Metal Edging for Oak Doors

Pros discuss the options for metal edge trim on sawn wood doors. July 3, 2006

I have a customer that wants a 1/8" thick metal edging (preferably stainless steel) around the 3/4" slab rift sawn oak doors. I know of the metallic looking edge banding but I don't think my customer will like the look of this. She saw the idea on some high end cabinetry from Germany. Can anybody suggest a good way to do this or know of a door company that does this type of work?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor M:
Does she want it polished or brushed?

From the original questioner:
She wants the same finish that would be on stainless steel appliances. Brushed I would assume.

From contributor B:
I'd try to steer her toward a softer metal as with stainless you are at the mercy of a metal fabricator. Doing it yourself in stainless may be emotionally rewarding but might not be financially.

I've seen pewter as an inlay on slab doors (look at or Google William Ohs, I'm not sure of the URL). If she would accept brushed aluminum you could machine that and sand it to 220, 320 or whatever grit you need to get it to a brushed look - it will be lighter than stainless.

Whatever you do, do a mock-up. If possible in your pricing call out these doors as an allowance. Tie your final pricing to acceptance of you final approved product.

From contributor D:
We use a 1 1/4 metal edge for our work surface tops in one of our products.

From contributor C:
The reason it is "high end" cabinetry is because of the stainless steel, and the requisite skill and sourcing that goes with it. Anything else is something else. If you substitute, be sure your customer understands the simulacrum is just that, and therefore less durable and likely to patinate, corrode and etc.

From contributor R:
How do you plan to attach? Or was that part of the question? And what shape - flat bar or half-round (or ovular)?

Here are a few of thoughts:
1) This is going to be expensive

2) Even though your doors are rift sawn, I suspect there will still be enough seasonal movement to cause havoc with the metal edging across the width (the ultimate cross-grain situation).

3) Fitting the corners will be tricky. With flat bar, you can butt with the visible joint on the top and bottom edges, but if you go with the more attractive ovular shape, you need to mitre the corners, or do a lot of fit-and-fiddle filing to do a butt joint. In any event, sounds like a difficult and expensive project.

From contributor J:
I second Contributor Rs thoughts on this one. I'm guessing the Euro cabinets she saw this on were P.B. or MDF with the stainless edging. I don't see any way to attach the stainless on solid wood doors as the wood will move seasonally and the stainless will not.