Best way to edge plywood book shelves?


Old 07-07-05, 04:37 PM
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Best way to edge plywood book shelves?

I'm making a plain set of shelves 6' high and 6' wide, from 3/4" oak plywood. The edges of the top, bottom, sides, and shelves will all be exposed. I'm wondering what others have found the best way to cover the edges. I have used 3/4" nailed-on trim, and heat-glued laminate. Not really tickled by either.

What have others found satisfactory, that doesn't require special tools or equipment?


Old 07-07-05, 06:04 PM
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If by 3/4" trim, you mean store bought moulding, then I can make a suggestion for home made edging, otherwise you covered all the simple ways.

Other expensive ways would include T-moulding (vinyl than fits in a slot).
Old 07-07-05, 07:55 PM
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I have always cut wood to match and glue and tack it in place. IMO it looks a lot better than the 'tape' they sell to cover the edge. If you are using oak plywood use oak wood to finish the edge. should look great.
Old 07-08-05, 11:48 AM
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Depending on the type of wood that was used for the top/bottom of the plywood (birch, fir, oak, whatever) and its finish grade you can always make your own trim edging to cover it. Buy some clear stock at a lumber yard, and rip it to the same thickness as the plywood (use a scrap of plywood to set the fence on your table saw).

Also I'm a huge fan of biscuit joining. If you have the luck of having access to one (or rent one) that's what I would use to attach the trim to the plywood. No nails. Measure out lines along the edge of the plywood and trim piece that are anywhere between 7" and 10" apart, and match each other. Make sure your trim piece is thick enough to accept (probably) the smallest bisquit they make ("00"?), and adjust the biscuit joiner to cut slots in the centerline of the plywood edge on those lines. Turn around and do the same to the trim piece. Buy some biscuits that match to the slots you just cut, put some glue on both edges of the biscuit, put them in the slots, and put the pieces together (they'll go together like a couple of lego pieces). Clamp them evenly together and let them set over night. The next morning you can sand down the rough edge to the seam, and it'll look like you bought the plywood pre-made with a finished edge. The results are amazing.

I biscuit join all of my for my interior/exterior window trim, and use it to make compicated 90 degree joins where dove-tailing is out of the question (like how they make drawers for cabinets). It's one of the best tools I have ever bought besides my router. You just have to have a wide range of clamps.
Old 07-11-05, 01:38 AM
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I have found a decorative trim that I have been using at my own house for projects just like you have mentioned. The best description I can give is it has a rope look to it. The back is flat. Its wood and comes in 8ft lengths. $5 and some change at Home Depot.

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