Trimming Edge Banding on Plywood

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Forum topic by RoadKing598 posted 10-25-2010 03:29 PM 4381 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2820 days

10-25-2010 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plywood trimming edge banding technique question

I recently was asked by some friends to build them a very simple cabinet for their laundry room that they ultimately wanted to paint. I choose 3/4” plywood knowing that I would have to cover the edges somehow (something I haven’t done before).

I used the iron-on edge banding to cover the exposed ply and the application process went very well (thank you honey for the use of your iron). However, I am curious as to how most folks approach trimming the edge banding down to the plywood. The package suggests and fancy edge trimming tool, a razor blade, or sanding. I can see folks considering a sharp chisel as well as a viable option.

I am nervous about damaging the thin veneer on the ply and am curious how the experts attack this problem. Any advise would be welcomed!

-- Eric, Central Wisconsin, Bring on the knowledge!

6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#1 posted 10-25-2010 04:27 PM

I use a gizmo like knucklenut posted a link to.

Another alternative to consider: Rather than the iron-on banding, I often use 3/4” screen molding. It’s easy to tack or glue on, and adds a nice radius to the edge. It’s not for every situation, but a good solution sometimes.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3523 days

#2 posted 10-25-2010 06:15 PM

I used the razor blade method once, If I ever do it again I will get the tool for it. Most of the time with large projects I prefer to do some type of face framing over the plywood edges.

On a small project that I was painting recently I used some wood filler on the edges and sanded that smooth, then painted. It worked really well, but would be a pain for a large project.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#3 posted 10-25-2010 06:35 PM

I am with Charlie and Knucklenut on this one. It can be done with a utility knife and new blade or just a blade alone. But you have to be careful and it takes a while. With the trimmer the edges can be flush trimmed with one pass.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View RoadKing598's profile


5 posts in 2820 days

#4 posted 10-25-2010 06:46 PM

Thanks for all of the replies so far…seems clear so far.

As a follow-up, if I were to use one of these trimmers as recommended, is there such a thing as “grain direction” on the edge-banding? If so, I presume that the direction I move the tool will matter…any thoughts or words of wisdom here?

Thanks again all!

-- Eric, Central Wisconsin, Bring on the knowledge!

View ArtistryinWood's profile


107 posts in 3684 days

#5 posted 10-25-2010 07:27 PM

I like the way this guy does it.


-- It seem's to me i could live my life, a lot better than i think i am. Andrew, Midland, Ont.

View davcefai's profile


37 posts in 3394 days

#6 posted 10-25-2010 07:38 PM

Yes there may well be a grain direction. If so the trimming tool will attempt to plough into the grain and nick the plywood. All you can do is examine the banding and decide which end to work from.

FWIIW I gave up on iron-on banding. It tends to come off. I rip a length of 5 to 10mm thick wood and use that. Trim with a plane or router.

-- David

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