Shelf Edge Treatment
From the original questioner:
Thanks. That's a good tip. I think I'm going to try something like that before I try the edgebanding.
From contributor J:
I tried the wooden tape edge, plastic self-edge, etc but finally settled on a 1" wooden strip stained, finished like the cabinets. I did this for a couple of reasons. I saw that most of the other shops in our area were not doing this and it does look good, so it's a selling point for me. The other thing is, I always had 1"+ rippings leftover when sawing up face frame stock. I never really had a good use for this waste stock. Now I size them to 1", round over both edges and use them on shelves. It really doesn't take that much time.
From contributor E:
It depends on what kind of cabinets you're making and where your quality of product is. If I'm doing a custom kitchen, then it's 3/4" stock edgebanded. If it's more of a built-in or an entertainment unit, it's 3/4" or 1" thick stock with solid edging, which is usually a little thicker. For example, 3/4" stock with a 1-1/4" solid edge. Then you can add some kind of detail to the solid.
Being a custom cabinetmaker means you get to try different ways and go with the one you like to make, and the client likes to have. Try a couple shelves in various configurations and see what happens.
From contributor B:
I'm building boxes and shelves out of 3/4" pre-finished maple ply. I'm ripping 3/4" stock to 5/16" and planing to 1/4". I spray 3 coats of clear to the front and the 2 edges. I glue these to the pre-finished shelves, and I've got a finished shelf. I think it looks a little better than edgebanding tape, and I know it holds up better. Everything on the inside of the box matches. In a cabinet with glass doors, everything is finished to match the outside of the cabinet. On a large open bookcase, I'll use a nice molding - usually something 1 1/4" wide - glued to the front edge of the shelf and stained to match.
From contributor F:
On my adjustable shelves, I use matching hardwood, 1" x 3/4". I glue and clamp them on using Alum Bar Clamps. It's faster than peel and stick, and without nails, there's no putty work. Then using the stroke sander, I sand them off flush. A lot slower than an edge bander, but the customers believe you're the best thing since sliced bread, having nice shelves versus taped edges. Also, 40" wide shelves don't sag. I don't do this for tract homes, but for all other custom jobs.
From contributor S:
For speed, I like T molding (the plastic stuff with a spline that fits in a routered groove). For shelves, it's just about as fast as waiting for my edge bander to warm up. It also has a thicker look than edge tape. It only comes in a few colors, though. Have a dedicated router setup and it's quick and easy.
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