One of my friends came to my shop and asked me to make him a pizza serving tray . I cut 19mm birch plywood to desire shape and paint it only with OSMO oil. after a month he send me this picture.

plywood seed tray - problem 1 plywood seed tray - problem 2

I don't know what happened exatcly , but I think after rounding corners with router , the top veneer layer got weak and detached after a while.

my question : Is the brich plywood an accetable selection for making these types trays ? if yes , Can Polyurethane color kind of seal the whole part and privent these types of damages?

  • Plywood being routed this way aside, the plywood is probably not capable of withstanding whatever handling this got subjected to. The surface veneers on much modern plywood are stupidly thin and they're just not durable as a result. Polyurethane would help a bit in increasing durability, but with the routed edge exposing end grain you couldn't be sure it would do enough. I think you'd be better off using a solid-wood ring with a plywood base set into it.
    – Graphus
    Apr 20, 2018 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


For the reasons you've mentioned, no not really, at least not in the way you've made it.

If you're going to route into it then you're opening edges up on the different layers and they're going to be prone to splitting. If you use some sort of substantial lacquer to seal it afterwards then it may prevent some of this. Polyurethane might work but you'd have to try it I think.

Mostly when plywood is used for things like trays it is moulded - the plywood is steamed and pressed into a mould to take on a shape, like this: enter image description here

This design means that you don't have any extra edges (apart from of course around the perimeter). They're typically lacquered to increase durability too.

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