Eagle America’s 2-Piece Edge Banding Bit Set, $39.95, promises a simpler way to edge band man-made materials like plywood. Does it keep that promise?
The set consists of two cutters, match ground. The bits have 1/2” shanks, and are not available with 1/4” shanks. The premise is that you’ll cut a negative profile V into the edge of the sheet stock with the bit on the right, then a positive profile V into the wood banding with the bit on the left.
The work must be done on a router table. Set up consists of two things: first, setting the height of the bit so it’s centered on the sheet stock. Second, locate the fence so that the V cut leaves two knife-edges on the sheet stock.
Swap cutters and machine the solid wood using similar set up parameters. Center the bit on the thickness of the material and locate the fence so the V cut comes to a perfect point. Note that it’s easiest and safest to machine a wide piece, then rip the narrow piece of edge banding from it later.
After ripping the narrow banding from the wide board machined in the previous step, glue it into the V. Flush trim the banding to the sheet stock as required.
Conclusion: I feel like I’ve glued MILES of 1/4” x 13/16” banding onto 3/4” sheet stock. And I always hate doing it. It’s hard to keep it centered and hard to clamp uniformly. This bit set definitely solves those problems. I would definitely recommend this bit for anyone who routinely bands sheet goods.
Set up is a little fussy, but not bad. It’ll take some test cuts to make sure the bits are centered on your stock, and a few more test cuts to make sure the fence is correctly positioned. The work is easier if the solid wood banding is 3/32” thicker than the sheet stock. That allows a little forgiveness on missing center. Feather boards on the router table are a must. If the material climbs at all during either operation, the cut is ruined.
Once the parts are machined, I love how easy it is to glue the banding on. There’s lots of surface area for the glue and, thanks to the V, the banding locates itself on the plywood, no manual centering required. When you clamp the banding you can space the clamps every 8” – 12” instead of every few inches, like you would with thin banding.
If you need to band four edges, for instance a door, you have a couple options. You can machine two edges, glue the bands in, then cut through those bands and the remaining ends to finish banding. Or you can make the V cut in all four edges of the sheet stock, make the banding pieces, and miter the banding to fit. I used the miter technique on a set of cabinet doors and it worked great, and looked great when it was done.
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