Attaching Hardwood Edges to Panels

Here's a handy tip: use pocket holes and screws for edging panels with solid wood, and mate the pieces using tongue-and-groove joints. November 19, 2006

We are currently working on a project that has a large number of raised panels, approximate size 36" x 96". We need to glue hardwood edges to flakeboard panels with veneer on them to create the raise on the panel. Does anyone know of any clamp system that would allow you to clamp all four edges on the panel at the same time?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor J:
We started something new in our shop. For our banded raised panels (veneered panels with an applied tongued raised wood banding), we bought an automated pocket hole machine. We started using it to fasten the tongued wood banding to the veneered panel that has a groove around the perimeter to accept the tongued banding. We pocket screw the wood banding to the panel and use pinch clamps for the mitered glue joint. It was successful so far in 5 projects that we have completed. Saves us from having all those bulky clamps and fighting the pre-raise edging wanting to roll up and down due to the clamping pressure. For raising edges after applying, we removed the screws and tested to make sure the raise did not cut into the screw pocket. It works for us and since we bought the pocket hole machine, it seems to find a new use weekly.

From contributor I:
Now why didn't I think of using pocket screws? Even if only on two sides. I've been using splines for alignment, bar clamps and my own clamps for the corners. Pocket screws would certainly eliminate the cluster, even if used on only two opposing sides. Thanks for the tip.

From contributor S:
Do you need to fill the pockets before veneering?

From contributor E:
As for the pocket hole, we use this only on wall panel systems - the hole is in the back of the panel and not seen.