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  1. #1

    optimizing plywood

    Hi there,
    Hope you're well. I'm using 3/8 inch baltic birch plywood to create dome-shapes. The attached photo was my first test in thicker, cheaper plywood, but you get the idea. Right now I'm using a tapered ballnose with 10% stepover and it's good, but I still have to do sanding before I apply a dye, stain, etc. I'm not doing a roughing pass.
    Is a tapered ballnose best for this operation? Is there anything else I can do to minimize sanding? Or are there any tips on how to best sand a small piece like this?
    many thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 60583544583__A2A56BAE-0FBA-45F2-9020-0FFD9187452E.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Re: optimizing plywood

    Hi S84 - What is your actual stepover vs a %? To minimise sanding you will need to :

    1) Do a finishing pass with very sharp tool of say <0.5mm stepover
    2) or you can use a form tool such as a 1/2" coving tool and do it in one pass vs many small passes.

    either way very sharp tools are required. For sanding use a sanding sponge not paper and seal the timber with shellac, PVA or a sander sealer before you sand. This will lock up the grain and make sanding much easier.... dye prior to sealing by the way...Cheers Peter

  3. #3

    Re: optimizing plywood

    Hi there,
    Many thanks. Attached is what I did with my tapered ball nose.
    In another forum, a user suggested doing 1/4 ballnose roughing pass, then a 1/8 ballnose finish pass. Any thoughts on that?
    The coving tool suggestion blew my mind-- I hadn't thought of that.
    Same for the sanding sealer... I'm trying to do a row of 8 pendants or so each with different settings so I can take notes and compare.
    thanks again and all the best

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