Minimum Laminate Radius

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Forum topic by greg48 posted 1330 days ago 2527 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View greg48's profile


281 posts in 1389 days

1330 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question laminate

I’m building a simple play table and chair for my grand daughter; I wish to laminate the top and sides of the tabletop with a laminate. Question is: can I bend and glue the laminate around a 1” radius corner, or should I plan to make the radius larger? My table overhang is 3” from the leg/apron and the tabletop thickness is 1 1/2” around the perimeter.

-- Greg, No. Cal.

6 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1309 posts in 1441 days

#1 posted 1330 days ago

It is doable for sure. If you are using a standard grade lam. (.065) You will be happier with a 1 1/2 inch min. radius. You will also want to use a heat gun or at least a blow dryer on high to warm up the area to be bent and warm alittle beyond the tangient point as well. You may also want to sand the backside (bend area) to thin it up a bit. NOTE: A typical kitchen counter top with radius corners will usually be a 1 1/2 R. Without heating you might crack 3 out of five attempts using standard grade. Results do vary with manufacturer of lam. Good luk JB

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 1803 days

#2 posted 1330 days ago

Like cabmaker said—it’s doable with with horizontal grade but you could go with verticle grade which is 1/32 but I would stick with the 1 1/2” radius or you’ll run into the cracking issue

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2406 days

#3 posted 1330 days ago

We did it all the time by using a heat gun. Keep the gun moving and make rub stick. Take a 3/4”T X 1 1/2”W X 8”L piece of oak and make a gradual taper on one end about 2-3” long. Use this to rub the laminate around the corner. Use a wider piece of laminate and rout off the access.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Kjuly's profile


302 posts in 1917 days

#4 posted 1329 days ago

Hi Greg,
Heating the laminate is pretty easy but do a few test runs on scrap material because you can over heat it and end up with bubbles and cracks. As mentioned above….keep your heat gun or hair dryer moving.
A trick is to use paraffin wax as a heat indicator. Using the wax, make short lines spaced about an inch apart, the length of the bend.
As you apply the heat, the melting wax will give you a good indication on your progress.
Mineral spirits will easily clean off the wax.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View greg48's profile


281 posts in 1389 days

#5 posted 1328 days ago

I wish to thank you all for your response. You have saved me many hours of trial & error learning as well as some poorly chosen words that I would regret. Thank you all again

-- Greg, No. Cal.

View Nomad62's profile


706 posts in 1590 days

#6 posted 1325 days ago

1” is a tight turn, but doable. It may be a good idea to steam it up some to soften up the fibers.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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