Joining a plastic laminate top

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Forum topic by jdieter posted 05-16-2016 11:34 AM 308 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 742 days

05-16-2016 11:34 AM

I’m building a “J”- shaped bar with a plastic laminate work shelf underneath the bar top the same shape as top. I can’t do it in one piece of laminate, so I’ll have a 12” seam across the long run of the J shape. I have the MDF cut and fit with dog-bone slots and draw bolts for a tight joint. There is no way to do the laminate after the shelf is installed. I’m using a straight flush cut ball bearing bit to trim the laminate. Do I file the laminate at the 12” seam or leave it sharp? I’ve only done a few smaller laminate jobs with no seams and I’m concerned I may create issues at the joint when I pull the two sections together with the draw bolts.

2 replies so far

View jbay's profile


699 posts in 317 days

#1 posted 05-16-2016 01:35 PM

I draw bolt the tops together dry. Fit the seams (leaving sharp edges) glue the laminate on while it’s dry fitted, then pull the tops apart. When you install it the seams should butt back together tight.

-- Many times my “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct.--

View shipwright's profile


7082 posts in 2216 days

#2 posted 05-16-2016 11:57 PM

Maybe I’m missing something but if you have access to the installed shelf then I would joint the laminate, tape the joint tight with stretched masking tape and install it as one piece after the shelf is assembled and glued. If you are using contact cement place the piece accurately a quarter to a half inch above the shelf on lots of sticks and when you are sure you are in position, remove them one by one and let the laminate drop into position.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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