Edge banding is a wood trim product that provides protection for the edges of the plywood. It can be installed with a hot melt glue gun or by using a brush and liquid adhesive. This article will show you how to trim edge banding and which tool is the best to use.
Why You Need to Trim Edge Banding?
Before knowing the best method of trimming edge banding, it’s important to know what edge banding is and why you need to trim it.
Edge banding is a protective material that covers the edges of plywood in order to prevent damage. It’s available in various sizes and colors, meaning that it will match the look of your plywood. It is made of a thin layer of wood veneer that has been glued to a thicker backing material, usually consisting of paper or plastic.
When choosing the edge banding, you should always keep in mind that edge banding should be a little wider than the plywood edge. Otherwise, some part of the edge will remain uncovered that can lead to damage to the plywood. One more thing to consider when cutting the banding from the large piece, it should be at least 1-inch larger than the edge length. These will ensure that there is enough to cover the edge of your plywood.
You need to trim it because, as we have mentioned before, the banding should be a little bit larger and wider than the plywood edge.
How to Trim Edge Banding
There are lots of ways and tools to trim the edge banding. However, some are better than others because they don’t leave any visible marks or scratches on the plywood surface. Now I will show you some of the best ways to trim edge banding.
For a better explanation, I will divide the edge banding process into four different types.
- Trimming straight edge
- Trimming to the corner
- Trimming curved corner
- Trimming end edge of the Banding
You need different types of tools for the best result for every situation.
Trimming Straight Edge
This process is very easy and straightforward. There is no need for any special equipment because you can do it by using a simple Edge banding trimmer, utility cutter, chisel, sandpaper, and many more tools. But the best way is to use a sharp edge banding trimmer.
Trimming with other tools will require some working skills, but it can be done in very little time with an edge banding trimmer. For doing this, you just need a one-sided or double-sided edge banding trimmer. Place the trimmer on the edge of the plywood and at a 90-degree angle. Press the trimmer to the edge hardly and push it forward. You will get a perfectly trimmed edge with no marks.
If you want to use other tools like a utility cutter or chisel, then start from one side end. Place the chisel at the end and push it along the edge. But sometimes, this process will produce some unsmooth areas that are needed to be sanded. This process also requires a steady hand.
Trimming To the Corner
Sometimes you need to trim the edge banding after installing the plywood. This is usually done in a corner. You may need to reach into a small cabinet corner. In this situation, a sharp chisel is the best option to use. You find it difficult to reach with any other edge trimming tools. A simple chisel will do this job perfectly.
Trimming Curved Corner
Trimming the curved corner is the most tricky job of all. When trimming a curved corner, it becomes difficult to apply the pressure on the edge banding trimmer from two sides. The best-suited tools for this job are sandpaper and a one-sided trimmer. Not all the one-sided edge banding trimmers will fit in work. I found a circular blade edge banding trimmer works best in this difficult situation.
Trimming the End Edge of the Banding
It is a simple process to do. Just take a utility knife or a chisel and cut the edge of the banding. You can also use an end cutter for better performance and a nice-looking finish.
My suggestion is to use a professional edge banding trimmer to give your project a perfect-looking outlook. I have already written an article on the different types of edge banding trimmers how to use them. Just check it out, and you can pick the best one for your project according to budget, features, and need.
How to Trim Laminate Edge Banding with Sandpaper
Sandpaper is a very common tool for home DIY. It can be used to trim the laminate edge banding as well. The most important thing about the sandpaper technique is that you must use a sharp piece of sandpaper or paper with 60-grit. If not, then there are chances that you will damage your plywood surface.
Start the process by lifting one side of the edge banding up. If you are working with an already installed piece, then try to lift it from a corner or someplace where there is not much gap between the plywood surface and edge banding. Then cut the sandpaper into smaller pieces using scissors or utility knives according to your need.
Now place the sandpaper underneath one side of the banding and try to press it hard. Start sliding the sandpaper along the surface, following a straight line with enough pressure. The edge will be cleaned very nicely by this process without any damage to your plywood surface.
Always remember one thing, when you are trimming with sandpaper, do not push it upwards. It will lift the paper from the surface and may damage your plywood edge as well.
Know More: 5 Best Iron for Edge Banding in 2022
How to Trim Veneer Edge Banding with Utility Knife or Chisel
Utility knife and chisel can be used to trim the veneer edge banding. Before you start this process, make sure your tool is sharp and ready to use. If the blade is not sharp enough, it will drag your plywood surface and may damage it. The most important thing about these tools is that you should have a steady hand while trimming the veneer edge banding.
Start by cutting off the end of an already installed piece or lift up one side of the banding if you are working with an already installed piece. Now place your blade flat against one end of the veneer edge and try to cut it off by pushing down on both sides equally. If there is a gap between the plywood surface and edge banding, then cutting will become very difficult for this reason, always leave some gap between the blade and plywood surface.
Edge Banding Router Bit Review
Having a router is the best way of trimming edge banding. It will help you to do all types of cuts without any mess or fuss. You can use an edge routing bit for this purpose, but make sure that it’s used properly. Always keep in mind not to over-tighten its clamp as it won’t allow free movement of the router.
When you start trimming, then make sure that your tool is on a flat surface, and its depth guide should be adjusted according to edge banding thickness. For this purpose, always mark where the bit will be cut using a pencil or marker before starting the process. Once done with adjusting the setting of the cutter in the proper position, press down the switch firmly and push the tool forward. If you are using a plunge router, keep in mind to push its body firmly against the workpiece to keep it flat on the surface and cut perfectly with accurate results.
Best Plane for Edge Banding Trimming
Edge banding is just like any piece of wood, and it can be trimmed using a hand plane as well. For this purpose, you need to have an adjustable sharpening jig so that the blade angle is set properly for making cuts. You should use proper pressure while trimming edge banding. Otherwise, your cut will not be smooth enough. If you are not getting the desired results, then try to practice more for making perfect cuts.
Trimming edge banding using a hand plane is time-consuming and tiring, but it’s worth giving a chance just because of its accuracy and smoothness. The main disadvantage of this process is that the blade will become dull very quickly, so avoid this method if you are not an expert in using a plane.
If you are not using an edge bander that contains automatic edge trimmer inside it then this is a very important article for you. I hope you liked this article about the best way of trimming plywood edge banding. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions!