Edge banding MDF top

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Forum topic by sry posted 09-16-2008 03:05 AM 5859 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 2693 days

09-16-2008 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question edge banding mdf workbench

I’m in the process of building a version of the FWW Getting Started in Woodworking bench and want to modify it a little by wrapping hardwood around the MDF top (3/4” MDF doubled up into a 1 1/2” top). Looking for advice from the forum experts about how to go about this.

I’m thinking right now of just routing the edge of the top into a tongue and grooving my hardwood banding material to match. Am I on the right track, or does somebody out there have any better ideas?

I should point out that this is my first woodworking project, and my skills and tool collection are still growing…

23 replies so far

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 2875 days

#1 posted 09-16-2008 03:43 AM

I think that will work. On my Torsion Box I screwed my edging to the MDF and plugged the holes with a contrasting wood.

-- Tony, Ohio

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 2808 days

#2 posted 09-16-2008 03:52 AM


Knickknack posted a small oak table project and he provided an excellent answer to your question: it’s about 1/2 way down the post. This may be what you are describing. If all else fails, rabbet the harwood banding, the glue the banding to the mdf.


-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View sry's profile


147 posts in 2693 days

#3 posted 09-16-2008 04:16 PM

Thanks guys. I’ll try it out and post the results when I post the project.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 2839 days

#4 posted 09-16-2008 04:22 PM

You could use biscuits and glue…will help align everything and the glue will make it stay.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View sry's profile


147 posts in 2693 days

#5 posted 09-19-2008 09:23 PM

I’ve successfully applied a strip of hardwood around the edge of my MDF top, and intentionally left it a little proud of the surface, thinking I could trim it flush a little later.

My new question is: what’s the best tool for the job? It seems like a larger job than my little block plane should handle, so maybe a larger plane like a #4?

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 2884 days

#6 posted 09-23-2008 02:08 AM

mdf is made from sawdust and glue. Edgebanding it is easy as can be as glue sticks well to glue. Fasteners like brads help hold it till the glue dries, but if you clamp well, even that may be unnecessary.

-- making sawdust....

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 2884 days

#7 posted 09-23-2008 02:09 AM

Steve, to flush trim, you can use a flush trim bit on your router.. Or you can use a plane if you want to do it by hand. There are also many router table set ups that can help do this.

-- making sawdust....

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2854 days

#8 posted 09-23-2008 03:03 AM

ya you could use a flush bit on a router. might get a bit hairy with the bit out in the open and everything. if the edgebanding is 3/4” you could use a block plane for a #4 or #5, 6, 7, 8. really any plane. i would use a #4 though because a #7, 8 might get a bit tiring

View sikrap's profile


1101 posts in 2444 days

#9 posted 12-18-2009 05:24 AM

Steve, how did this turn out? I am at this exact stage on the same exact bench and am wondering the exact same thing :)

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View sry's profile


147 posts in 2693 days

#10 posted 12-18-2009 03:04 PM

I ended up just sanding to get the edge flush with the mdf top. There was only something like 1/32” difference. Didn’t take very long. When I do it again though, I’ll probably skip the tongue and groove setup, because as mott points out, it should stick really well without.
If you look at my projects, both my workbench and drill press cart have the same kind of top, and both have taken quite a beating and held up great.
Good luck,


View swdst's profile


22 posts in 177 days

#11 posted 07-06-2015 12:39 AM

Im at the same point on a router table, only i laminated the top and bottom with formica to keep moisture out, humid as all get out here. I’m getting ready to edge band with red oak, and box joint the corners. Would i be better off with titebond ll, or the contact cement i used for the laminate. I haven’t done much work with mdf, and still teaching myself he skills needed, so i apologise if this sounds like a silly question

View sry's profile


147 posts in 2693 days

#12 posted 07-06-2015 12:18 PM

Hi swdst,
Normal PVA glue (ie Titebond) should work nicely when joining MDF with solid wood. Just get a good coat and use lots of clamps.


View rwe2156's profile


1192 posts in 566 days

#13 posted 07-06-2015 01:38 PM

I hope it works out for you.

I put a piece of 3/4 hardwood and used the MDF screws made by Spax then plugged the holes.

I wouldn’t trust MDF edges to hold glue very well. Same problem as endgrain soaks up glue.

You’ll find out the first time you drop something heavy on the edge.

I used a block plane to flush it up.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View swdst's profile


22 posts in 177 days

#14 posted 07-06-2015 06:14 PM

Hey thanks guys, I’m not opposed to using screws, just like the clean look without, i may go with some thicker stock and plug them with contrasting wood, maybe walnut, unless i can match the grain with some corresponding red oak. Any thoughts on the jessem/incra router lifts? Or are they overpriced?

View bondogaposis's profile


3444 posts in 1437 days

#15 posted 07-06-2015 06:47 PM

I used screws and plugs on mine.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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