim the edge with a solid wood strip and putty where the veneer is chipped.
It was cut at Home Depot on a big fancy panel saw. I might have somehow caused the problem myself by adverse contact of that edge with my cement garage floor.
 

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I don't know how big that peeling veneer is, so I can't answer. Even though you can round it over, if this is the top of the workbench, a square edge is better.

Steve gave a good option of gluing on a solid wood edge. Even some 1x pine would work fine for that.
 

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It was definitely the panel saw. Almost all circular saw blades will tear out plywood, and real wood, on the side the blade exits the wood, unless that side is supported right against the blade. (Read about zero clearance inserts or track saws.

Think about how a circular blade cuts. It's a circle with teeth spinning into the board on one side and out of the board on the other.

Where it goes into the board, the teeth of the blade are pushing the cut fibers down into the board. Since the cut wood fibers can't go into the board, they don't move and that side is cut cleanly. Where it comes out of the board, the teeth are pushing the cut fibers out of the board. Since there is just air, the cut fibers (or plywood veneer, which is particularly delicate) tear out, and that's what you see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know how big that peeling veneer is, so I can't answer. Even though you can round it over, if this is the top of the workbench, a square edge is better.

Steve gave a good option of gluing on a solid wood edge. Even some 1x pine would work fine for that.
I've modified the plan I'm working with to provide 2 in. of overhang of the plywood top so that I can use it for clamping rather than using the bottom of the aprons that support the top. Would a wood strip interfere?

A search on Home Depot for "1/4 in. x 3/4 in. wood strips" turned up:
WM 142 1/4 in. x 3/4 in. x 96 in. Pine Screen Moulding
Is that the kind of thing that @Steve Neul suggested?
 

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I think you should put a solid wood boarder around the whole perimeter. You could cut the splintered end off and add the boarder.
It will make it more rigid for clamping and keep the ply from splintering more (hopefully)
I dont know if you can see the image but you could rabbit the top into the 2x4 all the way around.
Rectangle Parallel Font Slope Diagram
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you should put a solid wood boarder around the whole perimeter. You could cut the splintered end off and add the boarder.
It will make it more rigid for clamping and keep the ply from splintering more (hopefully)
I dont know if you can see the image but you could rabbit the top into the 2x4 all the way around.
View attachment 434761
What is "the 2x4"? Is that the new solid wood border? And what tools/technique would I use to put the rabbet into it?
 

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To avoid splintered edges have the store cut the panels oversize if possible, then turn panel good face down and either score or run a strip of masking tape along the actual cut line and make the cut with circular saw, preferably following a straight edge.
 

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It was cut at Home Depot on a big fancy panel saw. I might have somehow caused the problem myself by adverse contact of that edge with my cement garage floor.
It's the cheapest and thinnest of plywood veneers, if bought at Home Depot. If cut at Home Depot using a dull blade made the cut even worse. They don't care about the quality of their cuts because most people get stuff cut oversize then trim it at home.
Do NOT round it over, that will only lead to more splintering.
If this is not the final dimension, can you add 1/4" or 1/2" more as a border?
If so, that will look better and you can fill the splinters with a mix of sawdust and epoxy.
If no additional border can be added, gently lift up as much veneer as you can and blow glue underneath to help secure it down.
You will "chase your tail" on fixing this, but it can be made a bit better.
I don't recommend you make any additional cuts for fear of making things even worse, no offense meant.
If all else fails, and it may, get another piece cut the same size, of MDF as a top covering. It won't splitter, and it will add some strength and rigidty.
 

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Unfortunitely some plywood, especially Chinese made plywood the veneer is glued so badly you could pry something under one of those chips and peal the veneer off all the way to the other end of the sheet. Hopefully the main culprit is Home Depot's saw. When you cross cut plywood you use a blade with a lot of teeth. Something like 80 on a 10" blade. That sheet looks more like it was cut with a 26 tooth blade.

If you attempt to cut the splintered edge off it helps where the cut is made to put masking tape there and use something to rub it down real tight. The tape will reduce splintering. Just, when you remove the tape pull it away from the sheet so the tape doesn't cause splintering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunitely some plywood, especially Chinese made plywood the veneer is glued so badly you could pry something under one of those chips and peal the veneer off all the way to the other end of the sheet. Hopefully the main culprit is Home Depot's saw. When you cross cut plywood you use a blade with a lot of teeth. Something like 80 on a 10" blade. That sheet looks more like it was cut with a 26 tooth blade.

If you attempt to cut the splintered edge off it helps where the cut is made to put masking tape there and use something to rub it down real tight. The tape will reduce splintering. Just, when you remove the tape pull it away from the sheet so the tape doesn't cause splintering.
This is Columbia Forest Products [CFP] PureBond birch plywood. CFP says,
Where is your PureBond plywood made?
All of the core for our veneer core PureBond Formaldehyde-Free Hardwood Plywood is made from responsibly harvested North American trees and is manufactured at our plants in the US and Canada.
So it may not be made in China. Maybe the peeling part is not the core, I dunno.

Anyway, it's what I've got. Rather than trying to cut off that edge, I like your idea of adding a wood border strip. If you've got time, could you look at post #8 to see if that's the kind of wood strip you mentioned?
 

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What is "the 2x4"? Is that the new solid wood border? And what tools/technique would I use to put the rabbet into it?
Do a youtube search for cutting rabbits on a tablesaw (if you have a table saw)
I am thinking 2x4s because it might be your least expensive route if you mess up.
You would want to pick some good 2x4s as well. No twisted or warped ones. Clean up the edges of the 2x4s to square them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do a youtube search for cutting rabbits on a tablesaw (if you have a table saw)
I am thinking 2x4s because it might be your least expensive route if you mess up.
You would want to pick some good 2x4s as well. No twisted or warped ones. Clean up the edges of the 2x4s to square them up.
No table saw here :(

How would I clean up the edges of 2x4s? I've been able to select for straight ones, but the edges are never square.
 

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is there any reason that you just cant flip the board over?
Also, depending on what kind of work you anticipate doing, you might want to consider 2 layers of plywood for the top.
Anothere thing, if you have a table saw. you might want to make the total height of your workbench about 1/8" lower than your table saw. Then you can cut longer piece with the bench holding some of the weight. If you put wheels on the bench you can design it with wheels and use it as an outfeed table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
is there any reason that you just cant flip the board over?
Also, depending on what kind of work you anticipate doing, you might want to consider 2 layers of plywood for the top.
Anothere thing, if you have a table saw. you might want to make the total height of your workbench about 1/8" lower than your table saw. Then you can cut longer piece with the bench holding some of the weight. If you put wheels on the bench you can design it with wheels and use it as an outfeed table.
Reason for not flipping is esthetic -- the other side's face is the "bad side" because it has some large-ish dark marks -- esthetic issue only, as their effect is only visual. Anyway, it's too late now; since the OP I've fastened aprons to this board.

No table saw. :( Even so,I do have casters that I'm planning to attach.
 
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