Plywood banding clamping suggestions?

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
All,

I'm working on putting together a wall-hanging media center and I'm trying to figure out the best technique for applying hardwood edge banding on the ends of the long pieces. The top and bottom of my piece are ~90" long walnut ply panels that need to be banded on the short ends (~20") before I assemble the case - the problem is that I don't have any 8' clamps. Any suggestions for techniques to clamp the banding on while the glue dries?

One thing I had considered is clamping down the panels and a stop block, then using spreader clamps between the two, but I'm not sure that my squeeze-style quick clamps (the only clamps I have that are reversible into spreaders) will apply enough pressure and it will be fiddly to make sure the alignment of the banding is spot-on.

Any ideas?
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
When faced with a similar situation I made a set of clamps from 2x4 pine and tapered wedges.
You may have to buy a couple 8 foot 2x4 and hopefully you have scrap around for the rest.
Attach a permanent block at one end with glue and nails or a couple through bolts(I used bolts)
On the other end drill a series of holes fro adjusting the length, two inch intervals works well.
Then make two sets of matching wedges that you use to tighten the clamp against the end banding.
Gently tap both wedges until the clamp is tight enough. You can use a small spacer block if needed.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
When faced with a similar situation I made a set of clamps from 2x4 pine and tapered wedges.
You may have to buy a couple 8 foot 2x4 and hopefully you have scrap around for the rest.
Attach a permanent block at one end with glue and nails or a couple through bolts(I used bolts)
On the other end drill a series of holes fro adjusting the length, two inch intervals works well.
Then make two sets of matching wedges that you use to tighten the clamp against the end banding.
Gently tap both wedges until the clamp is tight enough. You can use a small spacer block if needed.
That's a good idea and of course it's nice to have around the next time I need it. Much appreciated.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
See this with a few ways to do it. Marc Spagnuolo uses painters tape to keep the edge banding in place while the glue dries. That's plenty of pressure and you won't need 8' clamps.

 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
See this with a few ways to do it. Marc Spagnuolo uses painters tape to keep the edge banding in place while the glue dries. That's plenty of pressure and you won't need 8' clamps.

Thank, Jeff. I've seen that video, but I have my doubts that it will be enough holding power for the 1/2" walnut banding that's going on the pieces. Any other ideas with a little more clamping force?
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Saw this in a WW magazine tips section. Take a spring clamp (orange clamp in above photo, Remove existing pads from end of clamp jaws. Cut a length from a bicycle inner tube, and place ends of tube over jaws, so the jaws are loosely connected. Then open clamp and press over edge banding so inner tube section pushes against edge banding, and set clamp in place. HD used to sell spring clamps (puke green color) for a buck each.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
1/2 is plenty sturdy enough to clamp, I did it last weekend with 1/4 maple edging. If you have pipe clamps, it is simple to screw them together to make a longer clamp. The resulting clamp will not apply a lot of pressure but it will probably work fine for this. If you have bar clamps, they can be linked by letting one clamp pull on the jaws of the other clamp.

I think tape will be enough to hold the edging in place until the glue sets. It will not allow you to bend the edging to follow the plywood, however. But hopefully you don't need to do that. The maple I used had a knot so the pieces were a little crooked. But I left most of it at 13/16 and just spent a little longer with the block plane to get it near flush. You do not need a lot of pressure to get a good joint with yellow glue (I use Titebond II most of the time) and the edging shouldn't see a lot of stress.

I have a few of the edge banding clamps. I think tape may put on nearly as much pressure. The jaws on the plywood will slip if you try to do much with the pad on the edge.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Awesome input from everyone, much appreciated. I'm going to take a look at some of those edge band clamps and see how affordable they are. It never hurts to add to the clamp rack.

Charlie, using my 18ga nailer and glue was my first thought, but I'm going to put a roundover on the banding and I definitely don't want to spoil a router bit on a misplaced brad.

Bruce, I've seen that spring clamp technique with the bicycle tubes and it's a lot more enticing than paying for the ones Rockler sells as "Bandy Clamps." $20 for two medium plastic squeeze clamps? Pass.

Jim, interesting that the tape puts as much pressure as the edge clamps. My banding is pretty straight and square, so not much pressure will be required to conform to the edge of the panel.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
"Jim, interesting that the tape puts as much pressure as the edge clamps. My banding is pretty straight and square, so not much pressure will be required to conform to the edge of the panel."

" I've seen that video, but I have my doubts that it will be enough holding power for the 1/2" walnut banding that's going on the pieces. Any other ideas with a little more clamping force?"

Why don't you just try the tape and test how well the edge banding stays glued to the box to confirm your doubts that it's not enough holding power?
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
If you can find blue painter's tape with a crinkly texture it stretches slightly and adds a little clamping pressure. I saw that on a FWW video about veneering, but I haven't tried it myself. It's on my todo list though.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Why don't you just try the tape and test how well the edge banding stays glued to the box to confirm your doubts that it's not enough holding power?
For sure, the plan is to make a test piece with some cutoffs using tape and see how it works before purchasing anything. And it's not that I don't believe that it works as others obviously use that technique - it just feels a little strange to use tape when clamping is the norm.
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
What Charlie said pin nailer and glue. The glue and blue tape also works well though
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
Regular clamps across the plywood with cut wedges placed between the clamp frame and the edge banding will also work
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Regular clamps across the plywood with cut wedges placed between the clamp frame and the edge banding will also work
I like this option as it removes the need for the spreader clamps, which are just one more place for misalignment to creep in.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I like this option as it removes the need for the spreader clamps, which are just one more place for misalignment to creep in.
The edge banding is sawn wider than the thickness of the edge that it's glued to so misalignment is okay. For example, your box could be 3/4" t so the edge banding could be +1/32" wider on each edge. After it is glued on the excess can be removed with a block plane.
 

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