In Tricks of the Trade

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I make a lot of shelving from hardwood plywood, covering the panel edges with 14“-thick solid-wood edging. The edging, which is oversized in length and width, is trimmed flush with the plywood panel after the glue cures. Although the projecting edging can be routed using a flush-trim bit, it tends to tear out if there is more than about 116” overhang.

I find that, whenever possible, it’s best to saw off the overhang on the table saw by raising the blade about 12” above the table, then attaching a spacer board to the fence just above the blade using double-stick tape. I locate the fence so that the face of the spacer board extends 164” or so beyond the left faces of the saw teeth. Now, when feeding the workpiece on edge against the spacer, the edging will be trimmed just proud of the panel surface, leaving only a small amount of waste to remove by planing, scraping or sanding.

After trimming the long edges, I set up to trim the ends. This time, I raise the blade about 14” higher than the edging in thickness, then I clamp a thick spacer block to the fence a couple inches in front of the blade. I position the fence so that the face of the block is perfectly aligned with the left-hand face of the teeth. To trim the edging, I first butt the end of the workpiece against the spacer block, with the overhanging edging between the block and the blade, then feed the workpiece forward, trimming the edging perfectly flush with the end of the panel. Use a miter gauge to feed narrow workpieces. — Paul Anthony

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