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Edgebanding Tip: Reveal the Joint with Rabbets

Edgebanding without sanding: call attention to the joint rather than trying to hide it. Because you won't hide it.
March 19, 2018

One way to conceal the edge on plywood panels is with iron-on edge banding. It is a fast way to hide the layers and make sheet stock look like solid lumber. Sort of.

Gary Streigler is a trim carpenter who grew into a semi-custom home builder, but he still makes a lot of sawdust on his jobsites, and he still has some strong feelings about iron-on edge banding. He doesn't like it.

As a production-oriented carpenter, Gary devised a way to quicken the process of applying edge banding: forget about trying to flush the edges of the plywood and the hardwood strip, cut small rabbets in the top and bottom edges of the edgeband so that when the edgeband is applied to the plywood, there is a small reveal at the joint.

This eliminates the lengthy sanding process to smooth the two surfaces, and it adds a little flair to the cabinet.

But, Gary points out, he does have to take into account the 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch thickness in everything that he does to the cabinet.

Editor's Note: This tip is an excerpt from a nine-part series on building a Murphy bed.

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