Edge treatments are strips of solid wood, veneer, or commercial band­ing applied to the visible edges of ply­wood shelves; they conceal the panels’ plies, creating the illusion that the shelv­ing is made of solid wood. Commercial edge banding is available by the roll in a wide variety of wood types, colors, and widths. To install, simply cut off the length you need, set it in place, and heat it with a household iron to melt

the adhesive that bonds it to the edge of the shelf.

Although a little more painstaking to apply, shop-made wood strips offer several advantages over store-bought banding. They are often less costly, and you can finish your shelf edges with any available wood species, cut to whatever thickness you desire. A vari­ety of solid wood edge treatments is shown below.



Springboard clamp for edge gluing

For thick edge treat­ments, you might need three or four clamps to hold the piece in place while the glue dries. A single clamp will do the job just as well if you use a spring­board. To make the device, cut a gentle curve—/4-inch-deep at its center—along one edge of a 2-inch-wide board the same. length and thickness as the panel. Center the panel on top of the bar clamp and set the concave edge of the springboard againstthe edge material. Using a wood pad to protectthe other edge of the panel, tighten the clamp until the springboard flattens againstthe edge.

Updated: March 9, 2016 — 10:16 pm