Applying Kuhn edging
Methods, glues and clamps to use. April 2, 2002
Can anyone give me advice on different methods of applying Kuhn beveled edging? Specifically types of glue and clamps? I've seen some three-way edge clamps that may work, but they are expensive.
I like using the type with the tongue on it. I glue above and below the tongue and use clear shipping tape. It stretches and pulls tight and you can shift the moulding up and down. Wipe the wood glue off with a dry rag. The rest comes off after you remove the tape with denatured alcohol. I wouldn't spend the money on the clamps - after you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. A lot of guys hate the moulding with the tongue on it and like the flat back better, so try them both and see which you like.
I think the key is the amount of glue - not too much and do not glue the tongue. A disk sander with set angle gauges helps with the joints.
I prefer using the type with the tongue, also. I use Franklin Titebond II glue and apply it to both surfaces, as the flakeboard edges suck in a lot of glue. I have used Bessey K-Body clamps and Pony bar clamps on 3/4" pipe and wood blocks to protect the bevel edge moulding. Clamp the moulding just tight enough to pull it in and squeeze out some glue. To cut the joints, I make up a backer board with a groove to fit the tongue into and cut them standing on edge with a power miter saw with a good quality sharp blade. If necessary they can be touched up with a stationary belt/disk sander with an angle guide or jig. It is important that the moulding fit tight against the backer board or you will get chip-out of the beveled edge.
We like using the flat back and apply it with tape stretched tight from underneath to top side (about 12" long). Try to keep the top edge exactly flush with top edge of plastic laminate and check back often - it can creep on you. We use a very damp rag to remove excess glue and then a dry rag immediately, to remove any moisture. When everything is dry we lightly file the 45-degree corner just to make things smooth. I found some very inexpensive 3-way clamps.
We have tried the beveled edgings with the tongue and without the tongue. (I prefer Wilsonart's Perma-edge, although it is not available in other brand's laminates). We have found that the tongue is stronger and quicker to apply. I haven't seen anyone mention the importance of keeping the work piece perfectly flat while routing the groove for the tongue. Otherwise, there may be high and low spots when the edge is applied. We also use strapping tape to hold the edge in place. Other responses for cutting and fitting miters are right on.
We like to use the edge with the tongue and follow most of the methods described above. When we rout the edge, we set up a router with a straight edge of about 12" mounted to it. This allows you to leave a little bit of laminate overhang to assure a tight-fitting edge. It also will make a straighter cut without chatter marks. We also do not file after, but use 320 sandpaper if the edge is too sharp.
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Comment from contributor P:
We do not want the unequal pressure of hard clamping to mar the finished edge. We must exert sufficient force to mate the surfaces... slight warping of edging considered. I use a large table to perform these functions, so that I can use folding wedges, one half screwed adjacent to the periphery of the coutertop, the other wedging against its mate to apply equal controllable pressure to the edge.
Hard clamps are cumbersom and often times actually exert too much force in inappropriate places. That causes buckling and a wavy edge. Less pressure more strategically applied yeilds a much finer end product.
I use the same wedges over and over. One side is drilled for the attachment screw, the mating wedge undrilled to use as a camping caul.
Individual wedge sets can follow even complex curves. And when necessary for a super tight radius, take the time to insert an additional fitted caul to mate the curve with the flat force side of the wedge.
Additionally, by using the large layout table I can elevate the top using presized spacers. This helps insure that any overhang desired is consistent.
Comment from contributor A:
I have used Perma-edge and Kuhn edge. The problem has always been the wait time on delivery. I now make my own edge. With a router table set up and a little trial and error, I can make 4 12' sticks in about 1 hour of actual work time (I let the sticks set overnight to ensure proper glue setting). It is much more efficent and saves a lot of money overall, plus you never have to worry about over or under ordering.