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View Andrew's profile

How to finish the edge of plywood

by Andrew
posted 948 days ago


37 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#1 posted 948 days ago

That’s not how I would do it…....there’s a better way…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#2 posted 948 days ago

Which is, Rick?!

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 953 days


#3 posted 948 days ago

Either cut square pannels and attach curved wood to them, or Make it outa solid wood is what I’d guyess Rick is thinking.

Not really a good way to finish the edge of plywood unless you want to do alot of puttying and extra coats of paint.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#4 posted 948 days ago

ALL OK here.

Nothing abnormal…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#5 posted 948 days ago

Nope…..sorry TCCcabinetmaker…you missed it too…...

What I would use is iron-on edge banding…It’s easy to use, and covers all the exposed edges of raw plywood….even on curves like the toybox. It comes in 25’ rolls, and you can either get it at woodworking suppliers like Rockler, Woodworkers Supply, Lowes, or Home Depot. It has glue already on the back, and comes in widths of 3/4”—13/16ths”.....The ply wood today is not 3/4” wide, so the 3/4” banding should work. Go to Google and look up applying edge-banding. There’s a video on how to apply it….cut off the length you need, pre-heat the iron on cotton setting, and start applying it by ironing it on, making sure it sticks down good…don’t stay too long in one spot….you’ll scorch the banding. It’ll work on curves, straight, and rounded curves. Once you get a strip ironed on, let it cool for about a minute, and take a J-roller, or a small block of wood and press it down making sure the banding has stuck down good…..trim off the edges where needed. Do that all the way around the project till you’ve covered all the exposed edges….just take your time and do it right. Once all the edges are covered, go back and sand off or file the over-hanging edges flush with the plywood..it comes off easily once cooled. Be sure to “butt up” all the edges where the banding meets…..Once all the edges are cleaned up, and checked, you’re ready to paint…I build custom furniture, and have used edge-banding on all exposed plywood edges….especially on carcusses and drawers (sometimes ), but most times I use hardwood edging on all drawer faces….Nearly all of the cabinets in my shop have edge banding on them…even drawers…..I’ve used hundreds of feet of this stuff, and it works…you can stain it, paint it, or just leave it natural, but in your case, just paint it…..that’s it…piece of cake….One thing I would suggest: make a couple of test pieces since you’ve never used it before….figure out how it works first before tackling your project…...good luck….

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#6 posted 948 days ago

On the joinery…..since all you have is a router and biscuit jointer, I’d just use butt joints…Glue it and screw it and paint it (once all the edges are covered). If you had other tools….?

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#7 posted 948 days ago

If you had a band saw, you could make your own iron-on edging…

Joint (plane or sand) edge of long solid piece of wood.
Cut 1/16” strip off edge.
Joint (plane or sand) the edge again.
Cut 1/16” strip again… for as much as you need (want).

Spread a very thin even coat of TTB III to the cut edges and let dry completely.

Apply with iron just as you would the normal strip material designed for iron-on applying.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#8 posted 948 days ago

Joe,
I don’t think he has a bandsaw..just the tools he mentioned. That’s why I suggested the iron-on edge banding…...but you idea is certainly notiable…..:)

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 975 days


#9 posted 948 days ago

With a router and a straight edge you could use rabbits and dados to help lock the pieces together and then glue and screw it.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Rick's profile

Rick

6455 posts in 1631 days


#10 posted 948 days ago

What the “Other Rick” said! “Piece Of Cake” is right! Method he’s explained Very Well covers it ALL.

It’s the ONLY way I go with this. I can buy it UP here at Home Depot as short as 9/10 Feet up to 25 Foot Rolls in, I THINK 2/3 different Widths and 3/4 different species of wood. Also Vinyl. Stain it or Paint it (wood).

I use the Same Iron I use to Press my Pants and Shirts (Live Alone… POOP!) no harm to it at all. You can also buy an Oval Shaped Hot Iron designed for the Job.

Just out of Curiosity, last year I Glued (only) a 6” piece on a flat piece of Ply just to see if it would stick without Ironing, using regular Carpenters Glue. Not Instant as in Ironing but 2 days later NO WAY it would come off! Sharp Chisel needed to get it off.

Not sure what that proves, other than if the Power goes off you can still “DO IT!”. The Wood Banding Also. ..LOL…

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#11 posted 948 days ago

Wow thanks for all the responses! I guess I’m getting some edge banding…

As for the joiner, Rick you said “If I had other tools…” Which other tools did you have in mind? What’s the best way to do the joinery? Maybe it’s a good excuse to buy something.

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1673 days


#12 posted 948 days ago

I’ll offer a minority opinion here. If you are going to paint it – why worry about the edges at all? We put edges on plywood to hide the edge “grain”. The paint will do that, especially if you put on a second coat (maybe 3 coats on the edges). You can sand that edge quite smooth. Another option is MDF. With it you can get a very smooth edge.

You also asked about joinery. On simple boxes like this, my first choice would normally be pocket screws but screws don’t hold very well in plywood (or MDF). I would probably do a simple butt joint and secure it with dowels. The picture below is not of plywood, but you can see the dowels securing the joints. I think dowelling like this would give you a pretty solid joint in plywood (or MDF). FYI – this was one of my “no hardware” projects until the recipients put a metal plaque on it saying “made by Uncle Rich – 2009”

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#13 posted 948 days ago

IF I were doing a paint grade project, and wanted to say hide any gaps or imperfections in the edge grain of plywood, I would fill the edge with wood filler, sand smooth, and then prime, sand, paint etc… Especially for a curved edge, that is about the easiest way I can think to do it… However, don’t try this if you are staining it, it’ll never look right…

On the joinery, I agree with richgreer, dowelled butt joints have served me exceedingly well when working with plywood boxes. Screws tend to blow out in ply and MDF…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#14 posted 948 days ago

Do I need a dowel jig to do dowels? Or can I just screw through both? I also have a drill press (as of last night). What about using biscuits (the poster of that project said he used glued rabbits and biscuits).

Or what about butt-joints with just countersunk screws & wood filler?

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2716 posts in 1842 days


#15 posted 948 days ago

Being this is a toy box, I wouldn’t use iron-on-tape. The tape is too easily ripped off . Paint would be more permanent.

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3233 posts in 1160 days


#16 posted 948 days ago

Iron on eding is about as easy as it gets. I used in on the TV Console you can see in my projects. It goes on about as easy as can be, you can stain it, paint it or in my case dye it.

As far as the joinery is concerned. I would likely use basic routed (or tablesawed) rabbits for the sides, and cleats for the bottom.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#17 posted 948 days ago

Andrew,

What I meant by “other tools” was having a table saw, band saw, skill saw etc. You didn’t mention what you had, so I took it you only had the tools you mentioned. Some good advice given above, so just decide how you want to do it…..It just makes doing projects much easier if you have the riight tools and machines on hand…It’s hard to “jump into” a project when you don’t have what you need. Have you ever used dowels before? I’d still use butt joints, glue, and screws for the joinery…fillt he screw holes with wood putty, or use wood plugs and then paint it…..It’s your choice as to how you want to do it….that way you learn…

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#18 posted 948 days ago

cr, You are exactly right on your response….I missed the first line altogether somehow….stepped right on you post…don’t know how I missed it…..I’ll try to be more careful in the future, if I can…...or can’t….

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#19 posted 948 days ago

these are the tools I have (I listed the ones that seemed appropriate):

Table saw
Jointer
Drill press
Planer
Router
Biscuit Joiner
Circular saw

I’ll likely buy a jigsaw to do the curves.

Screwed butt-joints (go ahead and comment on that one!) is probably the way I’ll go. I’ve never used dowels.

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View Stargazer's profile

Stargazer

49 posts in 1538 days


#20 posted 948 days ago

+1 on the iron on edge tape. Best thing since pockets on shirts !!

Rick

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#21 posted 948 days ago

Ok….now we’re talking…...We can get a better idea of your tools now…..that helped to post them…I would use the jig saw to do the curves, or you could make a jig out of 1/4” ply or hardboard for the curves and use the router, but my choice would be the jigsaw….just leave yourself enough for cleanup by sanding it smooth…....Dowels are a little tricky if you’ve never used them..they need to be precise to line up holes, so until you gain more experience with it, I’d use the butt joints as I mentioned before….

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#22 posted 948 days ago

Also – the CDavy mentioned he used all birch plywood except for one piece of 1×8 poplar from home depot. Where might that 1×8 be? The bottom of the front?

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#23 posted 948 days ago

It’s hard to know exactly where he used it, but judging from the picture you posted, it looks like it’s at the bottom, and probably front and back to represent the feet that matches the side feet…..it looks like solid wood with a long curve…..it’s hard to tell how wide the feet are, but looks like about 2-3’...(?) Those pieces look to be about 4” wide, also.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1673 days


#24 posted 948 days ago

Andrew – I’ve been away from the computer for a few hours but I am back now.

No – you do not need a dowelling jig to use dowels in this situation. You can use just a hand held drill, drill a hole in from the outside about 2 – 2.5” and drive a piece of dowel in it. Cut off the excess with a hand saw and sand a little to form a smooth surface.

The big challenge can be alignment. You need to hold the pieces securely together with the right alignment and make sure they stay that way until the dowels are in place. If everything is square, good clamps can do the job. However, here are some tips -

- First make the joint with just glue and let the glue set up before adding the dowels. Without the dowels you will not have a strong joint, but it will be strong enough to hold things together while you add the dowels.

- In a like manner, I have used screws initially to initially hold things together. I put the screws exactly where the dowels will go later. After everything is “screwed up” I remove one screw at a time, drill a hole for the dowel and insert the dowel.

- If holding things in place is a real problem, biscuits can help a lot. Do not expect biscuits to provide a strong joint by themselves, but they can really help with alignment problems.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Imgoodwithmywood's profile

Imgoodwithmywood

5 posts in 947 days


#25 posted 947 days ago

The edge banding is the best and easiest solution for beginners.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1568 days


#26 posted 947 days ago

If this were anything other than a toy box I’d suggest pre glued iron on edge banding (the maple takes finishes really well) however, as it is a toy box, I’d use mdf and round the edges over so there’s no sharp edges. You can get a great paint finish on cut mdf edges if you use emulsion (you call that latex?) [paint for your walls/ceilings], let it dry and sand it smooth. Glue and screw it putty in the holes. 4mm x 50mm Chipboard screws, just pilot the piece you’re joining with a 3mm bit and keep the screws at least 2” from the edges to avoid the mdf splitting. Or use birch ply.
If you are going the edge banded route, one thing to note if using waterborne paint is don’t put it on too wet over the banding as it will swell and bubble in places.

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2517 days


#27 posted 947 days ago

I like edge-banding. Over a thousand feet of it, maybe over 2 or 3. Prefer it because I use it all the time. It’s handy. Once you get used to using it it becomes 2nd nature. Small shop saves time.
Get rid of the baby frills and clean up the design of that tool (scuse me) toy box and your toy box can grow with the recipient and become a blanket chest.
You are way, way ahead with your tools. You will never regret a bandsaw added to your working collection.
A jigsaw is a fun tool, limited use (I have 2). I do use them, but not where I would call them a base tool
Easy joint for a toy/blanket chest. Butt joint. Glue it. Predrill allowing for drill shank clearance in attached piece.
Draw up tight, allow to set. Remove screws, drill for dowells, (same screw holes) glue & set dowells. Leave proud 1/8 (or so) after cut off. Sand, paint & enjoy. Just my thoughts.
Good advice from all. Rick and Rich are steady on. Listen to them.

-- MrAl

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#28 posted 947 days ago

@Alan,

That’s a SUPER COOL procedure of installing Dowels!

That’s really SLICK… Can’t mess it up Approach!

Dog gone it… I’ll have to remember that one!

Thank you very much!

What kind of edging do you like best?
(you probably have a machine that feeds a roll & glues it!)

Merry Christmas!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View doncutlip's profile

doncutlip

2832 posts in 2154 days


#29 posted 947 days ago

Another vote for iron on veneer, I’ve used it quite a bit and you can go around some curves with it.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#30 posted 947 days ago

I am nervous about the edge banding coming off, as it is a toybox…..how tight is that bond?

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1793 days


#31 posted 947 days ago

Andrew,

Don’t be nervous about the banding coming off…..once it’s applied, heated, ironed on, and rolled smooth, you’ll have to take it off with a chisel practically….that bond is tighter than Dick’s hatband….:) If you do it right, it’ll never come off; a small child is not going to take it off, so go for it. Just take your time and go slow…no hurry…it’s not going anywhere…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#32 posted 947 days ago

It’s tight… If you iron it on making good contact, it will probably never come off.
... or
If you put a good glue coating on it, get good contact, clamp it good, it will probably never come off.

If you edge joint two pieces of a panel or table top, how nervous would you be for it coming apart?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#33 posted 947 days ago

Is it at all worth putting some titebond or contact cement on the plywood before ironing? Or is that just a waste of time?

What veneer would you guys recommend? I was looking at rockler’s PlyEdge stuff here:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=1738&filter=edge%20band

Can I round over the edge with a router if I use that stuff? I’d think not right? I’d just like to remove any sharp corners to prevent the child from hurting himself.

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2651 days


#34 posted 947 days ago

Andrew,

@$.76 per foot, I think you could do better by buying maybe 25’ of plain edging, rolling-on your own glue, letting it dry, then, iron-on the same way the Rockler stuff is done… Of course, you could also use a “garage sale” iron too.

Rounding that type of edge is not normally done… would expose the stuff you covered… most of the time, it’s a flush trim… or small chamfer. (I think)

If you’re going to paint it and the rounded-over surface is nice & smooth like your edging, sure, round over.

If you have scraps available, you can cut thin strips on your table saw & use it for the edging as mentioned before..
You would have to be very careful… Here is a nice jig to make that process safer.

Take some scrap, & try it out…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

279 posts in 965 days


#35 posted 947 days ago

I think what I’ll try first is just using sanding & wood-filler to fill the voids. It’s cheap, and if it doesn’t come out smooth I can try edge banding. I guess I can just do that on a scrap piece right off the bat and see what the results are.

I do have another question regarding the design of the box. I do like the cutaway tabs to hold up the front of the lid, but I have seen other designs where the middle is wide open, and the tabs that hold the lid are on the ends (see the pic below). I am concerned about fingers getting caught (the lid supports from rockler should aid with that), but I’d also like the seat to be sturdy enough to be sit/stood on by either a child or adult. I plan to use 3/4” plywood. I guess I could screw or glue a 1x piece of lumber to the underside (left to right) of the lid to give it some more strength from flexing? I don’t want it to be too heavy, though.

I’ll also make the lid overhang from the front a bit to help prevent fingers getting caught.

Here is what i was thinking with the cutaway tabs leaving the middle open:

-- Andrew - Albany. NY

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2517 days


#36 posted 947 days ago

If the kid can take it off—box should be made of steel, or at least he/she should be fed real food.
Hints:
1” wallpaper rollers are great for application-cheap too.
In tight corners—heat putty knife blade with iron and press in to heat tape—hold down with small block for a few seconds.
I use a small grocery store sealing iron (produce & meat section) for application. These irons are now sold as edgebanding irons.
Virutex or Tridon laminate slitter to slice banding to size. No more than 1/16” over width of panel edge.
To ease edge: sand paper or file or small sharp plane or all of the above. When using the plane watch closely for grain run.
Joe, I get 7/8”x250’ rolls. Mostly birch. For the price I like my manual machine (hands) over the Freud.
If applied right, you will not have any bubbles coming up when finishing. I have never, ever had any bubbles

( STOP—some one might believe me, of course I have). Wipe finish off, reheat that spot, use roller,lite sand, push on. You’ve gotten some good advice from all. Pick, choose and above all have fun. Don’t make it a J.O.B.

-- MrAl

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2517 days


#37 posted 947 days ago

Andrew, In my mind (all though some what feeble) that’s a much better looking box.

Joe, thanks for the new project. I need it like a hole in the head. I like that slicing jig.

-- MrAl

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