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Trimming Veneer?

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  • Trimming Veneer?

    Well...I built my first cabinet this weekend. Went really really well. I broke our the dado blades and everything came out perfect (I'm pretty new at this whole thing).

    The one snag that I kinda hit was when I sent to put a veneer edging on the front of the shelves. I ironed it on and it stuck well and then I used the veneer trimmer to get the long peices. But when I had to lop off the extra 1" or seemed to break more than it cut. Any suggestions on how to do this more cleanly next time?


  • #2
    Re: Trimming Veneer?

    Hi there,

    Get yourself a bastard file with one milled edge. You can use the milled edge to "saw" the veneer at corners or really at any veneered edge. I usually file the important edges even after using a laminate trimmer because at best you have a sharp edge that can be eased, and at worst you will find the trimmer has left enough of a lip that objects being slid back and forth may catch it and pull or break the veneer. If you can feel the edge of the veneer when you pull your finger across it toward you I suggest you file it to keep it safe.This is especially important on cabinet shelves.

    There is a bit of a learning curve when first attempting to file laminate or veneer but if you practice different angles and try to keep long easy strokes you will find the sweet spot. Remember to always file in the direction of the solid surface you have laminated--don't pull.

    Pretty much any part that can be trimmed with a laminate trimmer can be filed with just as good results if you are using a wood veneer.

    Good luck,

    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.


    • #3
      Re: Trimming Veneer?

      Score it with a fresh razor knife of if you have sharp chisels they will cross cut it cleanly. Very good advise on using the file to finish edges


      • #4
        Re: Trimming Veneer?

        It sounds as though you are talking about a razor blade style trimmer. They are fine for trimming the overhanging edges along the length of the boards but they will not cut across the grain. A regular utility knife, in at least 2 passes will cut it clean. It is best to cut it a bit long and sand (or file as others have said) until it is flush. I prefer sanding with a small block. You have to file with laminate, but veneer sands like wood. Just be careful, it is very thin.


        • #5
          Re: Trimming Veneer?

          Score across both the front and back a couple times with a sharp razor blade, using a straight edge to make sure you're right on the mark and you should be able to snap it off pretty cleanly. Then you just need to go back with a file and take out any sharp edges in the center of the veneer.


          • #6
            Re: Trimming Veneer?

            When I use my veneer trimmer for edge banding Im light at the end as in force so I dont get any tearouts after your off the wood and still using the same pressure it can cause that. I only leave about 1 inch on end or less.I use a sharp chisel in a downward motion but only go through %75 and then come from the other way so not to allow tearout.


            • #7
              Re: Trimming Veneer?

              Dont leave a lot of overhang--will cause too much leaverage when you try to trim it---make sure the clue has cooled before trimming and definitly score with a blade---I use the Olfa Blue blades--much sharper and holds edges longer. If your piece is not too big stand it up with veneer edge on table---using the table as a backing board while your trimming.