Edgebanding Melamine

I’ve been working on a drawer unit for the drillpress (from an idea I got from Professional Woodworkers Supplies).  The basic plan can be seen in a podcast/video recently (the sketch), and I have since completed the unit (the subject of another video around here somewhere – coming to an iTunes store near you shortly).

I’ll have another post with more details tomorrow.

As part of the construction, I decided to use melamine (to fit in with the Pro Drill Press Table). Of course, once you cut melamine, you are left with the core showing (either particle board or MDF, depending on the cost), so covering that is definitely required.

You can buy iron-on melamine edging typically from where you buy the melamine itself, and it isn’t particularly expensive.  It has a heat-activated glue on the back, and that is where the household iron comes into play.

Iron-on Melamine Edging

Iron-on Melamine Edging

FWIW, the same technique is used when using veneered sheets – edge banding in all sorts of different timbers can be purchased.

Here I have cut the edging slightly oversized (lengthwise).  The banding is already wider than required for the project, so that makes ironing it down easy (when hot, the banding can slip and move easily, so it would be easy to end up with the banding not matching on an edge if you were not careful).  Once stuck down (I use the iron up pretty hot, with steam turned off), it sets in a few seconds.  You are then able to trim the banding to the final size.

First, I trim the ends to length, using a sharp hand-plane blade.  Next, I run the same blade down both sides of the melamine to cut the banding to the right width.

Plane Blade

Plane Blade

I use a slight shearing action, so rather than chipping at the banding, the action is slicing.  I also always do the stroke towards the body of the melamine (rather than up towards the edge), to prevent any tendency of the banding to break out.

Slicing Action Along the Edge

Slicing Action Along the Edge

This I find produces a very clean cut, and flush finish.  There are actual edgebanding trimmers available commercially, but I find this process very quick and easy anyway, and produces a finish that would rival the commercial version.  I tend to hold the blade flat against the side (as seen here), but have, on occasions, held it at 45 degrees to produce a chamfer on the edge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: