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Thread: Working with formica

  1. #16
    Yep....Watch that contact cement... if you touch down before your ready you will have some choice words to say....

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    395
    Personally, I would oversize everything. Use the contact cement to adhere the two pieces of MDF substrate together. Make sure it is very dry before sticking. then glue the laminate down with contact cement. If you can't spray it (which I assume you can't) then pour out a small puddle in the center and roll it out with a cheapo disposable roller. Again, glue both surfaces and let dry completely. Stick the P-lam and roll it out good with a J roller. Then use the table saw to cut it to size. Make your rough pieces well oversized to compensate for the out of square condition you will have after the glue up. To square it, cut one side, then put the cut side against the fence and cut again. now you have 2 parallel sides. Use a crosscut sled (or a miter gauge) to square the other 2 sides. Also I'd skip the wood edge and use a rubber T-mold like someone above suggested. There is very little chance you will end up with a dead-flat top if you apply wood edge to it, whether before or after laminating, and the goal for a router table is to be dead flat.

    Some of the other suggestions are good too, and there's more than one way to pull this off. I do laminate & commercial casework for a living, and this is just how I would do it.

    BTW, lacquer thinner is the best solvent for contact cement. Good luck!
    ---Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny---

  3. #18
    Thanks for the overwhelming response. I think I learned everything I needed to know here. Based on the responses, I am rethinking the hardwood edge. It was only for looks. The base cabinet will be kitchen quality with all raised panels, so I thought it would be a nice touch. Maybe I will just cover the edge with laminate also .

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oakley, CA
    Posts
    294
    A few years ago I did just what you are talking about. 2 layers of mdf glued together with normal wood glue, Formica brand laminate, and maple edging. After gluing the mdf, I cut it to finished size, then laminated it, then flush trimmed it, and added the edging with normal wood glue.

    A couple of things I don't see mentioned above. One, almost everyone mentioned cutting it with a table saw (since you asked anyway), but I cut it with my die grinder with cutoff wheel. Works very well, and smells WONderful. Next, I used the Weldwood brand of contact cement, and there are two types. Red can (oil? based), and green can (water based). They both work well, but I prefer the red can because it was easier to get spread evenly because it takes a little longer to tack. I usually use one of those 4" paint rollers when applying the cement. Also, I used dowels to keep the two pieces separated while aligning the laminate, but I read somewhere that someone recommended waxing them. I did that and it made them very easy to remove when needed with no adverse effects. I have also used unwaxed bare dowels and that worked too. Lastly, the recommended procedure is to start in the middle and work outward in all directions, and it is probably the best way to do it. But I started by aligning the laminate on the dowels, and then applied the laminate starting at one end and worked across an inch or two at a time using a j-roller making sure to eliminate all air pockets. I don't think I would have done it this way on a larger piece, but it came out great.



    Wayne

    P.S. I don't think I would use black again.

    20140713_092518.jpg

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    46,811
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Behrens View Post
    Maybe I will just cover the edge with laminate also .
    This is actually a good method for shop use because there's no possibility of catching anything on the edge. I think I mentioned that on my previous response. It looks clean, too, and any minor variations in the work surface you have from constructing it are masked when you route the edges of the laminate.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Whidbey Island , Wa.
    Posts
    893
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Behrens View Post
    Thanks for the overwhelming response. I think I learned everything I needed to know here. Based on the responses, I am rethinking the hardwood edge. It was only for looks. The base cabinet will be kitchen quality with all raised panels, so I thought it would be a nice touch. Maybe I will just cover the edge with laminate also .
    For a router table the hardwood S/E is a good idea, but Id recommend it go under the P. Lam
    top.
    I wrote about that in post # 3 or 4.

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