1. Ensure the sawn edge is smooth and flat; deep saw marks and large voids will cause problems. Then, set a common clothes iron on a high heat setting (you can buy commercial edge-banding irons if you fear getting glue on your clothes iron, but they're not necessary for good results on flat edges).
Starting with any edge on the sheetgood, cut a piece of edge banding about 1/2" longer than the edge. (Large rolls of edge banding will have finger-jointed splices about every 8'. Work around these splices if they are noticeable.)
Center the edge banding on the edge, and with the iron apply heat to one end. Be careful to keep the banding centered with one hand as you advance the iron down the length of the banding as shown at left. Move the iron steadily so you don't burn the wood or melt the plastic.
2. When working with curved edges, heat the tape with a heat gun as shown at left. Heat short sections so the glue doesn't have a chance to cool too much before the next step.
3. Immediately after heating the adhesive with the iron or heat gun, press it down firmly for good adhesion. The iron normally presses the tape down adequately, but it's a good idea to go back over the banding with the back side of a chisel as shown at left.
On curved edges, use a hard roller as shown at right.
Allow the hot-melt adhesive to cool for a minute; then run your fingers along the edges of the banding to check for good adhesion. Reheat and rub down any areas that lift up.
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