Al Breed replies: A veneer edgeband is not sufficient protection for an edge, in my opinion. I would veneer the top and then apply a solid piece of stock of 1/8˝ or more to the edge. This will provide more protection to the edge when it gets hit with something hard. A mere veneered edge will fracture whereas the solid edge might get dented but won’t break through to the ground.
Marty Milkovits replies: I would go with a solid wood edging at least 1/4˝ thick and then radius or chamfer the top edge.
DJ Delorie replies: For a veneered top, I suggest using a wooden trim piece instead of edge banding. This allows you to round over (or otherwise ease or decorate) the edge, and it protects the top veneer from chipping.
Remember to apply the top veneer first, and fit the edge trim to the combined thickness of the top. For maximum strength, cut or mill a slot around the edge of the top, and mill a matching tongue on the trim piece. Otherwise, if the trim is thick enough, use biscuits – don’t rely on glue alone to hold a trim piece on particleboard.
You can combine banding and trim by adding the trim along the front and milling any round-overs, banding the sides overlapping the ends of the trim piece, and using files to trim the banding to match the profile in the front trim. If you try to route the front trim after you apply the side banding, you’ll likely chip (or completely rip off) the end banding.
Use a durable finish on the top to protect the veneer. Replenish as needed.