Tooling for Marine Grade Plywood

The glue in marine plywood can tear up cutting bits quickly. Here, three tooling suppliers suggest some tougher tooling. October 26, 2011

We just finished cutting about 8 sheets of 3/8" Joubert marine plywood into parts for a local boat builder. We were using a straight 2 flute 3/8" diameter solid carbide bit and at the end, the tool looked like a serrated rougher. Any recommendations for this stuff? We have the possibility of cutting a bunch more in the future.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor C:
This is nasty stuff. We see wear issues with this all the time. We do have two better options. A solid carbide spiral or diamond tooling. This will last longer than the standard 2 flute, but let me say it's still a very tough application for any tooling. The serrated rougher look, as you call it, is the glue lines. The board manufacturers have realized that glue is cheaper than wood.

From contributor M:
As in cutting other plywoods, we [Vortex] recommend using a chipbreaker design tool. Available in up, down and compression designs, the chipbreakers help to shorten the OAL of the chips sliced off the material, which reduces heat generated and reduces re-cutting of the chips, both of which help extend tool life and improved part finish. If you can program tool oscillation during the cut this will tremendously increase tool life as well. We also have recently introduced the XP version of some of our most popular tool designs which have really increased tool life in many materials that are hard on cutting tools. We have and plan to add several options in this series suitable for your application.