Doesn't make much difference in my opinion. Whichever way is easiest to
apply the whole strip is good as far as I'm concerned.
One thing I do prefer however is the type of veneer stripping. I've used
both the iron on type and the use your own white glue type. I believe the
use your own glue type holds better. It takes longer to install and having
some edge clamps makes the work go a lot faster. However, the iron on type
is easier to use. Both types work well and hold fine.
If it is a really nice table top, consider putting a real wood border around
it. Looks much better than edge banding.
Several coats of poly will give plenty of protection, but will look like
plastic unless you rub it out. Done properly, it will look like a high
quality hand rubbed finish that looks very professional.
One coat of poly thinned about 10% with mineral spirits
Second, third coats full strength, sand between with 320 grit
Fourth coat if needed
Cure for at least two weeks, four is better
Wet sand with 400 grit
Rub with pumice
Rub with rottenstone
Not only will a solid wood edging look better, it may prove more
durable. A thin veneer edging presents a sort of "sharp" edge when
something is dragged across it, say a sleeve of a jacket, and is more
likely to be caught and separated from the table top. A solid edging,
say 1/4-inch thick, with rounded edges, will present a softer, more
forgiving surface to objects which may drag across that edge.
On another note...
I like the iron-on stuff for shelf edging, but prefer a thicker solid
edge for table tops. The thicker edge can stand up to life's bumps that
a table top may see. It's also really easy to put a decorative edge on
the solid wood.
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