For the closet organizer project, I’ve designed four cabinets that will integrate into a combined drawer base, shelf, and hanging rod system. I’ve chosen to use poplar solid wood edge banding applied to the exposed 3/4″ birch plywood edges. Poplar, and other stock hardwoods available locally come just slightly oversize of 3/4″, but less than 1″, and all of it wider than 3/4″ plywood, which is really 1/32″ less than 3/4″.

Once glued on, the edge banding stands proud of the plywood and must be brought level with the plywood surface to be finished. I attempt to glue one side close to the plywood surface, and run most of the excess to one side, but as a practical matter I find that there is some excess of edge band on either side, so both sides of the banding need to be leveled. You could use a belt sander to bring the edge banding into level with the plywood and risk sanding thru a veneer layer, but there is a better way, use a pattern bit on the router table. Here is how it is done:

The rough edge after glue up

Router table high fence is made up of 3/4″ birch ply, rabbeted on the bottom facing edge approximately 1/8 X 1 1/4, and secured to the router table fence using 3/4″ 10-24 bolts countersunk into the fence and Tee nuts that fit into the router table fence slots. Fence is about 12″ high since I’m making 16″ to 21″ wide component parts.

The router bit I’m using is a 3/4″ pattern bit with a bottom bearing. The bearing rides on the surface of the plywood stock, while the cutter blades trim the edge band down nice a smooth to very close to the plywood.

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The result leaves a nice, clean surface to surface finish, ready for sanding with just a random orbit sander to ready the stock for sanding sealer prior to finishing.
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