How to Round Plywood Edges

How to Round Plywood Edges

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Plywood is a fine building material to work with, no doubt. It does of course have flat and straight edges, but sometimes you might need those edges to be less sharp. What we’re here to do today is to teach you how to round those plywood edges.

Can Plywood Edges Be Rounded?

Yes, plywood edges don’t have to stay straight and flat. They can indeed be rounded. Of course, because plywood is glued together out of multiple layers, you do have to be a bit careful, but other than that, there’s really nothing to worry about here. As you are about to find out, there are actually multiple ways of doing so.

7 Ways to Round Plywood Edges

If you need to round plywood edges, there are at least seven different ways of doing so.

Method #1: Using a Sanding Block

Sanding Block Perhaps the easiest method for rounding plywood is to use a sanding block. This is a good method to go with if you do not have all that much material that needs to be removed, and your plywood isn’t all too large.

A sanding block might take a while to use, and moreover, it’s definitely going to take some muscle as well, but it does allow for an extremely precise and accurate finish.

This is also a good method to consider for any straight piece of plywood. You might not be able to get the plywood edges super round with a sanding block, but it’s definitely a good start, and you can always finish things off with some normal sandpaper too.

Method #2: Using Sandpaper

Sandpaper The next method that you have at your disposal is to use basic sandpaper. This is a relatively easy method to go with because all you have to do is to hold the sandpaper in the palm of your hand and continuously run it back and forth over the edge of the plywood.

You might need a good deal of sandpaper to accomplish this, especially if you have a large piece of plywood, but with that being said it is definitely the most cost-effective option to consider.

Of course, this method is also going to require a good deal of muscle and energy. However, because it is a manual method, and because you can easily adjust the curvature of the sandpaper using your hand, achieving the exact degree of rounding you need is made relatively easy.

Method #3: Using a Belt Sander

Belt Sander If the plywood pieces that you are looking to round are not all that large, but you have a whole lot of them that need to be rounded, then one of the easiest and fastest methods at your disposal is to use a belt sander. The stationary belt sander sits in place while you hold the plywood against it.

The only thing that makes this method a little impractical is that you do of course need to hold the plywood against the sander, or in other words, you cannot move the belt sander.

With that being said, if you need to remove a whole lot of material fast, then a belt sander will definitely provide you with the speed you need. However, the chances of you having a large belt sander at home are minimal, so let’s move on to the next method.

Method #4: Using a Hand Plane

Hand Plane If you need to remove a whole lot of material from the plywood fast, then a hand plane is another effective tool at your disposal. A hand plane is of course the older and manual version of the tabletop planer, with the specific purpose of course being to remove material from wood.

Now, a hand plane will allow you to get a rough profile into place, a rough version of the rounded edge, so to speak, but to finish it off, for a super smooth and perfectly rounded edge, you will need to finish this process off using some basic sandpaper.

Method #5: Using a Wood File

Wood File If you are working on a relatively small piece of plywood, and you need precisely rounded edges, you need some patterns on that edge, or you want to cut out small grooves, then another method at your disposal is to use a wood file.

Whether you use a rounded or a flat wood file really depends on the specific case, although for this purpose, unless you are cutting out small grooves, a flat wood file will probably work best. For the best result, you may also need to use sandpaper to smooth things out after using the wood file.

Method #6: Using a Chisel

Wood Chisel If you need to remove a whole lot of material at once, then one of the fastest ways to do so is with a wood chisel and a hammer. Beware that this is a very aggressive method that requires a lot of precision and practice.

Using a wood chisel is not easy, and it’s fairly easy to remove too much at once or to cause damage to the piece you are working on.

Using a chisel also won’t result in perfectly rounded edges, so you’ll need to use some sandpaper afterward. So, while using a chisel is a fast and effective method of rounding plywood, it really is best reserved for those with experience.

Method #7: Using a Router

Wood Router The other thing that you can do, perhaps the easiest method for those who have many large pieces of plywood, is to simply fit an edge routing bit onto a router table, and then pass the plywood over it.

This takes a bit of practice to get the position of the plywood in relation to the bit right, but other than that, this is a fairly simple method.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

The number one tip we can leave you with here today is to always measure while rounding off the edges of plywood, particularly as you work. You don’t want to get so immersed in the task at hand that you all of a sudden realize that you’ve removed way too much material!

Summary

There you have it guys and gals, everything you need to know about the various ways of rounding plywood edges. Now it’s up to you to choose the best method for your scenario.