Wood Edgeband Failure
Wood edge bands are thin strips of wood or synthetic veneer that are applied to the unfinished ends of plywood and other products to give the look of solid natural wood.
In some cases, edge bands may come loose or fall off. This issue is easily fixed and usually avoidable with proper installation, however.
Wood edge bands can fail for a number of reasons. If the wood swells or shrinks beyond a certain point, the edge band, which expands at a different rate or not at all, can come loose. Edge bands may also fail if they are not applied correctly. For example, iron-on edge bands require a household iron to be hot enough to fully melt the glue. If the iron is too cool, the edge band won’t adhere properly.
When wood edge bands fail, they may first fail to stick to the wood with much strength. This leaves them susceptible to sliding out of place or falling off entirely if the wood is handled or objects are placed on or slid across it.
Corner peeling is a common sign that an edge band is beginning to come loose, though edge bands can fail in certain areas but remain attached elsewhere indefinitely. Edge band failure presents no dangers other than exposing the unattractive raw edge and potentially messy glue.
Repairing edge bands that fail is possible in most cases. In the case of hardwood edge bands, repair consists of reapplying glue and clamping the edge band material in place.
For veneer edge bands, inserting wood glue under the loose portion of the band may affix it where it is loose. If the edge band falls off completely, you may need to sand and clean the edge of the wood before re-gluing the edge band back in position.
Avoiding Edge Band Failure
Avoiding wood edge band failure is usually as simple as taking care in the application process. For hardwood edge bands, this means using a wood glue and leaving the material clamped in place overnight before trimming away the excess wood.
Veneer edge bands come with their own instructions based on the type of material and glue involved. In each case, however, your bands will be less likely to fail if you apply them to dry, sanded material. Fill any holes in the wood you plan to cover and sand it smooth before applying an edge band for best results.
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