Tip: Clean up edge banding

When edge-banding plywood with solid stock, completing the corner joints can be a nuisance. Cutting off the jutting excess banding with a handsaw can leave scars, and sanding seems to take forever. Here's a way to quickly clean up that excess with a minimum of elbow grease and scarring.

Make the opposite edges of a scrapwood spacer block parallel to each other. (The exact width of the piece doesn't matter, but a few inches is all you'll need.) Now, set up your tablesaw fence to remove just a whisker more than the blade's width from the end of one edge, so it looks like the block shown in the drawing.

Without moving the fence, lay your spacer block against the fence and a piece of scrap against the spacer block, and push both a couple of inches into the blade. If the scrap makes contact with the blade, move the fence a tiny bit closer to the blade. Finally, set aside your test scrap, replace it with your edge-banded workpiece, and run the banding through the saw as shown. Touch up the end of the joint with a sanding block.
—Chuck Hedlund, WOOD® magazine shop manager

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