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Tips for Building Better Built-Ins

Plywood is a great material for do-it-yourself projects like bookcases and cabinets. One disadvantage with plywood, though, is that the edges aren’t attractive, and really need to be covered up. The best way to do this is by adding wood edging. You can do this in a variety of ways, which we’ll show you here.

Get on the Band Wagon
Get on the Band Wagon An incredibly easy way to cover a plywood edge is with thin veneer “tape” called edge banding. Iron-on banding is available from woodworking dealers and home centers in several wood species, and is easy to apply: Just iron it on, and then trim the edges and ends flush. Banding covers the bare edge of plywood, but doesn’t offer a good option if you want to add a decorative profile.

A Solid Start for Better Edges
If you want to have more options for dressing up the edges of your plywood projects, cover them with edging made from solid wood. Solid-wood edging offers several advantages. First of all, it’s very easy to add solid-wood edging with the help of your Kreg Jig®. Just drill pocket holes along the plywood’s edge, and then screw the edging in place. Second, with solid-wood edging, you can then dress up your project by adding a decorative profile. To create most profiles you’ll need a router or a trim router, plus the appropriate bit. Here are just a few examples:

Fill in the Gaps This simple profile turns a 90° edge into a 45° edge for a crisp, finished look. A chamfer can be added to one or both edges.

Fill in the Gaps A roundover turns a 90° edge into a soft, smooth radius. Again, you can radius one or both edges to create different looks.

Classical Profiles
Fill in the Gaps With the right router bit, you can create intricate profiles that are used on furniture and molding. Commonly called "classical" profiles, these include the ogee, bead, cove, and a variety of others.

Another Rout for Solid Edging
If you have the Kreg Precision Router Table System or Benchtop Router Table, there’s another way to create edging that has a flush look similar to veneer edge banding, but with the advantages of solid wood. You can use edge-banding router bits (pictured below) to rout mating profiles in plywood and edging, resulting in an interlocking joint that’s sure to align.

Whichever of these methods you choose, adding edging will give your plywood projects a professional-quality appearance without adding a lot of expense.

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From Kreg and Woodsmith Magazine
2014 August Home Publishing

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