Introduction: How to Trim Edge Banding With Oscillating Tool (easily, Safely)
I've always loathed trimming edge banding. The existing methods were generally good, but had annoyances.
Enter: The Rigid Scraper Oscillating Tool Attachment
One day I was looking around the garage for some other means of getting the job done, and I saw the rigid scraper attachment.
I gave it a whirl.
It was fantastic.
The direction of blade movement (oscillating from side to side) eliminates many of the annoyances from other methods. And, the blade geometry leads to safe cuts without risk of gouging the wood.
Just let the back of the blade sit flat on the sheet stock and you'll completely avoid gouging.
Pre-Response to Other Methods
Inevitably, when I publish a new way to do something, people enlighten me with the typical methods. Therefore, I'll list some alternatives and give my (sometimes minor) reason for searching for another way.)
There are several already-great solutions out there:
- Router & flush trim bit: I get annoyed by all the sharpish chips that shoot off when trimming melamine edge banding. Also, for thinner boards, you've gotta pre-trim the edge banding to be close to the surface, else you get some larger chips and tearout of the edge banding.
- Sharp chisel: Great solution if you keep your chisels sharp. IMO this is a very great method.
- Block plane: Great if you keep your block plane tuned and sharp.
- Cheap trimming tools: These simply don't work very well, especially as they age and get dull.
- Utility knife: My quick go-to before the oscillating tool. Wood grain can catch and pull it too deep.
The Oscillating Tool Method is my preference that I have found to be:
- More convenient
- Low-risk - back of blade keeps it level and prevents gouging
- Low-mess - no chips
- Fast - No prep work necessary. Always ready to go. No need to sharpen the blade.
It's pretty straightforward, and I'll outline the steps & tips in this Instructable.
Step 1: Tools
You probably already have an oscillating tool, but here are the items used in this Instructable & video:
Though probably unnecessary...and perhaps frivolous, I've found a battery-powered oscillating tool with a quick-release blade lever to be a game-changer when doing remodeling projects. I have and love the Makita LXT. But, get one that matches your tool lineup, or be a responsible human and be content with a corded one.
Notice: I use affiliate links to help pay for some of the supplies used in my videos, tests, prototypes, and Instructables. I have a strong stance about how I will and won’t use affiliate links. Read more here: https://www.keithstestgarage.com/affiliate-usage/
Step 2: Trim It & Sand It
Trimming doesn't throw chips or shavings everywhere (in contrast to a flush trim bit), and that's pretty sweet. It comes off in one clean line.
Guiding Principles / Techniques:
- Keep the bottom of the blade flat on the work piece. Always.
- Don't push the edge banding outwards. I explain and show this in the video. You might as well make friends with the glue that's holding the edge banding on.
Finish with some quick sanding:
To quickly finalize this, use a sanding block to create a small micro-bevel and even things out. Tips:
- Stick some sandpaper to a flat block of wood at least 8" long.
- I have and love this seemingly everlasting roll of sticky-back 120-grit sandpaper
- Make a quick pass at a ~10 degree angle to smooth it.
- Make a quick pass at a ~45 degree angel to make a small micro-bevel.
This process is quick and simpler than text makes it sound. Be sure to check out that video.
Step 3: De-Gum Your Blade to Keep It Flat
The glue will cause your blade to get gummed up. Not a big deal.
Since the bottom of the scraper is used as a reference surface, it's important to keep the bottom of the scraper flat...which means no glue. Else you'll be tempted to angle it downwards and risk gouging your project.
Scrape it off:
I use a chisel to scrape it off. It works well when the blade is on, but be sure you observe the direction of the blade travel, and orient your chisel so the sides of the blade don't catch it. See the video where I show this. If uncomfortable, just manually scrape it off.
Step 4: Done!
If you have other ideas for trimming edge banding, list them in the comments!
Check out my other Instructables that I'm more proud of than this one!