Edge banding MDF top

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Forum topic by sry posted 09-16-2008 03:05 AM 5156 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 2548 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…

10 replies so far

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 2730 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 2663 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


146 posts in 2548 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 2694 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


146 posts in 2548 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


2141 posts in 2739 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


2141 posts in 2739 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 2709 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


1092 posts in 2299 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


146 posts in 2548 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,


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