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Why plywood needs special tools

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Why plywood needs special tools

plywood.jpgYou quite often get better results with plywood when you use special tools, such as saw blades and router bits,  designed especially for plywood rather than tools deigned for wood.  

In the industrial world plywood is often considered as being highly different than wood.

The first difference is the glue. As referenced above the glue is sticky and gets very sticky as it gets warm.

The second difference is that the glue contains materials to extend it or stretch it out. So you have the actual glue and then you have something added to it that is usually particulate and thus abrasive.  This is added to make the glue spread further and save money.

The third difference between plywood and wood is that it plywood has the grains going opposite directions. Thus you are always cutting both with the grain against the grain.

The fourth difference is that plywood is made of very, very thin sheets of material and thus more prone to splintering than solid wood.  If you have ever been in a plywood plant you will see that the plies require very careful handling or they will split apart on their own.

The fifth difference is that plywood is a very heavily processed material. The plies are made of wood that is been peeled from the log and this creates certain stresses and tears in the materials. In the materials are further compressed and stressed during the assembly.

Also a lot of plywood is coming from China which has its own unique problems.

All in all there are real valid reasons to use tools specially made for plywood rather than trying to use standard woodworking tools for plywood.