How To Edgeband Plywood
Another common topic for woodworkers is how to band the edge band plywood. There are many ways to accomplish this. You can iron on veneer edging, glue on a hardwood strip, and cut grooves in the plywood and mating grooves in the edge banding.
The are several ways to cover up the edge of plywood being discussed over at Woodnet Forums. The reason for the banding is two-fold, first to cover the unsightly edges of the plywood and secondly, in some cases, to add strength and rigidity to the plywood.
I have used different methods before, and for me it depends on the application. For a shelf or area that will not see much abuse or use, I have used iron on edge banding. One downside to this is it can be hard to locate the iron on type of all the different woods out there. The most common are readily available about most big box stores, but if you are working with Walnut, Cherry or other less common plywoods, the iron on banding might be something you have to order.
Most of the time though, I will use a thin hardwood strip of the same species of wood as the plywood. This adds strength to the plywood and will stand up to more abuse and use. For shelving, especially long shelves, a thicker hardwood strip is great for adding strength. You can glue this on or cut a variety of tongue and groove joints to add thick edge banding. Some router bit manufactures even make a special bit to cut angles in the plywood and the edge banding to give you a better glue surface.
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