Grain Guy

Edge banding

8 posts in this topic

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now



  • Popular Now

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Finish for outdoor cedar
      The good thing about this Sikkens on outdoor wood is that towards it's end of life, you can pressure wash it back down to bare wood.  You can't do that with varnish, with or without CPES under it.
    • Hijack!
      I have taken classes in journalistic wring, business writing and traditional college writing/lit classes.  The traditional college writing classes reinforce a lot of bad habits, in my opinion.   In my college English classes we were taught to use complicated sentence structures, with multiple independent and dependent clauses.  I believe they confused "sophisticated" for "complicated."   My business writing classes then undid all the damage caused by my English profs.  Business writing is more like journalism - you start with the conclusion or most important stuff and then follow with the details.   In the old days of print journalism, a reporter had no idea how much space the paper would have for his story.   Thefore, reporters wrote in an inverted triangle format.  All the important stuff is in the lead paragraph.  A page or copy editor could cut the story after any single paragraph and the story would still make sense.   Many of us fall into the academic writing trap.  We want to build a sense of drama or climax, so we wait until the end to communicate the important details.  TLDNR is a great acronym.      
    • You're acting like a real bench.
      That makes much better sense. The mortise is a right angle hole. I was envisioning something like mortises shaped like an L&7 with only the tails connecting or something. I do'nt think that would work with this though because I'm using a rectangular shaped piece, not square. I'd need one longer tenon and the jigs I made result in 3/4" tenons, max. Thanks for dumbing that down though. It's a cool technique and I'll give it a shot sometime.
    • Stickered cherry wood, now streaks
      it should sand out fairly easily.   Literally a pass or two with 220 on your ROS should do the trick.  If not, back up to 180.  The darkening is very superficial.   Looks like you have some other dents/milling marks too.  A drop of water and a hot iron might help those.  After that, sand the whole panel.  
    • Stickered cherry wood, now streaks
      I have some cherry boards that I milled, glued up, and surfaced about 6 months ago. (We bought a house and moved.) Now I'm ready to continue with this project now that I have some more time. I left the cherry stickered in the corner of my shop. When I got it out today I noticed the wood stickers prevented the cherry from aging where they contacted the boards. I'm ready to move on to finishing but I'm not sure if these "streaks" will go away. I was going to sand everything with 220 but now I'm wondering if I should hand plane these un-aged spots out. Will they always be there if I finish over top? Or will these even out quickly? Going to stick a board in the sun and see what happens. Thanks Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Popular Contributors

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room