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I've only used plywood so far, how to edge trim?

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Forum topic by jesinfla posted 05-12-2016 02:45 PM 1192 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jesinfla

274 posts in 604 days


05-12-2016 02:45 PM

So far, everything I’ve made has been for my shop and made of one form of plywood or another (including a few mdf items).

I’m about to make a small medicine cabinet – again out of plywood, but I would like to be able to cover the plywood edges so it looks better.

I haven’t seen any thing at my local box stores but perhaps I’m not looking for the right item?

Do I look for and buy specific edge trim or do I cut my own with my table saw?

Thanks as always in advance

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(


19 replies so far

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#1 posted 05-12-2016 02:53 PM

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#2 posted 05-12-2016 02:54 PM

What are you planning on trimming it with? At my local HD, they sell iron-on edge banding, it’s uaully located in the lumber section on an endcap, easy to miss. I’ve used it quite a bit, maybe 10 rolls or so, and it’s quick, easy, and effective. A J-roller is nice to have to press the veneer on while still hot, although I’ve been using a piece of scrap 1.5” oak dowel, because I’m cheap, and it works fine.

If you’re planning on using hardwood trim, I would just cut pieces slightly oversized on the tablesaw, glue/clamp them on, then trim them flush with a router, and trim the ends on the table saw. Last time I did it, I put a couple tiny nails in the plywood shelf, and clipped the ends off just above the surface, put the trim on, and clamp it tight, so the nails embed in the trim. Then remove the trim, add the glue, and reclamp, lining the dimples in the trim back up with the nails. The nails will keep the trim piece from sliding around when the glue is added.

Is this medicine cabinet going to be installed on the wall, or recessed into it? If you recess it into the wall, you can secure the plywood box to the studs, then attach the trim pieces with brads after installation.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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jesinfla

274 posts in 604 days


#3 posted 05-12-2016 03:14 PM

Thanks all – I’ll have to go back and look for that roll stuff – I didn’t see any of it when I went.

Don’t think I’m ready to make my own veneer/edging – specially not out of expensive hardwood.

The cabinet will be attached to the wall not recessed

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#4 posted 05-12-2016 03:19 PM

If you put your store in on Lowes/HD’s website, it’ll tell you where its located. I think at my Lowes, it was not with the plywood, I think it was by the S4S hardwood.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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bigJohninvegas

216 posts in 929 days


#5 posted 05-12-2016 03:25 PM

They make a few products. One is an iron on edge band. I’ve never used any of it though. I’m using some oak plywood for a project now, and I’m going to cut some strips out of oak to edge it with.
I usually cut the strips about 3/8 thick and glue them on as straight as I can. Then a flush trim router on the edges, and you can trim them as thin as you want on the table saw.
I always cut the strips from stock that is a little thicker than the plywood and use the trim bit.
Sometimes I cut the strips about a 1/4 thick and glue/pin nail them on. So no table saw trim once you use the pin nailer. You can also use a contrasting wood if you like the two tone look.
Pin nails are easy to hide, and for shop cabinets and such I go that way.
Good luck.

-- John

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jesinfla

274 posts in 604 days


#6 posted 05-12-2016 03:25 PM



If you put your store in on Lowes/HD s website, it ll tell you where its located. I think at my Lowes, it was not with the plywood, I think it was by the S4S hardwood.

- BinghamtonEd


Cool says they have 22 LOL – that’s a lot for me to miss ;)

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#7 posted 05-12-2016 03:42 PM


Cool says they have 22 LOL – that s a lot for me to miss ;)

- jesinfla

Ha, you’d be surprised. The package is like 6”x8”, and they stick them on the shelf between other things…took me about 10 minutes to find them, before I knew I could look up the aisle/bay info online.

However much you think you need, buy an extra roll. It sucks to run out after you’ve miscalculated, forgotten about a piece you have to do, or messed up. My last project had false drawer fronts, plywood trimmed in this stuff, and I ran out which stopped my work for the night. I cut each piece 1-2 inches longer than the edge I’m doing.

For long edges, I’ve found that a couple of the smaller black/orange spring clamps (I think from HF, they were cheap) helps as an extra set of hands. Since the stuff comes rolled up, it has a tendency to want to roll back on longer pieces (a couple feet or more), and sometimes you just need to hold it in place before its applied. Just putting a spring clamp over the edge of the board will trap the edging to keep it in place as you apply it, and when your iron approaches the clamp, just remove it and keep going. Blue painter’s tape works as well, but I find its easier to remove the clamp with one hand while ironing, than it is to fuss with the tape.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#8 posted 05-12-2016 03:47 PM

Just a tip for iron on banding. (mostly for the PVC tape but will work on wood tape as well.)
Sometimes you can overheat the tape,
Keep a damp rag on hand and go over the banding while applying pressure.
This will help cool and harden the glue and lock it in place.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#9 posted 05-12-2016 04:14 PM

There is a “good, better and best” way to edgeband plywood. The iron-on tape is the “good”; the wood strip is the “better”, but the best is a wood strip tongue and grooved into the plywood edge. It takes more effort to do, but it will hold up while the others may fail. Iron-on tapes use a hot melt glue which is the weakest of the adhesives. A glued on wood strip is better, but takes a lot of clamps in order to prevent any voids in the glue bond. The best locks the strip physically in place with a strong glue. I realize you are a beginner, but if you intend to get better in your woodworking skills, strive for the best, not the just OK.

View SteveT's profile

SteveT

22 posts in 710 days


#10 posted 05-13-2016 01:40 AM

I will be building some plywood cabinets for a garage and my basement shop. I intend to try some different techniques while building these, so I can learn more and not be too worried if I …. uh …. screw things up.

I do want to try the tongue and groove edging and I do have a router table as well as a table saw. Do you use a router table with tongue and groove bits? I am looking at the Whiteside bits and see a set(s) for $120, and then one for $60 which says it only requires a depth adjustment to switch from the tongue cut to the groove cut. Is the extra money for the set worth it for a hobbyist?

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 691 days


#11 posted 05-13-2016 02:07 AM

I’ve done a lot of plywood shelves and casings that have wooden strips of various depths just glued onto the edge of the plywood. So long as you make sure you have plenty of glue, the joint is much stronger than you’d expect.

Rockler has some clamps that are spring clamps which have a rubber band on the inside that work perfect for that. I am sure you could figure a way to turn a cheap Harbor Freight clamp into one as well.

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9x9

21 posts in 707 days


#12 posted 05-13-2016 02:39 PM

biscuits & hardwood

-- Broussard, LA

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MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#13 posted 05-13-2016 05:24 PM

Tongue and groove router bits in a router table are the way to go. Although they can be made on a table saw, it’s much more tricky to do. Using a router will require some tweaking and test cuts on scrap to get it perfect. You want to make the edging strip slightly wider than the plywood edge and use a plane to trim it flush. You can also get a trim bit for the router that will insure a perfect flush cut.

Another thing; iron-on tape was intended for MDF material because the edge has to be very smooth for the tape to adhere well. Plywood, unless it is a high grade like Baltic Birch, will have less than smooth edges, so a tape may not adhere well in places.

Note: If you can find a tape without the adhesive back, that will work well if bonded to the plywood edge with contact cement. That is how kitchen counter tops are made and they hold up very well. Years ago, counter tops were plywood; now they are all MDF.

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#14 posted 05-13-2016 05:44 PM


Another thing; iron-on tape was intended for MDF material because the edge has to be very smooth for the tape to adhere well. Plywood, unless it is a high grade like Baltic Birch, will have less than smooth edges, so a tape may not adhere well in places.

Note: If you can find a tape without the adhesive back, that will work well if bonded to the plywood edge with contact cement. That is how kitchen counter tops are made and they hold up very well. Years ago, counter tops were plywood; now they are all MDF.

- MrRon

Not sure where your getting that, got a link?
I just pulled a scrap piece of particle board out of my trash bin that had an edge that was banded. I had to start peeling the tape with a putty knife then I had to grab it with pliers. Stuck pretty darn good if you ask me.

Also not sure where your getting the info that counter tops are made from mdf not plywood?
Tops I always see have been made from PB. I do use plywood myself, and wouldn’t think to use mdf.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#15 posted 05-13-2016 06:54 PM


Another thing; iron-on tape was intended for MDF material because the edge has to be very smooth for the tape to adhere well. Plywood, unless it is a high grade like Baltic Birch, will have less than smooth edges, so a tape may not adhere well in places.

Note: If you can find a tape without the adhesive back, that will work well if bonded to the plywood edge with contact cement. That is how kitchen counter tops are made and they hold up very well. Years ago, counter tops were plywood; now they are all MDF.

- MrRon

Ron, I think there’s a bit of clarification to add there…there’s the kind with the adhesive tape back, the kind with the hot-melt glue back, and the kind you’d apply your own cement to. You’re right regarding the tape back type on smooth surfaces, and the contact cement on the non-backed kind.

But, the iron on kind, at least the kind I’ve used, does not have a tape back. It has a glue which melts when ironed, and doesn’t require a super smooth surface, the glue melts into small imperfections. It will adhere just fine to the BORG plywood, with an edge right off the table saw. There may be a small void or two, but if it’s just in one internal ply on the edge, and not on an outer veneer, I haven’t found it to be a problem.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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