I am about to make some laminate tops with rubber T-mold on the edges. The top of the T-mold never quite aligns perfectly with the laminate surface, so we trim the T-mold, and it appears dull. Is there a way to bring back that shine to the trimmed areas, and what do you use to trim the tT-mold? What is the trick to getting the butt joint where the T-mold meets to look and align perfectly? I get it close, but never perfect. And do you pin the T-mold from the bottom as I do?
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor G:
I use the iron out of a hand plane to trim it. Butt joints are always a problem for me too. I don't pin it; I use melamine glue to hold it.
For trimming we use Olfa knives, then we use a deburring tool meant for metal to soften the edge. It takes some practice, but the cutter on the tool swivels so it can go around corners, etc. With the rubber T edge I am not sure there is anything you can do to make the finish look the same. Maybe try a fine file with a light touch and see if it helps. We do pin the T edge, especially on inside curves. We found our staff was a little messy with glue.
1. Buy MEK solvent (methyl ethyl ketone) at your local hardware store. With gloves on, dip a rag in it and rub the dulled areas. MEK will "melt" the edgeband and make it shine.
2. Cut the edgeband a little long to make a good butt seam. Stop hammering the spline in when you are about 6" from finished. Put the loose end of the T-mold in the slot and drive the spline in, working backward to where you stopped. This backfeeding technique leaves a tight seam. Plastic tubing cutters work well for cutting T-mold.
3. We never pin T-mold in, and we never glue it. If the slot is the right width, there is no need. A slot too wide could also be the cause of your problem with alignment. We don't need to trim our edges.
Also, get a Danair air hammer if you do much of this. It hammers the edge in without bumps and does a much nicer job. I wouldn't touch T-mold without one.