This video of edge banding plywood demonstrates a technique for applying edgebanding that is great for the small or home shop.
Plywood and melamine-faced particle board are great because of their size, stability, cost, and ready availability over solid wood slabs. But how do you deal with the exposed edges?
Raw plywood edges don't accept finish very well and aren't very attractive. Worse yet, exposed particle board edges soak up moisture from the air. This can cause the edge to swell and eventually crumble apart.
A simple solution is to glue 0.5mm thick wood or plastic edgeband to the exposed, cut edges of the panel. This can be accomplished very quickly with an automatic edgebanding machine. The main drawback is that the equipment is very costly and really only practical for larger shops. It can also be glued by hand using contact cement. Hand gluing produces excellent results, but can also be messy and time consuming.
A great alternative to hand gluing or using expensive, automated equipment is iron-on edgebanding. The edgeband comes with a thin layer of pre-applied hot melt glue. As you will see in the video, a household iron can be used to melt the glue and fasten the edgebanding to the unfinished edge.
Any excess edgeband is then trimmed to fit the board. The result is an attractive and reasonably durable edge that is sealed from any moisture damage. Although the video demonstrates how to edge band plywood, the technique can also be used for applying plastic edgebanding.