Roundover edge on plywood?

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Flyover

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I'm creating a countertop surface for a cabinet that will sit on the floor, I have plywood, and I've maxed out my budget to buy any more lumber. I want the edge of the countertop to have a rounded edge so I was going to rout it with a roundover bit.

I've heard some people say routing will cause the plywood to fray and instead I should glue a solid piece on the front and rout that instead.

But I've also seen examples of plywood that seems to have been routed exactly this way and it looks fine. (Example 1, example 2.)

What's the secret?
 

Flyover

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Darn, I was worried that was it. I'm using cheapo stuff cut from a $15 4 x 8.

Guess I'll be gluing a solid piece on the front...
 

joecaption

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You can buy solid wooden moulding that's already rounded.
It's called 1/2 round molding.
 

elbo

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dont waste your money on the cheap plywood because, in time the plies will begin to separate. the cheap stuffs glues are not resistant to moisture. If you look at your example #1, you will see that it is made from 9 plys glued together. it is probably A / B or C cabinet grade plywood
 

Flyover

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You can buy solid wooden moulding that's already rounded.
It's called 1/2 round molding.
Now, what kind of DIYer would I be if I didn't make it myself?? Besides I have to justify the $50 router bit set I just bought as a birthday present to myself.
 

Flyover

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It's also full of voids between the ply's forming weak spots.
dont waste your money on the cheap plywood because, in time the plies will begin to separate. the cheap stuffs glues are not resistant to moisture. If you look at your example #1, you will see that it is made from 9 plys glued together. it is probably A / B or C cabinet grade plywood
Thanks guys, I'll keep that in mind next time. Although I'd add that I still have stuff I made out of cheap plywood years ago and I haven't experienced any problems from it.
 

Flyover

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Just an update for anyone who's curious:

I ended up edge-gluing a piece for the front of the cabinet counter-top and giving it a roundover (first picture, center), but before that I did a roundover on the corner edge of the side wall of the cabinet (second picture) and that turned out pretty good. I also did a shank ogee along all four edges of the drawer face (third picture) and the door, and while the result fit well with the "rustic" look I ended up with -- and, most importantly, my wife likes it -- I wouldn't call it a "great idea". Voids were a bigger problem than chipping.

I would also like to say: this is the first "complex" thing I ever built, and also the first thing I ever built that really turned out well by my own subjective standards. As in, the end result matched pretty closely what I had in mind when I designed it, everything was basically square (despite some warp in the plywood) and level and it doesn't rock or tip unevenly, and I was even able to build the drawer so that everything fit together with glue. I'm proud of it, and feel ready to tackle more projects!
 

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Eddie_T

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That's great! Glad it worked out for you. Years ago with my only experience being a footstool and maybe a bookcase and etc. I moved on to build a 2400 sq ft house including mill work and cabinets, all with a 9" RAS, a skil saw and a router.. Keep on going, it's rewarding especially when it makes that loved one happy!

Here's my rustic kitchen in that house.
 
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Flyover

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That's amazing, Eddie! I don't know if I'll ever build a whole house, but my next project is a new mantel for my fireplace, with stone veneer on the wall behind it and a built-in bookshelf on one side, and I'm very excited to get started.
 

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