Now that I've started on my columns, I've had to learn about edge banding - the magical process in which mere plywood is transformed into Ikea furniture boards. I wanted to share my methods with you, if you're interested, of course. Before we begin, I'd like to restate that I am IT person, with little (but growing) woodworking skills. So, this is new to me, and I'm probably doing some of this wrong. :)
Here's a sheet of plywood with an unfinished edge, resting on a stack of finished edges. This is what they in the biz refer to as the "before" shot, eh?
The tools I used in the process.
Set your iron to Cotton and warm it up.
First, I take my board and lay it between the two cans, so it's held up.
Pull a strip of edge banding (3/4" birch in this case) to length and cut it with a scissors.
I use painters tape to keep the roll from unraveling. It does a nice job not wrecking the wood.
Starting at one edge, heat the edge of the strip, leaving a little over the edge. Then, work your way down while guiding the strip to be centered with your free hand. This pass was about getting the strip mostly attached. There's no need to overwork it.
Come back the other way very slowly, about an inch per second. Trail the iron with a block and apply a lot of pressure to make sure the strip is nicely set onto the sheet of plywood. Usually, one pass is enough.
I always looked under the edge to see if there were any gaps before I moved to the next step.
Flip the board over, place a chisel at a sharp angle on the exact corner, and strike the chisel with a hammer to remove the surplus at the end. The harder you hit it, the further it goes. My record was about 11'.
Set the board down on the table, and clamp one end of it. This way, it won't slide around during the next steps. Where do you think you're going, board?
Using a sharp chisel, like the 1" I just bought, guide it along the board and shave off the excess. On the side that's not showing, I ran it pretty close. On the showing side, I was more cautious and left at least some to shear off at the next pass.
Here you see there's not much on this board that needs to be cleaned up.
This was my favorite part. The second and third passes were almost therapeutic. MMMmmmm, chisel-ly...with your little curly fries looking pieces of wood that curl up and the smooth finish, shaving shaving... mmm. What was I saying? Oh right...
Here's the nice cleaned edge.
Finally, I gave it a little sanding. If you have roughness or the edges are a little bit off, this is where you could sand away your problems.
On the showing side, you can see there's more left over after my initial pass with the chisel.
b'aaawwwww, look at that perty edge.
As promised, we're ready to build our Ikea bookshelves! Errrr, I mean, my columns. The this is the "after" shot, I guess
Each board took about 45 minutes to complete. I have to admit that I have a new found desire to buy an edge banding machine, if I did this more than just occasionally.
Here are a few bonus shots of my garage. I just cleaned it up!
I had a bunch of wood on pallets, so that van couldn't pull in. I just stacked them between the two garage door rails. There's not a lot of horizontal pressure there, and it works very well to get to different pieces of wood.
I put all of my tools on hooks! They were all over the house, mostly in the HT, so gathered them all up, grouped them, and hung them up. Man, it's so much nicer to know where everything is!
Until I build a work bench, I'm just using these two sawhorses. I spanned the bottom level for a shelf, where I put my hand power tools.
And you can see where my dog sleeps when we're gone during the day. :)
That's it! I hope you liked the pics.