Suggestions on banding plywood - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Suggestions on banding plywood

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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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 09:21 AM
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iron on...
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:02 AM
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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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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:38 AM
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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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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 11-30-2018 at 11:42 AM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 02:49 PM
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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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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 04:40 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 08:13 AM
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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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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:31 AM
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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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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 10:28 AM
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Contact glue?

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