How to Evenly Round the Corners on Plywood
Rounding the corners on plywood gives your project a finished look and also adds an element of safety. Leaving the corners squared produces a pointed edge that could injure someone if bumped into and also gives less of a finished appearance. Taking the extra time to round the corners shows that the piece of furniture or other project that was built was well thought out. This is especially true if the piece is to be a chair bottom as the rounded edges are more comfortable than a sharp edge.
Don the gloves and safety glasses prior to starting the project. Place the plywood onto a secure work surface such as a stable work bench.
Apply multiple rows of duct tape to the plywood corner on both sides of the board. This will control the splintering effect inherent to plywood due to the layered construction of the wood. The tape only needs to be one layer thick, but must be wide enough to cover the area that you will be cutting for the rounded edge.
Use the round object to trace the circular outline onto the tape. For a larger radius corner use a larger circular object such as a coffee can. For a tighter radius, use a smaller object such as a water glass. The edges of the circular object should line up evenly with the edges of the plywood, leaving a triangular shaped piece visible at the outside of the traced line.
Using a jig saw, cut along the traced line forming the radius of the curve. Use a fine tooth blade in the saw to reduce the amount of splintering.
Remove the tape from the wood. Use sandpaper or an electric belt sander to carefully smooth the edges of the cut for a safe and splinter free project.
- Use a fine grit sandpaper for a smoother edge.
- A helper makes steadying the wood for cutting safer and easier.
- Woodcutting produces sharp splinters. Always use proper hand and eye protection.
T.J. McDonald is a firefighter/paramedic with more than 20 years of experience in patient care and firefighting. He studied paramedicine at Southwest Community College in Memphis, Tenn., and has firefighting certifications from the Mississippi Fire Academy and at the national level. McDonald also works for the LeBonheur Healthcare System, specializing in pediatrics.
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