Yes, we’ve all been there, falling for the instant product whose convenience makes it irresistable, but which always delivers less than it promises.
I’m currently mid-way through a major project to build a full set of kitchen cabinets. Being a modern Scandinavian-American sort of guy, I like the stark look of clean lines so I went with a European frameless design for the cabinets. I’m using maple plywood (with veneer so thin that it’s more like “essence of maple” than actual veneer). That means that I have miles of plywood edging to hide. So I’ve turned to iron-on edgebanding.
I’ve actually used this stuff for years on various projects. As such, I’ve grown quite familiar with it. I have a few suggestions for trimming off the excess.
First, I’ve found that the gizmo made specifically to do this job has a couple of problems. First, it tends to tear the banding along the grain resulting in part of the plywood edging being exposed. Second, it doesn’t get completely into corners.
Resist the temptation to use a block plane. With plywood veneer being so thin these days, this is almost a guaranteed failure as you will take off too much material. The same goes for all but the most careful use of chisels.
So what works for me? I use the sawblade from an Olfa hobby saw. I don’t use the saw itself, just the blade. blade appears to be about 20 teeth per inch and is about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. With a little practice, you can saw off almost all of the excess banding leaving almost nothing behind. I register the saw against the plywood and as I’m cutting, I flex it so that I cut the slightest chamfer. It’s important to back off the blade on the return stroke so as to prevent the banding from pulling away from the plywood.
-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving