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Edge banding


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#1 Grain Guy

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:19 AM

So I have tons of edge banding sitting in front of me.
I want to use my edge banding trimmer that you squeeze and trims both sides in one swipe. I hate using it because it chips the banding quite often and takes more time to redo than it does to trim with a knife and a block of wood.
I've tried going fast, going slow, keep downward pressure, squeeze soft, squeeze hard.
Does this tool just suck?

#2 Rick LoDico

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:40 AM

Certainly sounds like it sucks. Use a block plane and sandpaper or a router with a pattern bit.

#3 duckkisser

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 04:57 AM

i say sell it off and buy a decent plane with and a sharpening jib.

#4 Andrew Reynolds

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 07:53 AM

I've never liked those little "edge band trimmers." Most time they are just cheap junk. Last time I tried using one it was a mess. Ended up using an #11 x-acto knife.

#5 wdwerker

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:34 PM

Sharpen it! I use a very small ceramic stone with a tapered edge that ends in a radius inside the slot that cuts the edgeband. Then I flatten the back with a fine diamond plate. Other trick is look at the grain and pick which way to trim so that the grain will lay down from the cutter instead of tearing.
Keep the glue residue cleaned off the blade. I even sharpen x-acto blades with a fine diamond paddle before cutting edgeband.
It also pays to use a quality brand of edgeband. Trim the edges first, then the ends. I have a guillotine type end trimmer , it has to be razor sharp and carefully adjusted. An x-acto from below and a block above works to trim ends as well.
Another thing to pay attention to with edgbanding is what I call burnishing it down. Right after you iron it on, or use a edgeband machine rub the edges down tight before it cools. Gaps and loose edgeband chips and tears much easier.
Sand the corners gently and flat sand cut ends before you band an adjacent edge.
Close attention to tiny details can make or break edgbanding projects.

Good luck! Band some practice pieces before you tackle a batch of parts!

#6 Ends of the World

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:20 AM

Yep, they're junk, I hate those things. An upgrade to it is using a chisel, but it's not practical along long distances and too much margin for error, in my experience. As someone suggested, if you're a 'Normite' a router with a flush trim bit works a treat. However, be careful: as there isn't much surface to ride on, it's totally easy to tip the router one way or another and gash the piece. To avoid that, I only lower the bit just enough where enough blade is exposed to trim the banding, literally the only majority thing sticking out of the base is the bearing. That way, if it leans one way the bearing will stop it, and if it leans the other way, the blade raises up and away anyway.

Anything you can do to make things more stable such as riding on a second board of similar height, using an edge guide, etc, is a very good idea. Those little laminate routers are much better for the job too, but I don't own one and I've trimmed a ton of edge banding with my Festool OF1400.

As for any corners the bearing can't get to, that's when I use a chisel.

#7 Ronald Tei

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:53 AM

I use a festool 1010 router with the horizontal attachment to trim the edge banding

#8 nickgknight

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:01 PM

I have only done a handful of projects with the iron on edge banding, but I used the little trimmer that only cuts one side at a time. Seemed to work fine, you did have to go back and finesse the edges a bit. Probably best to use a router. Someone else said it also, but make sure it's all attached really well, if there is a gap it could catch.