Using the Filetti Guide

P. Michael Henderson

This short tutorial is intended for those people who have taken my veneering class.  In the class, we use a filetti guide to make decorative banding.  This is how the filetti guide is used.

The filetti guide is a piece of MDF about 24" long and perhaps three inches wide.  A rabbet is milled in each edge, starting with one 1/16" wide.  The other rabbets are 2/16", 3/16" and 4/16".  I mill these on my router table with a spiral bit.

To use the filetti guide, you need the guide, a straight edge, a veneer saw, and a piece of veneer (the veneer saw is not shown in the picture).

To use the filetti guide, slide the guide against the veneer so that the veneer is in the rabbet  selected.  Here, I'm using the 1/16" rabbet.

Then, carefully slide the straight edge against the filetti guide.  You want the veneer to remain fully in the rabbet on the filetti guide.

Next, remove the filetti guide.  The amount of veneer protruding from the straight edge is the size of the rabbet selected - here it's 1/16".


Use your veneer saw to cut off the piece of veneer.  I find that if I tilt the veneer saw slightly I get a better cut.  The amount of tilt shown in the picture is excessive - I was trying to take the picture and hold the saw at the same time.  Experiment until you find the best angle.

The result is an even width piece of banding.  The side of the banding that was against the saw will be rougher than the other side.  I sometime pull the banding against a sanding block to smooth the edge.

And that's all there is to it!