Should Edgebanding Need to be Filed by Hand?

Do edgebanded laminate parts require hand sanding, filing, or other touch-up for quality? January 19, 2011

My production manager has our guys filing (by hand) laminate work that has come out of our $30K Brandt edgebander. Does this sound right? Do people still file by hand using those large farmer files?

I'm sure they have better tools and much faster on the market. And shouldn't we be able to calibrate our edgebander for no filing once it is done? We spend a lot of time filing laminate jobs and it drives me crazy as a business owner.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
Fire your production manager! There should never be hand work required after using a good production edgebander. If he can't set it up, get a tech down to teach you.

From contributor M:
Generally a good tune up by Stiles can help, yet our edgebanding laminate might need an edge sand wipe, and face panels still need filing (hand trimmer) on commercial slab doors.

From contributor O:
Seems to me like it depends on the quality you intend to deliver. If you want production quality, set it up and let it rip. If your goal is higher end, a quick qc and filing is in order.

Your project manager should me judged by metrics and goals inline with your company capabilities, not the feedback from an open forum.

From contributor T:
We use a 1/16 inch roundover bit on a laminate trimmer. We never have to touch it with a file. For the parts that the laminate trimmer won't clean up, we use a utility knife razor blade.

From contributor L:
You shouldn't need to file laminate edgebanding! I would think even your small bander could do it correctly. Get the operator to set it up correctly or get a different operator. It's not rocket science. Switch buffer wheels to the type that look like scotch bright if you want a polished edge.

This has nothing to do with intended quality. You can get as good or better job off the bander as you can hand filing. Make sure your dust collection is good or your tracing wheels may bump over trimming junk. You are throwing money away filing. For face laminate, use the Amana "no file" router bits.

For those places you have to file, use real laminate files and change them fairly often.