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Applying ABS edging to kitchen cupboards

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  1. #1
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    Default Applying ABS edging to kitchen cupboards

    Having just had a quote for my new kitchen which is way above anything I could afford, I'm considering making at least part of it myself. Notwithstanding the issues with cutting melamine MDF on a non-scribing saw without chipping, I'm wondering if it's practical to apply ABS edging yourself without the fancy banding machines that the professional cabinet makers use. Has anyone tried this? If so, what are the issues? I understand that the professionals use a hot melt glue process.

    I guess for the carcasses I could buy pre-edged melamine MDF, but it's the doors that I'm more concerned about.

  2. #2
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    If you want to use the 2mm thick edging, you can glue it on with either epoxy, polyurethane or even contact cement.

    Last time I did some I used Selley Urethane Bond and that worked just fine...but I think it works out as considerably more expensive than Techniglue/WEST/Botecote epoxy or even a big bottle of Durabond Polyurethane.

    Get a roll of iron-on edging for the carcasses. "Cotton" setting. Note that the sole of the iron may end up getting scratched especially if it is teflon coated.

    For minimising chips while cutting, masking tape on the top side of the panel can help, or cut oversize and then run the router around the edges to get it to final size (this gives you wickedly sharp edges on the melamine and I really recommend gloves when handling the panels after this...otherwise it can be like getting heavy-duty paper cuts!!)

    A bit of care, masking tape and a good blade will give you a cut edge pretty much equal to, or better than, a thundering big dimension saw with scribing blade.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that advice, which was very helpful. I notice on the Laminex site, they claim that the 2mm ABS edging can be wrapped around corners. Would you recommend doing this or put the 4 edge strips on separately with and overlapped join at the corners? I could see wrapping the material around a corner as rather difficut to get right with a manual glue-on job.

  4. #4
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    Never tried it...I'd suspect that you'd need a heat gun to help it make its way sharply around a 90 degree bend though.

    Give it a try without glue just to see if you can get it to work for you - although I have the thought that you'll end up feeling like you have too few arms to hold/turn/glue/clamp when the time comes to do it for real!

  5. #5
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    OK....here's my next question. I notice that ABS edging is available only in widths of 22, 29 or 38mm. Does this mean that applying it to a standard 16mm panel would involve machining it down after it's applied? I had assumed that it would be made to the exact thickness of the panel.

  6. #6
    A Member of the Holy Trinity journeyman Mick's Avatar
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    Edgebanding is always supplied wider than the board that it's to be applied to. There's enough things going on when applying the stuff without having to worry about getting it exactly aligned. Machines are fitted with trimmers to trim it flush (and round it over for the 2mm stuff). You'll need to jig up a trimmer or router in a horizontal table.

    Mick
    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  7. #7
    Golden Member arms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by journeyman Mick View Post
    Edgebanding is always supplied wider than the board that it's to be applied to. There's enough things going on when applying the stuff without having to worry about getting it exactly aligned. Machines are fitted with trimmers to trim it flush (and round it over for the 2mm stuff). You'll need to jig up a trimmer or router in a horizontal table.

    Mick
    normal trimmers and routers run too fast to get a good finish from abs edging and end up as melted plastic on your job,you will need a special cutter these usually only have one wing with a cutter and a dummy cutter on the other for counterweight
    kind regards
    tom armstrong
    www.kitcheninabox.com.au
    Flat Packed kitchens to the world

  8. #8
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    I've never had a burning/melting problem with mine (standard Makita trimmer router)...but I do have a four flute roundover bit for doing it. My problem is getting 30 meters worth of electrostatically charged tiny PVC shavings out of my hair afterwards!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Splinter View Post
    I've never had a burning/melting problem with mine (standard Makita trimmer router)...but I do have a four flute roundover bit for doing it. My problem is getting 30 meters worth of electrostatically charged tiny PVC shavings out of my hair afterwards!
    Hi there again MS. I've looked around for a 4-flute roundover bit, but can't see one. Can you let me know where I could get one?

    Regarding the burning/melting issue, most modern routers are variable speed....so why not just slow it down?

  10. #10
    1K Club Member Master Splinter's Avatar
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    Don't know what brand it was - I picked it up cheap at a sharpening place when they were selling off all the sharpened but unclaimed jobs; it was specifically stated as a laminate bit. Personally I'd just do a test glue up and see how a normal bit goes.


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