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I'm new to woodworking! I have just completed a raised dog food bowl stand where I used 3/4 birch plywood. Love the outcome, except for the problem with the top layer of the wood peeling when I cut the holes with my jigsaw. Can anyone suggest how to prevent this from happening in the future?

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Cut plywwod using a "fine-tooth" saw blade.

A fine-tooth blade will minimize "tear-out"---

the finer the blade, the smoother the cut.

Use a slow feed, during the process, so as to allow the blade teeth to carry away the chips.

Over loading, will result in clogging and burn marks will appear.

Great! I will definitely use a fine tooth saw blade on my next project. Thanks for the reply!

Ken Darga said:

Cut plywwod using a "fine-tooth" saw blade.

A fine-tooth blade will minimize "tear-out"---

the finer the blade, the smoother the cut.

Use a slow feed, during the process, so as to allow the blade teeth to carry away the chips.

Over loading, will result in clogging and burn marks will appear.

Also, most jigsaw blades will cut on the upstroke, so keep the good side down when cutting.

Thank you! I'll make sure to do that from now on!

Tim Grace said:

Also, most jigsaw blades will cut on the upstroke, so keep the good side down when cutting.

If your saw has orbital action setting turn it back to zero. The orbital setting moves the blade forward into the wood as it cuts on the up stroke & rearward on the down. These are settings for a more aggressive cut.

Looks like you still have time to make a new top since this one isn't finished completely.

Re: the cut-out for the bowls

Use a 1/4" round-over bit, in a hand-held router, to smooth the saw-cut edges to make them smooth.

If needed, follow-up with 150-180grit sandpaper, as a follow-up, if needed.

On a slightly different focus, here is an interesting somewhat scientific article on the relationship between raised dog bowls and bloat (a very deadly canine condition).

I'm not taking sides either way - just sharing.  

Nice build!! Much more fun than a trip to Petsmart.

Interesting article! I had never heard of bloat and have had dogs all my life. I will say this is the very first time I have fed my dog in a raised bowl. Naturally, I want to do what's best for my pup, so I will research bloat further.

It was a fun build and, not trying to brag, I'm impressed with how it turned out, except for the peeling problem, but that will be covered with a few good coats of paint.

Ken Kortch said:

On a slightly different focus, here is an interesting somewhat scientific article on the relationship between raised dog bowls and bloat (a very deadly canine condition).

I'm not taking sides either way - just sharing.  

Nice build!! Much more fun than a trip to Petsmart.

Try a laminate blade. They cut on the down stroke.

Chevyguy65 is right. Preferably, 1) you need the right blade and, 2) if it's adjustable, a less aggressive stroke on your jigsaw, and 3) move slowly allowing the saw to do the work. Also, you might 4) cut with the good side up or 5) sandwich the piece between two thin panels to reduce tear out.

I'm sure both you and your pet will really enjoy your stand. Good work!

Hi,

when you cut plywood you can use:

1. masking tape (painting) for prevent "tear-out" for longitudinally cuts.

2. fine tooth blades, for example 96 and more tooth.

3. sander orbital machine and sander paper 180-200.

4. for crosscut use strip.

Stephanie..

I have experienced similar issues with my round over bit and plywood, and from what I can determine it happens when the cutting tool is 90 deg to the grain, of which has happened to your project.

A bit late now but you could possibly score the top surface with a sharp trimming knife (box cutter)

Otherwise use a spiral down cut router bit, Be warned its an expensive exercise if you do not have the gear already.

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