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View DBordello's profile

Assembly table work surface

by DBordello
posted 07-23-2015 10:49 PM


24 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#1 posted 07-24-2015 12:19 AM

Formica (laminate)

I covered my workbench with a full 4×8 sheet of white Formica and love it. The white makes it easier for me to find small parts, I can write/draw on it with pencil and it wipes right off, and dried glue pops right off leaving no trace.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DBordello's profile

DBordello

132 posts in 980 days


#2 posted 07-24-2015 12:23 AM


Formica (laminate)

I covered my workbench with a full 4×8 sheet of white Formica and love it. The white makes it easier for me to find small parts, I can write/draw on it with pencil and it wipes right off, and dried glue pops right off leaving no trace.

- gfadvm

This is a great idea. Where did you buy the Formica? Easy to work with?

How thick is it?

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#3 posted 07-24-2015 12:33 AM

Lowes or Home Depot has it for ~$50 for a 4×8 sheet. Glue it down with contact cement. You will need a couple of people to make it go easier as once you lay it down, YOU CANNOT ADJUST IT’S POSITION! If you have never done laminate, get some basic instruction on You Tube or ask a cabinet guy for help. It is really easy but you only get one shot at it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DBordello's profile

DBordello

132 posts in 980 days


#4 posted 07-24-2015 12:44 AM



Lowes or Home Depot has it for ~$50 for a 4×8 sheet. Glue it down with contact cement. You will need a couple of people to make it go easier as once you lay it down, YOU CANNOT ADJUST IT S POSITION! If you have never done laminate, get some basic instruction on You Tube or ask a cabinet guy for help. It is really easy but you only get one shot at it.

- gfadvm

Something such as this? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Wilsonart-48-in-x-96-in-Laminate-Sheet-in-Frosty-White-Matte-1573603504896/203592650

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#5 posted 07-24-2015 01:15 AM

Yep, that looks like what I call Formica (which is probably a trade name for another brand).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DBordello's profile

DBordello

132 posts in 980 days


#6 posted 07-24-2015 01:15 AM

Great.

Superior to MDF + Poly?

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 886 days


#7 posted 07-24-2015 01:49 AM

Gloss if your going to use laminate, IMO
No Miss Method:
I place 3/8×3/8 sticks on the surface (about 5 or 6 inches apart) then lay the laminate over the sticks.
This way you can line up the laminate where you want it, stick it down along one edge, lift the laminate, pull out all the sticks and roll it on flat.

wilsonart
formica
lamin-art
arborite
nevamar
pionite
abet laminati
lab designs
Just to mention a few off the top of my head….. Probably 20 more at that. :)

-- -

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#8 posted 07-24-2015 02:32 AM

Woodust, I agree totally and appreciate the concise tutorial on application. Not sure why I start in the center pulling dowels and rolling.

Yes, it is better than Poly: more scratch resistant, can write/erase on it, and the white really helps me see things better.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

699 posts in 3027 days


#9 posted 07-24-2015 02:41 AM

If you have an old venitian blind or mini-blind, take it apart and use the slats as spacers. You can often find them for free on Craigslist.

I’ve been using the same old blind for years to make laminate counter tops. If the slats are not long enough for the width of your table, just stagger the slats.

Just make sure the ends of the slats overhang the outside edge of your table so that you can pull them out one by one as you make contact between the laminate and the substrate.

Start at one end of the table and pull each slat as you go, one at a time and roll the laminate with a laminate roller. This will prevent any air bubbles to develop under the laminate.

Once the laminate is all secured, use a laminate trimmer or a router to trim up the edge. You can use a laminate trimmer bit or a profile bit to dress up the edge. I like to put a 30- or 45-degree bevel on the edge. This helps to prevent future delamination (or separation) of the laminate from the substrate.

I like to shoot lacquer over the wood edge banding to dress it up. You can clean up any over spray that gets on the laminate with a lacquer thinner-soaked clean rag.

Take your time and you will be very pleased with the end result.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 886 days


#10 posted 07-24-2015 03:42 AM



Woodust, I agree totally and appreciate the concise tutorial on application. Not sure why I start in the center pulling dowels and rolling.

Yes, it is better than Poly: more scratch resistant, can write/erase on it, and the white really helps me see things better.

- gfadvm

Andy, Starting in the middle works just fine.

I just did a receptionist desk top. I draw bolt the whole top together then laminate it. I am just use to starting at the edges so that I can seam the pcs together and get good tight seams as I go.

Good idea with the blinds Dave.

-- -

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 1090 days


#11 posted 07-24-2015 04:09 AM

Formica and contact cement as gfadvm suggested is the way to go. I got some free cutoffs and made a drill press table and it was nice. I used mdf and sandwiched it in Formica. Yummy.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2633 posts in 1234 days


#12 posted 07-24-2015 11:59 AM

I used several coats of boiled linseed oil/turpentine.
Glue comes off pretty easy, but in scraping off the glue, sometimes the surface gets gouged.
It also stains. That might bother some people but to me its just “character”.
I lay down kraft paper when gluing up panels.

I think long term, laminate will hold up much better and the glue drips just pop off.

But, the work can slide around a bit more than, so factor this into your decision.
I’m planning to redo my chop saw table and fence with laminate because I want it a bit more slick.

There is a product call Panolam I think saves you some time and money.
The laminate thickness is about like vertical laminate, but it has held up good for >10yrs as TS outfeed table.

As an aside, unless space prohibits, its best to have a stand alone assembly table.
I have found using an outfeed table as an assembly table will often prove to be a PITA in the flow of a project.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 984 days


#13 posted 07-24-2015 12:12 PM

+1 for plastic lam. Get a high gloss finish rather than a textured. Let glue dry and use a block of wood and a hammer to gently knock it off when dry. Done this tons of times. And you can coat it with paste wax. great for outfeed too.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4110 posts in 892 days


#14 posted 07-24-2015 12:50 PM

Ditto on the laminate. I’ve used it for my router table and my DP table. Rather than try to cut it to fit and line it up just right, I like to cut it 1/2” oversize in both directions then run the router around the edge with a flush trim bit. That way you get a perfect fit without the headache of cutting it precisely and positioning it perfectly.

I would also add that when putting it over MDF, I put contact cement on both surfaces. The MDF will absorb it so putting it on both surfaces “preps” the MDF. If you only put the CC on the MDF, it’s hard to get a uniform tacky surface over the whole area.

Finally, Lowe’s and HD have 1/8” hardboard with a glossy white laminate on one side that people use for dry erase boards. I’ve read several places where people use it instead of formica and like it. I’ve never used it myself but it’s only $15 a sheet so it would save a good chunk of change.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#15 posted 07-24-2015 01:42 PM

Kenny, I used that dry erase board on my router table. It looked nice but the finish wears off quickly exposing the MDF.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 984 days


#16 posted 07-24-2015 02:06 PM

one more on the plastic lam.
Cut a bunch of 3/4×3/4 sticks that are longer than the substrate. After you coat the substrate with contact cement lay the sticks on the substrate about 4 – 6” apart, then lay the cement covered plastic lam on the sticks. position, reposition…. Pull out a middle stick and STICK the lam to the substrate and work your way to the outsides. If you start from the outsides you could end up with a belly in the center. You only want a belly when you are placing one cut edge of lam against another and it is still dangerous. I have snapped the belly when trying to match edges.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 886 days


#17 posted 07-24-2015 02:13 PM


You only want a belly when you are placing one cut edge of lam against another and it is still dangerous. I have snapped the belly when trying to match edges.

- SirIrb


Been there done that.
The trick I use for that is..
I put a 1/8” pc about 3”- 4” from the seam. I match the seam up and press it down just enough so it stays. Then I press it down lightly on the other side of my 1/8 stick, continue to stick the rest of the top. Next I pull out the 1/8 stick and it gives me just enough bubble to push the seam tight and flatten without “snapping the belly.
(hope that makes any sense)
makes for good tight seams.

-- -

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 984 days


#18 posted 07-24-2015 02:21 PM

I have been out of the shop for so many years now that I am still trying to remember what we made the plywood cuts to for when I make my own cabinets. I left the industry in ‘99. But if I do ever do plastic lam again I will heed your good direction.

I have tons of FUBARs from when I was in the shop. One of the best was drilling a base door for the pull…on the wrong side. Hit the euro hinge. I only did that once. Also, ever hit copper when installing cabinets? I did that twice. Never a nice sound. Rushing water [quickly tighten the screw…please dont leak…run to the hardware store]

You only want a belly when you are placing one cut edge of lam against another and it is still dangerous. I have snapped the belly when trying to match edges.

- SirIrb

Been there done that.
The trick I use for that is..
I put a 1/8” pc about 3”- 4” from the seam. I match the seam up and press it down just enough so it stays. Then I press it down lightly on the other side of my 1/8 stick, continue to stick the rest of the top. Next I pull out the 1/8 stick and it gives me just enough bubble to push the seam tight and flatten without “snapping the belly.
(hope that makes any sense)
makes for good tight seams.

- woodust


-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 886 days


#19 posted 07-24-2015 02:26 PM


I have tons of FUBARs from when I was in the shop. One of the best was drilling a base door for the pull…on the wrong side. Hit the euro hinge. I only did that once. Also, ever hit copper when installing cabinets? I did that twice. Never a nice sound. Rushing water [quickly tighten the screw…please dont leak…run to the hardware store]

- SirIrb

I have a few hundred myself…lol
Never knew you could release laminate with lacquer thinner when you stuck it crooked.
Chipped off a whole top (about 2×7) with a putty knife in chunks, then had to buy more laminate…..
(school of hard knocks, I’ve had many, many lessons :)

-- -

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 984 days


#20 posted 07-24-2015 02:41 PM

Also, lesson learned: Plastic lam is an inexact science. Lay it generously over the edges, dont try to make it line to line.
And the lacquer thinner, man, that is the stuff. Also, if you are just covering existing plastic lam with new, belt sand the dog crap out of the existing to give it something to bite into.

My shaper FUBARs are the scariest.

I have tons of FUBARs from when I was in the shop. One of the best was drilling a base door for the pull…on the wrong side. Hit the euro hinge. I only did that once. Also, ever hit copper when installing cabinets? I did that twice. Never a nice sound. Rushing water [quickly tighten the screw…please dont leak…run to the hardware store]

- SirIrb

I have a few hundred myself…lol
Never knew you could release laminate with lacquer thinner when you stuck it crooked.
Chipped off a whole top (about 2×7) with a putty knife in chunks, then had to buy more laminate…..
(school of hard knocks, I ve had many, many lessons :)

- woodust


-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1594 posts in 1178 days


#21 posted 07-24-2015 04:00 PM

Trim with a carbide downcut spiral bit to prevent chipping and tear out.

Melamine is the proper product material name I think you are looking for. I laminated my assembly table top with it, as well.

I prefer Baltic Birch plywood for flat work surfaces. MDF is not very strong, messy to work with, hates moisture\humidity, and very dangerous to your health.

Good luck.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View DBordello's profile

DBordello

132 posts in 980 days


#22 posted 07-24-2015 04:16 PM

It looks like my home Depot doesn’t haven’t white in Stock. A bit surprisingly, they will ship it. However, I don’t see glossy as an option, but I will keep looking.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2633 posts in 1234 days


#23 posted 07-24-2015 09:39 PM

HD isn’t the only place you can get it.

I buy all my laminate from a laminate supplier.
They will usually sell to the gen public.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2444 days


#24 posted 07-24-2015 09:40 PM

Mine isn’t glossy and it has worked fine.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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