Author Topic: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood  (Read 2069 times)

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Online DynaGlide

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Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« on: September 17, 2018, 10:00 AM »
I have some projects coming up that I'd like to try adding solid wood to plywood for the edging, at least on the front for shelves. I'm pretty much exclusively working in the Festool system. No planer, jointer, table saw. Having never done this before I was looking for some advice.

Can I just pickup a wide board from the home centers to give my OF 1400 something to register on, get the 486058 Edging Plate, 486052 Angle Arm, and some kind of slot bit dovetail/T&G/etc, center the router on the ply horizontally and rout it then do the same on the solid wood with the mating router bit? Then rip off a section of the solid wood to glue into the ply, and finish it off with a flush trim bit horizontally and I'd have to do both sides since it would probably sit proud of the ply on both sides? And finally rip the glued up edged plywood to width with my TS 55?

I've watched some videos on the process but usually they have access to nice S4S stock, router table, and it looks like they set the stock up flush to one face of the ply and only have to trim the opposite face with whatever tool they have like a lipping planer. The stuff I'd be buying for the solid wood is probably coming from HD/Lowe's so advice there as well is welcome. The plywood I'd source elsewhere.

Thank you for any insights/experience shared.

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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 10:10 AM »
I have used a variety of methods- T&G, biscuits, domino, . And most of the time now I just use glue and clamps with two or three pins to keep the edge in place while placing into the clamps. And generally I only need to do a bit of sanding to get the edge flush to the surface. Every other way seems to just end up adding steps to the process that are only needed for certain situations.

The exact method depends on the piece though.

I take it you want these to be flush to the surface on both sides? In that case You can just rip narrow strips that are a bit wider than needed glue them on and flush trim both sides.

I tried the edging plate on the OF1400. It does work but is quite clunky and awkward on that router.

How are you fixed for clamps?

Seth

Offline live4ever

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 10:14 AM »
There are lots of ways to do this depending on the thickness of the banding etc.  How thick are you going?

You don't really need anything to register the banding, especially if it's fairly thin (say up to 1/2") and you plan on flush-trimming both sides anyways.  As long as you can clamp sufficiently for the thickness of banding you're adding, all you need is glue.  And if you're looking at fairly thin banding (~1/4"), you can even clamp with tape.  If you WANT to get one face close-to-flush and minimize flush-trimming, then you could use splines, mated router bits, dominos, etc. depending on the thickness of the band.

The flush-trimming is of course the trickiest part of the job.  The OF1400 with the angle arm and edging plate is heavy and while it works ok, also presents a significant risk of gouging the work at the beginning and ends of the cut.  The 1010 is much better used in this manner.  Personally I favor approaches that work from the top with an offset base for stability rather than holding the router sideways.  Much more foolproof (unless you have a MFK700).  You should still expect to do the final finessing with a hand plane, scraper, sander, etc.
http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/making-a-flush-trimming-router-jig/

For the simplest approach, I'd just rip off strips off edging, glue them on with adequate clamping, then flush trim and rip the panel to width.  No need for anything more complicated unless you're really trying to minimize the flush-trimming.
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 10:20 AM »
You might want to try the MLCS 7828 Edge Banding bit set
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 10:25 AM »
I have a similar bit set to the one the @Sparktrician recommended, and recently got an MFK for trimming where needed.  I also have several medium size projects coming up where I hope to use the banding bits in a router table and then the MFK to finish.  It'll be the first time I've used the MFK, so I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'd appreciate any tips as well.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 10:37 AM »
Wow there so many ways and not know what you have in your shop makes this difficult,

depending on the thickness and width and length of the edgebanding you could go to harbor freight buy some cheap clamps, they sell a edge banding clamp, use the type of router bits that Sparky recommended, us a pin nailer a few clamps and tape to allow the glue to dry, get a domino or a kreg jig.

Edge banding tape is also another method if you decide to not use solid wood edging. Fast cap sells some good peel and stick edge banding you could conceivably trim it with a razor blade and sand paper.


Really its up to you how you want to approach this.

Online DynaGlide

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 10:40 AM »
Well I'm glad I asked here before buying anything more. My main goal is to not have to deal with iron on edge banding that I don't want to have to worry about coming off at a later point. One of the things I want to tackle is a built in desk for my office. I'd like to apply edge treatment to exposed shelves so I could see the edging being around 1/2" wide for a roundover.

Since I haven't done this before I just assumed I'd have to rout the mating pieces for registration and strength. It hadn't occurred to me that I could just rip a strip, glue and clamp it to the plywood then flush trim it.

If I were to buy something for the task what I'm reading is that my money might be better put toward an MFK 700 rather than the angle arm and edging plate for my OF 1400 assuming I keep my edging down in size? I like to use what I have but if it's just going to be too cumbersome then I'll save up and do it the 'right' way.

For reference:

I have the Fastcap tools for the iron on stuff. My Festool's I have an RO125, Domino, OF1400, TS55 to work with and some others but don't think they'd apply.

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 10:47 AM »
I'd use the Domino and be done with it.

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 10:58 AM »
I recently did something similar.  I used the Domino and OF1400 with edge plates.  The OF1400 did leave a gouge indent at the start and end, but my way around that was I cut the wood edge band longer than I needed.  Once I finished the flush trimming, I cut the excess material off and it was flush with my shelf sides.
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 11:35 AM »
I'd use the Domino and be done with it.

If I didn't have the MLCS bits and a CMS, I'd use the Domino, flush-trim the banding, then call it a day. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Online Cheese

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2018, 11:46 AM »
My main goal is to not have to deal with iron on edge banding that I don't want to have to worry about coming off at a later point.

If I were to buy something for the task what I'm reading is that my money might be better put toward an MFK 700 rather than the angle arm and edging plate for my OF 1400 assuming I keep my edging down in size?

Here's a shot of some maple shelves I made/installed 8-10 years ago with iron-on maple edge banding. Nothing is lifting or even appearing like it wants to lift. [smile]

I've used a 1010 with the angle arm and the rest of the goodies. It's certainly doable but even with that small router, it's still rather clunky. So I decided to get the 700 and I keep that set up just for edging tasks. It's so much easier to use. If you're feeling the need to spend some $$$, I'd go for the 700.

Offline Roseland

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 11:50 AM »
I just glue my edging on with Titebond Ultimate, and then trim the excess off with using a router with the edging accessories, as shown here:
http://greenanddarkblue.blogspot.com/2012/06/festools-edge-routing-accessories.html
I have both an OF1010 and an OF1400, and I find the OF1400 a bit heavy and unwieldy, but the OF1010 is a joy, plus there is a chip guard.
I use a trim router bit with a bottom bearing.  The edging plate and arm alignment are so reproducible that I don't need to set it up each time - just fit the bit and bolt the arm on and I'm ready to go.
I typically use edging 9mm thick, so I can put a 1/4" radius on if I want to.
Sometimes after gluing and trimming the edging I veneer over the whole surface.  When I put a radius on the edge you can't see the join.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 12:01 PM »
I've applied solid wood edges to plywood shelves and drawers many times.

I rip a 1/4" strip off a board that's close to the thickness of the plywood. I glue the strip on using Titebond III and use blue tape as a clamp every few inches. I try to get one edge of the strip aligned with the top of the plywood. This leaves a little lip that has to be trimmed off. I've tried routers including the Festool trim router, but prefer a block plane with a very sharp blade set to take just a whisker off each pass.

I find I can get a near perfect fit this way. Using the block plane is slower than the trim router, but I avoid the tedious router setup. If I were doing a large number of shelves, I'd probably resort to the trim router.

Bottom line is that I love using a sharp and well tuned hand plane.
Birdhunter

Offline Alanbach

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 12:42 PM »
So first a disclaimer that although I am a Festool guy I also have a non FT router table as well as a Table Saw so I am not as experienced as some here with the all FT set up.

Having said that my methods for this are simple. I use nominal 3/4” hardwood and I cut strips that are as close to the exact thickness of my plywood as possible making sure that if I am off a bit the error is on the side of slightly too wide. My saw blade and technique will have to be good enough to achieve a nice smooth rip because those cut surfaces are going to become the top and bottom of your strip. With this methods the thickness of the strips will end up being the original thickness of the board (3/4” in this example). At that point I lay out the strips in front of the shelf to maximize gain matching and then I cut the strip to the width of the shelf and glue it up. I have a lot of clamps so that is not an issue for me. I always try to glue up within an hour of cutting the strips so that I don’t have to fight too much post cut movement in the strips. I work from one end to the other aligning the top surface perfectly so any overage protrudes on the bottom of the shelf. I always have a damp rag at the ready and remove the squeeze out as I go. I use pins if I have to and not if I don’t. I don’t sand the surface of the plywood shelf until after the strip is applied. After the glue is dry I remove the clamps and carefully sand the top. If you have sawn well you will have almost no overhang to sand and most of that should be on the bottom. That way if you do accidentally sand through the ply it will be on the bottom and not seen. With a little practice you should be able to control the Rotex to not damage the ply, just keep that sander moving constantly and use a very light touch. After that I either use a small bearing guided round over bit or I just round over the edges with the Rotex as I sand the mating surfaces.

Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 07:07 PM »
Lacking a planer and a table saw, milling the strips may be awkward.   Registration using a shaped profile isn't needed but some special effects can be achieved by using profiled bits.  Whether it's worth the hassle to you or not is another matter.  One slip when routing the profile into the plywood edge and you have to start over.   I had the Burgess Edge set for awhile.  It worked and the edges looked alright, but it was time consuming and nerve wracking to use.

Coils of 3mm and thicker solid wood can be purchased.  They're really made for edgebanding machines but considering the hassle of making your own edging without a planer you might consider it.

Online DynaGlide

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2018, 09:21 AM »
So continuing the discussion I have a material question. My desk is from IKEA and the veneer has worn through showing what I believe is particle board, no surprises there. The edge banded front has a 45 degree bevel both top and bottom. I like the look of this and am not sure what was done to achieve it.




Offline waho6o9

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2018, 09:24 AM »

Online DynaGlide

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2018, 09:26 AM »
Sorry I should clarify: both process and material. What kind of edge banding is used to achieve this? It isn't real wood as far as I can tell. PVC?

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2018, 09:31 AM »
Not sure

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2018, 11:34 AM »
Sorry I should clarify: both process and material. What kind of edge banding is used to achieve this? It isn't real wood as far as I can tell. PVC?

Most likely, it is PVC, trimmed with a bottom bearing 45 degree chamfering bit.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2018, 02:14 PM »
So continuing the discussion I have a material question. My desk is from IKEA and the veneer has worn through showing what I believe is particle board, no surprises there. The edge banded front has a 45 degree bevel both top and bottom. I like the look of this and am not sure what was done to achieve it.
[/img]

PVC edgebanding is made in thicknesses up to 3mm.  It's not cheap though so I'd be a little surprised to see it on a IKEA product.  I think they're using ..45mm on their premium cabinet boxes and something like 1.5mm on their slab cabinet doors.   You might be looking at a situation where the whole desk top is made and then coated - something like thermofoil perhaps.   Whatever it is, it has an embossed grain on both the top and edge.  If you can find a seam on the bottom that might indicate a material like thermofoil. 

In terms of getting a thicker banding on a piece of ply in a small shop so you can put a chamfer or roundover on it, lots of approaches work.   A pinner with glue may be the simplest... though perhaps the joints won't be as tight as you might get with clamps.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 02:22 PM by lwoirhaye »

Offline zapdafish

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2018, 02:50 PM »
don't know if it helps or not but I like hardwood edging both sides of plywood to help support against sagging.

Domino for alignment, handplane the top flush if needed. Roundover bit or sand the edges to something pleasing.

Cauls are great for clamping these kinds of glueups.
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline TXFIVEO

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Re: Adding a solid wood edge to plywood
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2018, 08:55 AM »
I do a lot of trimming with my OF1400 with a flush trim bit and the “clunky” arm.  Never had an issue gouging at the ends or the weight.  Unless you are making a 50 yard pass I don’t see how holding the 1400 is cumbersome in any way.  If it is I think its time to hit the gym.. [big grin]