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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that winter is starting to settle in here in Alaska, I have several projects lined up. The first project is to create two large drop leaf serving tables for our church. These will be 4'x8' when the leaves are up and 2'x 8' when the leaves are down. I am planning on edge banding the melamine with oak to protect the edges and give it a nice finished look.

What I need are suggestions on how to assure a flush joint (not edge to edge but top surfaces) between the oak and melamine. If I were edge banding oak to oak it wouldn't be a problem, I would just sand the joint flush but melamine is a different story. Any suggetions or tips on how to proceed. Thanks.

Mart
 

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I have only used that iron banding so I don't know much about it.
I do remember that to insure it lined up right all I did was make sure the first 12" or so was lined up exactly where I wanted it then I just laid the iron to it and used my fingers to line it up just where I wanted it. I didn't use a straight edge or make a fancy jig or anything. Just went by feel and sight.
But the 3 or 4 projects I used it on came out nice and flush.

Maybe someone with alot of experience with it will come along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have mentioned that I am planning on using a band of solid oak 1.5" wide for the band. I won't be using the iron on stuff. These tables will take a lot of hard use and I am afraid the iron on stuff will end up peeled off in short order. Mart
 

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A router table with a flush-trim bit and some support jigging would do it.

You would run the edges vertically on edge thru the trim bit... would cut the edge flush with the top.

If you've already put the tops together in the table, then you'd have to do it by hand with a router & flush-trim bit... would be more tricky to keep the router in proper position during the cut... maybe with a jig connected to the router base, it would be easier.

You'd have to try it on some scrap...

EDIT:
The end of the bit would have a bearing on it that would ride on the main part of the table top... and would cut the trim off Flush to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No offense Tex, but I have all the equipment to do the job, plate jointer, jointer/planer, etc. What I really need is some tricks of the trade for assuring a smooth surface transition from melamine to oak. Mart
 

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Cur a shallow rabbet

in the oak banding equal to the thickness of the melamine. That will establish a depth and allow the use of clamps to stabilize it in place while you fasten it. By the way, how had you intended to attach it? I would suggest glue and pocket screws. You can back fill the pocket screw holes with white silicone caulking (assuming you are using white melamine). If you are at all inclined to be clever, you could machine the rabbet with a dovetail bit and then edge the melamine with the same bit creating a sort of locking joint. Too much trouble for me but then, I'm not holed up in an igloo for several months looking for some form of distraction. Best of luck.

Ed
 

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A very simple way is to follow what Joe described. Glue on the wood slightly high to the tops surface, and clamp. That's all you need to do to hold on the wood. Pocket screws through a thin edge of composite board is not a good idea. Routing rabbets will entail the pressure of holding the wood and top in position, which could go array. IMO, just glue and clamps.

You could do two edges at once, but if the setup is to intensive, do one side at a time and use a spacer block on the raw side to protect the tops' edge. When done trimming flush with a trim bit with a bearing, any further dressing to the wood can be carefully done with a card scraper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My plan is to biscut and glue the edges. I have tried banding melamine before with some home made jigs to keep the two surfaces flush with some success but not over this long a distance. Guess maybe I'll just use more clamps and jigs. Mart
 

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I second the use of a flush trim bit having a bearing. I just did this with melamine cabinets having mahogany face frames. The scraper idea (finishing up after flush trimming) is also a good one. Also, you can lightly run a chisel on the melamine along the seam to pop off any bumps of glue from squeeze out.
 

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We attach the edgeband on with about a 1/16" lip over you melemine surface, than place blue painters tape on the melamine surface and sand the wood until the tape starts to scuff. It gets you real close.
 
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