I am just now getting into doing edgebanding. I tried the peel and stick stuff from Fastcap on the little kitchen I'm working on right now, which is only about eight shelves. I don't like it at all and the directions say that the glue dries fully in 24 hours so I waited 36 and itís still as wet as it was. So now I have ordered a roll of pre-glued. I had a hard time trimming the peel and stick stuff and was wondering if these little hand held cutters do a good job? If so, which one? They seem to all have mixed reviews. Some say that a trim router is best?
From contributor J:
If youíre manually applying and trimming the tape, the easiest method is to use pre-glued melamine tape with an iron to apply. Then use a razor to trim the ends by putting the panel tape down on a bench and following the panel edge with the blade. Then use the double side trimmer gizmo to trim the sides. They also have little gizmos for trimming the ends, but I have never used one so I can comment on how flush they actually trim it.
I always found the Fastcap tape to be a pain to trim because itís sticky and gums up the blades. I also find that it creeps back from being tight to the edge a little after trimming. The only time I use the Fastcap is on cabinets such as Lazy Susanís where you need to get in that notched area but thatís usually only two to four panels per kitchen, so I live with it.
A local guy here sprays his tape with contact cement, and the panel edge with the contact cement. He applies to full 8' rips, then trims the tape with a chisel, then will crosscut the panels to length. I now have an SCM bander, so I canít comment on his method, but he seems to prefer it to iron on or peel and stick.
Since you cannot easily apply PVC tape by heat without an edgebanding machine, try sticking it on with spray contact cement. Just stack up your edges together and spray together. For the tape, lay 8' lengths down side by side and spray together. A wide sharp chisel easily trims the edges and won't dig into the wood unless you lean the chisel over.
Comment from contributor M:
For trimming, I have found the Festool MFK 700 in Horizontal mode to be excellent for trimming the thinnest of edge banding all the way up to thicknesses slightly exceeding 1/2 inch. I have tried almost everything else that is available for small shops.