There is no structural advantage in edging MDF and quality plywood, but particle board and laminboard should always be edged whatever finish is to be applied. The reason for edging MDF and plywood is therefore largely aesthetic, the most obvious example being in order to match face veneers; but if the piece is to be sprayed in colour, this is not necessary at all, although plywood edges would need to be well sealed to prevent the plies showing through.
Solid edges do not require tongues if they are kept to a maximum of 5/16 in (8 mm) thick (Fig. 178); anything above that should be tongued and grooved.
Edge veneering is widely used throughout the furniture industry, but it means near razor sharp and vulnerable edges, and is a practice which is incompatible with quality. It can only be legitimately used in quality work when cross banding is required for decorative reasons, and then the vulnerable edges should be capped with hardwood, either planed flush or left as cock/corner beads.
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