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I have 70- 3/4 x 48" plywood shelves that I need to band the edges. I'm using thin strips of solid wood on both long edges. I could just glue and clamp them but I only have so many clamps and each one takes 3 clamps. I can do about 13 an hour but I'm looking for a quicker way. I thought about stacking them next to each other like books on a shelf then put them on a table and put a board over the top with some weight on it. The problem I have is that any glue that squeezes out won't be seen between the boards until they are dry and will likely cause a problem. I also thought of a string around the boards and twisting it to tighten it up. In all these scenarios I will be placing a piece of wood on top of the thin strips to keep the pressure equal. Any suggestions to speed things up as there will be some more after this first group is done. I have tried nailing but I would rather not see the holes.
 

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iron on...
 

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A pin nailer would make the nail holes almost invisible, and hold the edging in place while the glue dries.
 

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Put on a layer of glue on the ply edge, let it dry, then do the glue up as you would with any glue up. Wax the clamp bars thoroughly first. When the glue is nearly dry, use a scraper to remove the squeeze out. I usually apply glue to the up side of the material so the squeeze out fills in the other side, which reduces the amount of squeeze out. I also brush on the glue.

ALTERNATIVE for clear coat finishes, you can use green painters tape laid all the way to the edge of each piece to limit the amount of glue that will stick to the surface. It's hard to lay this on all the way to the edge, however, you can lay it on overlapping the edge, press it down all the way across to seal it, then use a sharp box cutter or razor blade to trim it flush to the edge. Then you brush on the pre-glue layer, let it dry and then re glue the ply and the trim. Pin nail and/or clamp while the tape is still on. Once dry, strip off the tape. The top of the self will be the best looking side and needs the most protection from squeeze out. The ultra thin outer layers can't take much sanding to remove glue. Of course, if you paint the shelves you can sand lightly and cover. But if you plan to stain and use a clear coating, then the painter's tape is a best bet.

Brushing on the glue will give you better control and less squeeze out. I buy disposable brushes like the ones shown. You can rinse them out and reuse them if you want, but they're only about a dime each in bulk. For adding edges, I put glue in a container and dip the brush rather than apply a bead and spread it. Get these brushes at Amazon or Harbor Freight.
 

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I am with Oliver, I have 23 gauge pinner one of my favorite tools you’ll have trouble finding the holes.
If you shoot them at a slight angle they will hold great.
 

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I'm with Stick; for 70 shelves a roll or three of iron-on wood banding is the only practical answer. In fact, if you didn't mind spending a few bucks, a cabineteshop might be persuaded to run them through their banding machine.
Do you need the ends and back edges done as well? A quick mental calculation comes up with over 800' of banding if you do all the edges.
Keep in mind, Art, you also need to have the top and bottom edges flushed up to the shelf tops and bottoms (trimmed). The mechanical banders do all that.
https://www.amazon.com/Preglued-Edg...spons&keywords=wood+veneer+edge+banding&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/Rockler-TAFR400-Edge-Banding-Machine/dp/B001DT4PWG
 

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I once worked on a wall unit for one whole end of a restaurant. Did it all with iron-on and trimmed it with a hand trimmer. It went quickly and looked good. Even did the doors along the bottom of the unit and an arched support rail on a long shelf for a TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions. I tried a pin nailer but the strips are so thin (about 1/16) that the nails went through. Even turning down the pressure didn't help but I'll give it another try with lower pressure. As far as the iron on it's too expensive for the quantity that I will be doing but it has me thinking. One thing I can try though is a trick I've used with veneer which is to apply glue and let it dry then iron it on. Now for the finishing I have so many strips I'm laying them flat and varnishing them all at once. I then attach them to the plywood boards which are also prefinished (before they were cut smaller) and run them through the router very slightly rounding the edges. This is only the beginning of a very large project making the furniture for a Montessori school.
 

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It might have been the age of the iron on edging I was using but I've had that fail enough to not trust it anymore so I use thin strips. maybe 1/4", of solid wood and glue and pin them on. Works great and I've never had an issue. It's probably more work and more expense but depending on the use of those shelves it might be a better alternative. I've resigned myself to edging versus banding these days and design accordingly. For book cases and entertainment centers I've used solid wood to face the shelf off much like a face frame and use a round over bit to dress it up. For shelves I'd be inclined just to edge it unless they were a furniture style piece.
 

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thermal set glue..
 

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David has a point; if the edging was thicker, contact cement would be a lot more efficient. You'd have to cut the edging oversize to avoid alignment nightmares (and rout it flush after).
Art; you mentioned cost of banding being too high. I don't think you're including the cost of your own labour.
If it wasn't cost efficient, it wouldn't be the industry standard for edging. Comments re heat bonding are certainly valid but I'm pretty sure there's an explanation for the failures. Maybe too much or too little heat being applied?
Maybe Stick has an explanation?
 

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  • how many edges
1... cost of banding being too high.
2... Maybe Stick has an explanation?
1.. I totally disagree w/ that..
2... I need more detailed input from Art...
 

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I generally cut banding at least a quarter inch thick, and sometimes more. It is also a reinforcement to help fight sagging, particularly for shelves holding books. If the shelf is wide, I use much wider edges for further reinforcement. I don't much like the look of iron on, but with so many linier feet of shelving, it is probably a good choice. I think Stick is right about using contact cement. When I do use iron on bands, I use a trimmer like the one in the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
that many LF of narrow strips and them needing finishing will quickly get out of control...[/QUOTE

Each unit has 42 liner feet of banding. I am cutting the strips 1/16" thick and finishing them all at once by laying them flat on a table and giving them three coats. Working by myself it take about 6 minutes to band one shelf. When I had extra hands I was doing 15 an hour.
 

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that many LF of narrow strips and them needing finishing will quickly get out of control...[/QUOTE

1... Each unit has 42 liner feet of banding.
2... I am cutting the strips 1/16" thick and finishing them all at once by laying them flat on a table and giving them three coats.
3... Working by myself it take about 6 minutes to band one shelf. When I had extra hands I was doing 15 an hour.
1... at 70 units that's this side of 3,000 LF...
2... WHAT A WASTE of material... every cut (saw cut) wastes money, material and time/labor.. not to mention all the extra sanding and fallout.
everything you are doing has tangible and intangible costs... Ignore any of it and you'll never make any money.. you'll be losing money...
1 saw cut = 3 or 4 bands turned into saw dust...
you can get edge banding prefinished...
there are PSA bandings also...
3... there is no way in Hades you are you are doing one unit in 6 minutes...
you need to see the whole picture - cut + finish + glue up/clean up + on/off clamping + trim...
iron on pretty much drops cutting, material waste, glue up, on/off clamping w/associated labor times from the itinerary...

rethink your process...
iron on the banding... The industry standard because it is cost effective...
stack the units using stickers or kids playing jacks as spacers..
finish the banding in place...
after the finish is dry bulk trim the banding... (PDF/photo)...
no clamping required...
no glue squeeze out to fret over...
use a blond banding that you can make look like any wood you want..
the over width banding getting finished before trimming pretty much insures that you will keep the finish off of the prefinished ply..
the light RO??? form fitted sanding block...

rethink your finishing too...
see the wood finish PDF...

buy an edge banding machine...

https://www.familyhandyman.com/woodworking/edge-banding-with-iron-on-veneer-edging/view-all/
these guys are top shelf...
https://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Wood-Veneer-Edgebanding-78-x-250-Iron-On.html

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lets change things...
in the picture, dadoes are cut in the end spacing boards...
use spacing blocks made from scrap instead...

NOTE:
trimming bits can be had w/ the RO in them from Freud and Whiteside...
the WS bit is straight face trim as where the Freud has a slight relief to it which holds the cutter away from the face of what you are trimming..



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