Rounding Off Sharp Laminate Table Corners

A craftsman gets advice on softening the pointy corners on some pre-school furniture. July 18, 2008

I have a set of rectangular tables that are being used in a nursery school classroom. They are laminate tables. The corners are squared off and sharp. Is there any way I'd be able to peel back the side laminate, put a round corner on the table, and then re-laminate the edges?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor E:
I'd make new tops. If the top has a band nailed on then laminated, I would not do this. I would only try this if you can get vertical grade edge strips. My Wilsonart dealer sells them in 12' lengths. I'm assuming you want to do 4 vertical corners. Remove all edge strips. Cut your radius corner on your top. Leave 1/16" to trim off with router. Cut a pattern piece (router guide) of the radius. Put a straight cut router bit in your router. Set depth so the top of cutter is just below the bottom of the laminate. Now the fun part. You'll have to figure where to clamp your radiused pattern so that the bit will under cut laminate (just enough to tuck the edge strip under top laminate) and give you a nice transition to straight edges. Once trimming is done, glue on vertical edge. Trim top and edge bottom.

From contributor M:
I agree with what contributor E said about not trying this on a top with a nailed on edge, but if it is a single layer or built up top, it should work. But to make it easier, I would pull off all the edging, round the corners, trim the overhanging laminate flush, and then groove and apply T-moulding. T-moulding is available in many different sizes and colors, and is much more forgiving when rounding corners than laminate is.

From contributor E:
It's my turn to agree with contributor M. T-moulding would be so much easier.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all the responses. Now I have an idea of what it will take! What a great resource!

From contributor S:
I agree, t-molding. Besides, it will be easier to install and more durable than a laminate edge. A nursery school? Those tables will get the crap beat out of them!

From contributor C:
I agree with the T-moulding, but suggest 3mm PVC.