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I recently attempted edge banding for the first time and have utterly failed:surprise:. I'm applying 7/8" birch banding to 3/4" birch plywood. I didn't have any problems getting the banding to stick using a hot iron. My problem arose when I tried to trim it.

I bought one of those hand-held double-sided trimmers and it seems to want to trim into the portion of the banding that isn't supposed to be trimmed into. I read the reviews on the device when I bought it and there were suggestions from other buyers to make sure that you trim with the grain and to do only one side at a time by separating the trimmer and only using one half of it. I've used both of these suggestions and I'm still having problems.

Anyhow, I need to try something different and I'd like to hear how the rest of you trim the excess banding. I've considered using my router with an edge trimming bit, but am a little apprehensive about not have a stable enough platform for the base of the router to ride on. I can totally visualize the router tilting and digging into the workpiece causing additional frustration and anxiety. And I've just reordered another roll of the banding and I'd prefer not to have to reorder a third one (at least, not for this same project).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

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I don't have good luck with these double edge trimmers. It is one of those five minute tools that allows you to finish up five hours later.

I generally, use a razor knife or an EXACTO Knife to trim the edges. Start at the end and hold the blade as flat as you can and run it along the edge of the piece. Angle the tip away from the direction of travel and keep the pressure towards the banding. The banding is thin enough that the knife blade should be more than adequate. You should get a very fine curl of material being sliced off. You may have to make a couple of passes to ensure it is flat to the surface.

Then, use either use a block plane (set really shallow) or a piece of fine grit sandpaper on a backer (piece of wood) and break the edge a little. Again, pressure towards the banding. Never cut towards the banding as it may break it loose from the edge. The sandpaper will, also, allow you to get into inside corners.

Hope this helps.
 

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+1 on Bill's approach...my weapon of choice also...

I've been known to use a small block of wood to keep the blade flat on the other side of the banding...keeps my fingies from turning red... :)
 

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After years of trimming laminate self-edge, I use a file to trim the iron-on wood tape. If you start at one end and get the overhang down to the plywood surface, feeding the file sideways along the part with shear the wood tape off using the teeth on the edge of the file. Try that - with a little practice, you'll be surprised how well it works and how quickly it goes too.
 

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you are using the trimmer against the grain.. cut the other di8rection...
and put sharp razors in it...

use your router w/ a trim bit...
here's extreme...
the shortcut would be to put blocks of scrap between the panels and clamp the stack together...

.


I like this way more gooder.. (PDF)...
and while yur at it.. use this style blade...

.
 

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I would size the end grain with diluted glue before you iron on, about a 50/50 mix. Otherwise you risk the tape peeling off later. (Same for particle board.) Add more until the end grain starts to look a little shiny if necessary. I would use a similar method to Bill but probably use a chisel making a shearing cut pressing into the banding. I would try using the widest practical chisel so that I could hold the point down on the flat behind the banding for stability. My chisels are close to being as sharp as Bill's knife.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate all the comments. I think I'll try Bill's suggestion using an exacto knife since it looks like the easiest way for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
you are using the trimmer against the grain..
.
I agree Stick, but I'm having trouble reading the grain on the banding. And it sometimes changes direction along the length and I overlook that too. Perhaps the exacto option will work for me...
 

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I would size the end grain with diluted glue before you iron on, about a 50/50 mix. Otherwise you risk the tape peeling off later. (Same for particle board.) Add more until the end grain starts to look a little shiny if necessary. I would use a similar method to Bill but probably use a chisel making a shearing cut pressing into the banding. I would try using the widest practical chisel so that I could hold the point down on the flat behind the banding for stability. My chisels are close to being as sharp as Bill's knife.
Ditto, on the chisels.

you are using the trimmer against the grain.. cut the other di8rection...
and put sharp razors in it...

use your router w/ a trim bit...
here's extreme...
the shortcut would be to put blocks of scrap between the panels and clamp the stack together...

I like this way more gooder.. (PDF)...
and while yur at it.. use this style blade....
Stick, he's referring to 7/8" wide iron on edging not applying a hardwood edge. A router is overkill for this.

I appreciate all the comments. I think I'll try Bill's suggestion using an exacto knife since it looks like the easiest way for me.
I, also, use a chisel. The trick is, that, whatever you use keep it flat to the surface and make sure that it is SHARP.
 
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Ditto, on the chisels.



Stick, he's referring to 7/8" wide iron on edging not applying a hardwood edge. A router is overkill for this.

I know he is...
a trim router is not overkill..
fast/easy and you can climb cut w/o worries..
 
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The glue from the iron on tape will collect on the trim routers bit and heat up and then you have messy glue to clean off!
mineral spirits and a rag while the bit is warm fixes that...
 

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I tried the trimmer tool... it worked, but I wasn't satisfied with it. I ended up using a small plane, as Bill, schnewj, suggested with much better results. I followed this with a hand sander with fine paper in it.
 

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I don't have good luck with these double edge trimmers. It is one of those five minute tools that allows you to finish up five hours later.

I generally, use a razor knife or an EXACTO Knife to trim the edges. Start at the end and hold the blade as flat as you can and run it along the edge of the piece. Angle the tip away from the direction of travel and keep the pressure towards the banding. The banding is thin enough that the knife blade should be more than adequate. You should get a very fine curl of material being sliced off. You may have to make a couple of passes to ensure it is flat to the surface.

Then, use either use a block plane (set really shallow) or a piece of fine grit sandpaper on a backer (piece of wood) and break the edge a little. Again, pressure towards the banding. Never cut towards the banding as it may break it loose from the edge. The sandpaper will, also, allow you to get into inside corners.

Hope this helps.

Mee too!
 

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I like to use a block plane for this, but I can also see using a fairly wide chisel, bracing the flat against the shelf and rolling the blade down across the banding, almost like half of a scissor. Wicked sharp edge is a must for either cutting edge.
 

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I was making the shelves for my little cabinet and it occurred to me that I could do a quick demo of the method that I described.

- the tape is heated with an iron and rubbed with a block of wood to get good contact with the edge
- with the part lying flat, start at the one end with the file almost flat on the face of the part and feed the file forward and to the right as you work along the edge. You'll get a curl of trimming the whole length of the part if you feed smoothly.
- finish up with fine sandpaper on a block and you're done, probably took 30 seconds total to do both sides of the shelf.

It would be better with a video, maybe I can get that on Santa's list for this year.http://www.routerforums.com/images/RouterForums_2015/smilies/tango_face_wink.png
 

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like it...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was making the shelves for my little cabinet and it occurred to me that I could do a quick demo of the method that I described.

- the tape is heated with an iron and rubbed with a block of wood to get good contact with the edge
- with the part lying flat, start at the one end with the file almost flat on the face of the part and feed the file forward and to the right as you work along the edge. You'll get a curl of trimming the whole length of the part if you feed smoothly.
- finish up with fine sandpaper on a block and you're done, probably took 30 seconds total to do both sides of the shelf.

It would be better with a video, maybe I can get that on Santa's list for this year.http://www.routerforums.com/images/RouterForums_2015/smilies/tango_face_wink.png
Thanks for the great description and pictures. I'm going to try the exacto knife method as well as this file method and see which one works best for me.
 

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Thanks for the great description and pictures. I'm going to try the exacto knife method as well as this file method and see which one works best for me.
In the end that's the best plan of all. Experiment and see what works for you.
 

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I was watching Harry's video on making router ski's on another thread and noticed that he used a similar method to filing, except using a steel rule to trim melamine edge banding.
 
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