The Use of Lipping for Furniture and Interior Projects

Published: 23rd May 2011
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Lipping is a flexible industrial product used to improve the edging finishes on furniture or interior wooden structures. Most commonly it is made of wood, also known as a lipping veneer, but lipping can also be supplied in strips of edging tape consisting out of melamine, PVC and ABS. Such finishes are often used to disguise the base surface of a wood veneer board but can also be used to protect protruding edges such as corners from wear and tear.

Lipping is sometimes referred to as "edge banding" and is widely by DIY Furniture enthusiasts, professional carpenters and manufacturers. Application by hand is often performed by the DIY enthusiasts while professionals tend to favour attaching lipping with the help of specialised machinery.

In all cases it is a good idea to ensure that both the lipping and the edging surface are dry and clean to prolong the lifespan of the final finish. There are three methods to attach lipping by hand

Application of cement or glue to both the lipping and the target surface. Generally it is a good idea to source the adhesive from the same supplier or to use a brand of adhesive that comes recommended by the supplier.

Self adhesive lipping tape will come with one pre-glued side and applied directly to the surface. This is similar to some brands of wallpaper and you need to ensure both that the tap has been stored properly and is not too old.

Depending on the product sourced you may be able to attach the lipping with the aid of a common iron or a similar heat source. Quick tip using heat activated lipping materials is to buy a small travel iron to use exclusively for the application. Using your everyday home iron could be larger and more unwieldy. It is also good to keep in mind that sometimes the glue from the tape is accidentally transferred to the iron and that does not bode well for happy household politics. A layer of foil between the tape and the iron will also help protect the surface of the iron.

Furniture manufactures and professional carpenters prefer to speed up the application by using related machinery to attach and finish off the edging on their products. The lesser known vacuum-press machine and bag-press applicator are used for large projects and mass production. They are used to apply lipping to both curved and straight surfaces. When working onsite for small-scale projects the craftsperson may make use of a handheld device called an edgebander. Most modern edgebanders come with adjustable temperature and speed regulators as well as refillable hotmelt glue containers. The glue or adhesive selected will need to work well with the lipping material and storage considerations kept in mind. Large operations might also make use of custom straps to hold together large rolls of lipping tape.

Lipping is also easy to fit and cut into varying shapes for custom edge shapes for those not used standard board sizes. In these cases it is a good idea to use larger pieces initially and then to trim down the surplus material. This can be done by hand or with the use of an edge trimmer. An edge trimmer does exactly what its name implies: it trims off excess lipping from the edge of your products. It is a handheld unit and provides a speedy solution to creating a professional and neat finish.

Matching the appropriate lipping to piece of furniture or carpentry can be made easier by finding a source that supplier both veneer board and lipping products. In most cases they will be able to provide compatible solutions and who knows, you might get a trade discount.

Merenda UK manufactures quality Lipping in standard and custom sizes.

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