how do I wood trim a laminate top ?

I want build a few laminate top coffee tables and trim them with 3/4" x 1 1/2" maple. I'm not sure how to add the maple.
------------------------ ::::: ------ "laminate" :::::: "maple" ============ ::::: === "MDF" :::::: "maple" ::::: :::::: "maple"
My first attempt was to lay down the laminate and then add the maple edging. The problem was the maple was a bit proud of the top of the laminate. There is now way to make it exact and I didn't want it lower than the laminte. So I used a trimmer to get it flush with the top. This was extemely diffiult as I needed to balance the router on the 1 1/2" edge and it cut into the laminate and also gouged the maple.
So what is the exact methood of doing this? I don't see how the trim can be added first as I could never get the laminte to fit exactly in afterwards. There must be a trick, but I'm just not gettin it. Does anyon know it?
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I trim the edges of the MDF using 1x2 material (oak, maple, cherry) first. My favorite method of attachment is pocket screws. I can easily get the edging to line up with the MDF and any small variance is easily removed by sanding. Then I apply laminate over the whole top including the hardwood edge. A quick pass with a V groove bit in the router (with guide bearing) puts a nice 45 degree bevel around the edges. I use either shellac or wipe on poly to finish the hardwood edge.
D. G. Adams
On Wed, 09 Jan 2008 16:36:36 -0800, jerrythesurfer wrote:

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Yep, that's the standard technique. Just one think I'd like to add: I prefer to line up the wood banding just a tiny bit above the surface of the MDF, then take it down exactly flush with a scraper. That way, by intentionally starting out slightly high, I don't have to worry about having any low spots. And the scraper works faster, and leaves a smoother surface, than sanding.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 9 Jan 2008 16:36:36 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

D G had it right. Apply your edging first then put on the laminate (it can be a little larger than the finished top) and then rout the edge with whatever cutter you like.
Mike O.
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Thanks for the tip, but if I understand your solution it will a wood profile that has a chamfer. I want wood edge to be flat (parallel to the laminate) on top with a probably a small round-over to remove the sharp edge (see my simple diagram in the initial post). For my desired profile I don't see how it works if I add the laminate over the top of the wood edge. Am I missing something?
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On Jan 10, 8:54am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yours is a request I get all the time, especially in commercial work.The answer, to put it as succinct as I can>> it's a bitch. Other than the Lamello Cantex Ergo, there really isn't any way to do it other than a more tedious method which I will attempt to describe. http://www.lamello.com/en/products/special-power-tools/flush-milling-machine.html There is a wonderful video on that link which explains how this thing works. I'm lucky in the sense that a friend of mine has one of these and lets me borrow it from time to time.
The tedious method goes like this: You attach the wood edge onto the face of the substrate and leave the wood slightly proud ( a bit more than the thickness of the laminate you're going to use PLUS a layer of masking tape underneath that temporary strip of laminate. That strip is your gage. Use a spline or biscuits , pocket screws are much more difficult to control. Just make sure you're a little bit tall. With the temporary piece of laminate (plus masking tape underneath) butted against the back of the wood (in place where your 'good stuff' is going to be) you use a hand plane to level the wood to the height of the laminate. You can use a beltsander with a fine grit , but you must be much more careful. Then remove the temporary piece of laminate and apply the tape in behind the wood edge on top of the substrate (This takes on the temporary thickness of the contact cement which will be there later when you apply the real laminate) Finish the wood as you will, sand and coat and stuff, just make sure the edge where the laminate will be stays sharp and crisp. When all is dry and clean, apply masking tape to the top of the wood so cement won't hit it and apply laminate with contact cement. The end result should leave you with the wood a RCH hight, but that is WAY nicer than the laminate being higher which looks like crap. Clear as mud? MUCH easier to do that it is to describe.
Keep in mind, that after 32 years, and the last few years using that Lamello machine, that project is still difficult to do perfectly.
Have fun!
r
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Your right, sounds way hard. I'm not surprised now that I'm having such a difficult time at it. I just finished my 2nd top. Here is what I did. Installed laminate and trimed to edge of MDF. Installed (glued) 3/4" maple banding a bit proud (1/64 or so). After after the glue set. I trimed with a hand plane. I clamped a fence so the plane blade would not touch the laminate. After doing I sanded but before I did I taped (masking tape) the edge of the laminte where it contacted the maple. It is a as close as I can get to a 100% perfect job. Good news is the table are going into a very industrial setting. For example, the floors are plate steel and the table legs are 1/2" black pipe.
I have some beautiful custome made laminte pieces in my house with bull nose cherry banding. I guess the person who made them has a special machine or has some secret technique or is amazing skilled.
Jerry BTW, l very much appeciate you input. Sounds like you very much know what you are talking about.
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On Jan 10, 12:29pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just sketched this up for you, I hope it makes sense. It's just another way. Just make sure the laminates on the helper piece and the finished top are at the same altitude.
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/TrimBit.jpg
Watch out for grit getting caught under the skates and scratching your laminate.
The skates I use are 3/4 x 3/4 x 6" UHMewhatever *G* Make sure the leading edge of the skates are sharp and nor rounded as debris will try to slide under the skates. You want to push the debris away with the skates, not ride on top of it.
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Thanks to all.
Doug: that is exactly what I'm doing -leaving the maple edge a bit proud and then planing it level to the laminate. The problem is the blade sometimes shaves the laminate too. A scraper sound like a decent idea as it is easier to see exactly where the blade is.
Robatory: I like your vertial mill approach. I still would want to keep the tool off the laminate as any minor variation could cause the cutter to hit remove laminate material.
As I mentioned, I am using a low angle plane to get the maple level with the laminate. I clamp add a fence on to top so the blade cannot wander onto the laminate. Work OK.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You misunderstand. That's not what I said: "line up the wood banding just a tiny bit above the surface of the MDF" -- not the laminate.

Which is why I trim the edge band before applying the laminate.

Yes, but you still run some risk of scraping the laminate. A sheet of paper laid on top of the laminate, right next to where you're scraping, will give it some protection: if the scraper touches the paper, you'll see the paper move, and hopefully that will give you enough warning that you won't scrape through the laminate.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Jan 10, 5:51pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I agree, it'd be tricky. Especially with these new-fangled printed laminates which have a white back-ground which shows up really bright when you file through the coloured top layer.

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On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 05:54:10 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't think you are. If you want to see the entire 3/4" top edge of the maple binding then you just about have to apply the maple after the formica.
Mike O.
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