Trimming Laminate When There's No Room For Router Bit

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Forum topic by Adamal posted 03-20-2015 04:43 PM 1216 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 1998 days

03-20-2015 04:43 PM

I’m going to be putting new laminate on my pool table, but the upper edge of the sides won’t let me use a router bit with a bearing on it. The little ledge you see is only 1/4” deep.

Any ideas on a good way to trim the laminate on this edge? Would a draw-knife work. Or should I just try to line up the factory edges to avoid having to trim?


7 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 days

#1 posted 03-20-2015 04:46 PM

We used a file and trimmed it flush with blue painters tape

on the front of the file to avoid damage to other surfaces.

Tedious but effective.

View dtsdig's profile


8 posts in 1163 days

#2 posted 03-20-2015 04:55 PM

I have seen some folks have good luck with this one:

One person I know even ground down the rounded tip so that he could get into even shallower recesses.

View jdh122's profile


1010 posts in 2815 days

#3 posted 03-20-2015 04:58 PM

A spokeshave might work. Drawknife’s not a great idea – the handles will be in the way and too easy to slip, I think.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2367 days

#4 posted 03-20-2015 05:29 PM

What if you installed it, then clamped a board (as thick as that recess) to the vertical section above it, then use a router with a dado cleanout or bow/tray bit to trim it flush to the piece you clamped on?

The clamped on piece would serve as the surface to reference your router on. Instead of the normal way of trimming it (router vertical and using the side of the cutting bit), router would be held horizontal and the depth set so the bottom of the bit is equal with the router base.

Edit : Just noticed the rounded corners. You’d probably need to do some hand work for those, but if it’s just the corners, a block plane and some sandpaper could work for those.

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

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2790 posts in 3435 days

#5 posted 03-20-2015 05:31 PM

This is what I used to do long before I had a router. Glue some good sandpaper on a 1/8” disk about the diameter of a sawblade. Put it in your table saw with the paper facing the saw fence. Cut the laminate almost the proper width and run it through the sander in increments till you get it exactly the width that will fit the space you need to cover. I did this and then eventually went to a thick aluminum disk. I did a lot of kitchen counters that way.

A file for some edges works too.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 03-20-2015 05:48 PM

Mica file

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Adamal's profile


58 posts in 1998 days

#7 posted 03-20-2015 07:09 PM

Thanks all.

I like the idea of using the router vertically. If I used a bushing and the right bit, I wouldn’t even need to clamp anything down.

Now, how do I do the corners… I must formulate another question.

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