Edge-Banding Without an Edge-Bander

For an occasional job, regular glue and clamps can work for applying edge-banding. December 14, 2005

I build all face frame cabinets, but have built a couple of frameless uppers just using my biscuit joiner and light edge banding. A contractor Ive done quite a few cabinets for wants me to build two small frameless laminate vanities. Im right in the middle of pouring concrete for my new shop, but they could get along without me for a little while. I can get the laminate laid up, but my edge bander is just a small bench top air. I really think these should have a more substantial band, since theyre in a fairly high traffic area. I mentioned that to my contractor friend, but hed really like me to build them for him. When my new shop is completed, I think Ill look into frameless a little more, but for now I could use some suggestions as to how I could get by on just these two vanities.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor C:
You can and should glue the laminate to the edges. Cut it into strips slightly over-width, and either contact cement them on or use waterproof wood glue and clamp them in place as you would a thin wooden trim piece. After the first piece dries, test it for strength just in case. On a low volume job, this will work just fine.

From contributor F:
Be sure to use solvent based contact cement for narrow strips of laminate like the carcass edges. Water base is fine for large areas, but doesn't have the grip to permanently hold a narrow strip.

From contributor T:
Thank you. I really don't care for doing the laminations, because I don't have to do them that often, but sometimes it's just necessary to bite the bullet and do it to keep folks happy.