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post #1 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Veneer Tape Question

Hi Everybody,

I'm building a trunk out of red oak plywood and originally planned to use trim to cover up the plywood edges. The thought of using veneer tape has sparked my interest though. I've read good and bad reviews and wanted to know what some of the cabinet makers on here thought. Is it worth it? Is it a hassle? Will I get the same stain color and finish as the red oak ply?

Any advice, techniques or recommended brands would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 04:47 PM
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I have only used this once, to cover the edges of a birch plywood top for a computer desk. I used the iron on style.

Easy to apply. I was able to get the stain to match. There is a slight glue line which I notice, but others would not likely notice.

Take care when cutting the ends. Cut a little long and carefully sand back to fit.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 05:23 PM
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The pre-glued hot melt tape works very well. Lay on the edge with a hot dry iron and move slowly, following with a wood block to continue to press down. Depending on where you buy it, it will be at least 13/16", possibly 7/8". If it's only available in certain lengths...like 8', you will pay too much. If you can, buy it on a continuous roll. I find the best way to trim the length edges is just with a mill file.

Lay the file on the plywood, and tip the front of the file up slightly, so there is a slight angle. Use the edge of the file in a push only stroke with the handle of the file leaning in the direction of your movement. IOW, you don't want to file into the grain, but rather you are rasping (breaking it off), with the edge of the file...on the the grain. I could show you in 5 seconds, but it's harder to describe. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick.

Using a trim router with a flush trim bit can catch the grain and tear it out, or, it could fold the veneer down. You can trim the ends with a combo square and a sharp utility knife, or use a flatbed paper cutter. To make a fairly invisible seam between two edges, they can be scarf cut. For butt edges, trim the mating edges at a slight angle so the veneer has a very thin edge meeting the other edge.

It shouldn't need any sanding other than just to clean it up from being handled (body oils and such). It will take stain and finish very well.





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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman
The pre-glued hot melt tape works very well. Lay on the edge with a hot dry iron and move slowly, following with a wood block to continue to press down. Depending on where you buy it, it will be at least 13/16", possibly 7/8". If it's only available in certain lengths...like 8', you will pay too much. If you can, buy it on a continuous roll. I find the best way to trim the length edges is just with a mill file.

Lay the file on the plywood, and tip the front of the file up slightly, so there is a slight angle. Use the edge of the file in a push only stroke with the handle of the file leaning in the direction of your movement. IOW, you don't want to file into the grain, but rather you are rasping (breaking it off), with the edge of the file...on the the grain. I could show you in 5 seconds, but it's harder to describe. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick.

Using a trim router with a flush trim bit can catch the grain and tear it out, or, it could fold the veneer down. You can trim the ends with a combo square and a sharp utility knife, or use a flatbed paper cutter. To make a fairly invisible seam between two edges, they can be scarf cut. For butt edges, trim the mating edges at a slight angle so the veneer has a very thin edge meeting the other edge.

It shouldn't need any sanding other than just to clean it up from being handled (body oils and such). It will take stain and finish very well.




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Thanks guys for the detailed answers. I'll give it a try using your tips.

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post #5 of 16 Old 03-17-2013, 12:13 AM
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I'd say that if you want a quality end product, skip it. It's a cheap shortcut method to cover the edges of sheet goods, and I cannot count how many cabinets I see where those veneer taped edges are chipped or peeling, and look lousy. I used it on the first couple of melamine kitchen cabinet jobs I did about 18 years ago. By my 3rd or 4th year, I would no longer use either of those products.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-17-2013, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
I'd say that if you want a quality end product, skip it. It's a cheap shortcut method to cover the edges of sheet goods, and I cannot count how many cabinets I see where those veneer taped edges are chipped or peeling, and look lousy. I used it on the first couple of melamine kitchen cabinet jobs I did about 18 years ago. By my 3rd or 4th year, I would no longer use either of those products.
How do you cover the edges?
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-17-2013, 10:00 AM
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The iron-on veneer tape works really well however if you are going to get into it I would recommend you purchase the iron made for veneer tape. The newer irons like you iron clothes with don't get hot enough to properly heat the adhesive. If you have access to a iron that is 30 or 40 years old it would probably work.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-18-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mengtian View Post
How do you cover the edges?
I use solid wood edges, typically 1/4" thickness. If less visibility is desired, I'll go as thin as 3/32", but only if necessary. It's still more durable than tape. A kitchen cabinet job is expensive. Kitchen cabinets typically get used a lot and bumped into and banged around, unless you don't actually USE your kitchen. Are the front edges REALLY the place you want to short cut? How do you think that edge tape will hold up after 10 years of kitchen use? How about after 20 years? You may not own the house at that time, but don't you think it would be a horrible waste for subsequent owners to tear out your cabinets because they look lousy due to damaged edge tape? I've seen it done. We all have our buttons regarding quality workmanship. This one's mine. I see edge tape, I think, cheap work.
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-18-2013, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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It's not for kitchen cabinets, it's for a small plywood chest.

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post #10 of 16 Old 03-18-2013, 08:45 PM
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Small chest that will be around a long time. Solid wood edges using lots of glue. Tape sucks for longevity and durability.
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-18-2013, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The iron-on veneer tape works really well however if you are going to get into it I would recommend you purchase the iron made for veneer tape. The newer irons like you iron clothes with don't get hot enough to properly heat the adhesive. If you have access to a iron that is 30 or 40 years old it would probably work.
I use a http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-C520-Gizmo-Crease/dp/B0001LB9TO travel iron I picked up a few years ago for doing canvas work. I set it on 4.5, as 5 is too hot and tends to burn the wood if you don't keep it moving. It's small and easy to handle, and still does double duty as a travel iron when we need one. It even does steam for taking out wrinkles:)
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHNOIMONFIRE View Post
It's not for kitchen cabinets, it's for a small plywood chest.
Whoops, sorry. I got distracted reading several kitchen cabinet threads. Nonetheless, I still would not recommend taped edges. My biased opinion, of course.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
I'd say that if you want a quality end product, skip it. It's a cheap shortcut method to cover the edges of sheet goods, and I cannot count how many cabinets I see where those veneer taped edges are chipped or peeling, and look lousy. I used it on the first couple of melamine kitchen cabinet jobs I did about 18 years ago. By my 3rd or 4th year, I would no longer use either of those products.
There are different types of "tape" edging. It could be paper, PVC, or wood. Some of the printed PVC types look exactly like wood. The durability of the edging could depend on how well it was applied. A poor installation may leave some of the edges heavy, which can get caught and pulled.

If the edging is dressed with a file as well as a laminated plastic edge, there wouldn't be much risk. The flat edges are less likely to be subject to damage under normal use. Applied correctly the "taped" edges aren't that visibly obtrusive. One might say that an added " of solid wood could be a visual dislike as an "add-on" edge to cover plywood. In reality, a solid wood edge can show signs of careless use, and there's more of it to dent and tear. And, it's much harder to install and repair than a taped edge if that becomes the case.

You are entitled to have the opinion that a taped edge is "cheap work". As far as craftsmanship goes, I would rather see no thickness running around the edges and that glue line that an add on edge has.





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post #14 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The iron-on veneer tape works really well however if you are going to get into it I would recommend you purchase the iron made for veneer tape. The newer irons like you iron clothes with don't get hot enough to properly heat the adhesive. If you have access to a iron that is 30 or 40 years old it would probably work.
You just had a bum iron. You may not iron clothes, but irons have an adjustment with a little lever to make the iron hotter. It's right on top of the handle on many irons...you can't miss it.

It doesn't take that much heat to apply the tape. I've used a hair blower one time on the job when I didn't have an iron to use. A regular household iron, any iron (unless burned out), will apply enough heat. The length of a household iron plate is much longer than a veneer iron, and will work much faster IMO.




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post #15 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 08:39 AM
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I'll just throw this out since I haven't seen anyone mention it. I used stick on wood edge banding (no iron needed) and it worked well.

I built this vanity and the door and drawer fronts were edge banded cherry plywood. (sorry picture isn't great) I did not feel like purchasing an iron for such a small project. And the wife wasn't letting hers go down in the woodshop. So I found this stuff on Rockler and for the most part the reviews were good.

I peeled off the backing and carefully applied it to clean and lightly sanded edges. Firmly pressed it down with a block of wood. Then I trimmed it with a utility knife and new blade. It took stain and poly just like the rest of the vanity and has held up fine after 6mos. Only time will tell long term. But I would happily use it again if the project called for it.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 08:45 AM
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Then I trimmed it with a utility knife and new blade.
I suggest using a mill file instead of a knife of some sort. A blade can catch the grain and dig into the tape. A file OTOH is a safer way to get a very smooth edge.





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