Author Topic: Questions About Desktop Edging  (Read 1646 times)

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Offline Dan Clark

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Questions About Desktop Edging
« on: October 03, 2017, 11:22 PM »
Hi.  I'm building two adjustable height computer workstations and need some advice about the desktop edging.

The workstation is being build using these legs: VIVO Electric Stand Up Desk Frame and building the desktops.   Building the legs has been easy so far.   However, the desktops need to fit into a certain space and be comfortable to use while spending long hours typing. So buying standard desktops won't work well.   

Given that they are computer workstations, the top will be a nice WilsonArt laminate sheet on two 1/2" Baltic Birch sheets glued together to make a 1" substrate.   I've glued up a trial BB desktop to test the process.  Using contact cement glue the BB sheets together worked fine.   It's the edging that bothers me.

I want to put a 45 degree bevel on edge where my arms will be hit the desktops.    And two corners on one desk should be rounded (2" and 3" radius).   I see two possibilities for the edging:

Teak edge banding - I tried pre-glued teak edge banding.   Having never worked with edge banding before, my first try wasn't too bad except for some cracking in the round corners.  (See first two pics.)  BUT, I can't figure out how apply a decent 45 degree bevel without showing the underlying Baltic Birch.

Solid teak edge - The second option is to add a solid teak edge to the BB.  It would be something like 3/4"-1" wide and about 1" thick (same thickness as the BB substrate).  See third pic.   I think Dominos may work for strength and alignment. This appeals to me and solid wood would be easy to rout a 45 degree bevel, but I can't figure out how to create the 2-3" rounded corners.

Here is a YouTube video of what a laminate desktop with solid wood edges might look like:

I would very much appreciate any feedback on this project.   Any other edging options?  Any better ways to install the edging?

Thanks and regards,

Dan.

P.s. Since that I have a knee operation scheduled for November, 28th, these desks need to be done by the end of October.   (Since the desks will not have modesty panels, this would allow my leg to sit out straight on a stool or something.)

P.p.s. The subject was edited to make clear that the topic was about the desktop edging.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 09:50 AM by Dan Clark »

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Offline Laminator

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 02:29 PM »
One way that is fairly simple is to apply the solid teak edging to the BB substrate first.  Then radius the corners, then laminate.  After flush trimming the laminate top, route 45 bevel on the edge in a few passes, depending on how large a bevel you desire.  This makes an attractive, durable, and arm friendly edge.

Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 03:25 PM »
Applying solid wood around a radiused corner is not complicated, you'll just have to sweat the details of fitting the parts together well.  Another solution is to laminate the corners out of bent 1/16" thick veneers. Spring-back may be difficult to predict however.

Often how this is done with big solid wood edgings on things like conference tables is to make the inside veneered center panel angular, miter the edgings and cut/rout them to a rounded-off shape after.   

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 08:24 PM »
Laminator, lwoirhaye,

Thanks for the great feedback.  These solutions should work very nicely.   And given that the laminate will cover most of the edge, any mistakes will be mostly covered.  It looks like the only slightly tricky parts will be making the corner blocks and the edge wood line up properly.

Again, many thanks!!!

Regards,

Dan.   

Offline Laminator

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 09:02 AM »
I was thinking along the lines of applying the hardwood edges to the BB and mitering at the outside coners, then cutting the radius into the hardwood edges.  As an alternative, the corners can be cut at 45 (instead of radius) and it still makes for an attractive finished edge. 

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 01:02 AM »
Laminator,

Hi.   I think we're on the same page, but I'm not sure. 

I was planning on mitering the BB at a 45 degree angle and cutting a block of edging wood at the same 45 degree angle and connecting the two using a Domino or two.   That would give provide a nice butt joint for the edging pieces.   To get the curve, the corner would be radiused using a template on my router table.   Then the corner would be is continuous sweep of hardwood edging around the corner.   

As a final two steps, the laminate would be applied to the desktop and hang over the edge.   A vertical bit would trim the laminate to edge of the hardwood edging, following the sides and corner curve.  And finally chamfering the edge, following the sides and corner curve.   

I hope this makes sense.   Edit.  I decide to post a drawing.    The corner would would be radiused, covered with laminate, and then beveled. 

Thanks,

Dan.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 01:33 AM by Dan Clark »

Offline Laminator

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 07:34 AM »
That will most certainly work, and looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging - Progress Report
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 12:52 AM »
Things are progressing.    I'm creating a prototype to learn the process.   Lots of good lessons learned.  Like Teak is very oily, which makes sanding it a bit of a hassle - it clogs up the paper (even Granat to some extent).   

Below is a pic prototype of the radius corner.   It needs a bit more sanding, and then the laminate will be applied and trimmed.   Following that will be a 45 degree bevel and finishing.   

For finishing, I'm thinking of sanding to 180 grit and applying teak oil.   Another finish to consider? 

Regards,

Dan.

Offline ear3

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging - Progress Report
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 08:11 PM »
Looks great!  I'm not sure if it would make a difference, but is there a way to split the difference on the grain direction of the corner piece, so that it is midway between the perpendicular grain directions of the thinner strips?

Things are progressing.    I'm creating a prototype to learn the process.   Lots of good lessons learned.  Like Teak is very oily, which makes sanding it a bit of a hassle - it clogs up the paper (even Granat to some extent).   

Below is a pic prototype of the radius corner.   It needs a bit more sanding, and then the laminate will be applied and trimmed.   Following that will be a 45 degree bevel and finishing.   

For finishing, I'm thinking of sanding to 180 grit and applying teak oil.   Another finish to consider? 

Regards,

Dan.
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Offline Laminator

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 11:16 PM »
If you go with a small enough radius, you can just miter the edge strips themselves.

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 11:38 PM »
Ear3 and Tom,

Thanks for the feedback. I thought of aligning the corner grain like that, but decided against it because most of the corner will be covered with laminate.

One desktop will have two radiused corners - two and three inch radii.  The pic above is the three inch. The other desktop will have all square corners.

Regards,

Dan.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 03:29 AM »
Hi Dan

I started to read this and was about to offer so ideas but then I saw your most recent picture with the block corner - that looks really good and I encourage you to use that idea.

Nice piece of work.

Peter

Offline greg mann

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Re: Questions About Desktop Edging
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 02:08 PM »
Not sure which edge is the front in your picture but the corner block would probably look best if the end grain is on the side and the edge grain is on the front.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan