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Laminate Sheet Advice - Need help

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 02-28-2011 05:16 PM 10451 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CanadaJeff

207 posts in 3072 days


02-28-2011 05:16 PM

Hey LJ’s

I am looking to make and install a countertop in a laundry room. The counter itself is actually larger than standard kitchen size so I am thinking about making the top myself. I saw at laminate sheets at Lowes and HD and would like to glued down a sheet overtop of the wooden counter, however I am planning to have a bullnose or Ogee type edge.

From feeling the Laminate sheet I am wondering how I can bend/mold the laminate to conform with the edging i would like to have on the countertop.

Has anyone ever worked with laminate sheets and if so could you provide some advice into how I can bend/mold around the edge. From the feel of it I’m pretty sure the laminate would break if I tried to bend it too much.

Thanks for any advice


11 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2322 days


#1 posted 02-28-2011 06:40 PM

Bending / moulding laminate material to form the type edge you describe requires specialized equipment and I believe involves heating the laminate as well as applying pressure. Unfortunately I believe it’s beyond the reasonable capabilities of someone without access to that specialized equipment.

Good Luck with your project!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 3004 days


#2 posted 02-28-2011 06:51 PM

Herb it absolutely right.

You might want to think about just using a sheet of melamine with a solid wood front edge….

-- Childress Woodworks

View patron's profile

patron

13535 posts in 2804 days


#3 posted 02-28-2011 07:10 PM

here is what i do now
put any wooden edging you like to the substrate
let it hang down if you want thickness
and sand smooth

round the corner to desired radius

glue laminate to the whole top
overlapping the wood

rout the edge with a profile bit you like
round overs don’t work to good
they leave to much laminate core

a cove works good
set slightly low
to chamfer the edge of the laminate
finish the wood
clean off any finish to laminate with a razor blade

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

1041 posts in 2606 days


#4 posted 02-28-2011 07:12 PM

Herb is right, but a profiled edge banding looks good also. My 2cents, don’t use melamine. Very difficult to prevent chips when cutting and selection is white or….

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View miles125's profile

miles125

2180 posts in 3468 days


#5 posted 02-28-2011 07:38 PM

It involves a long heat rod over area to be formed and a chemical brushed on that area that alerts when the optimum bending temperature is met. Unless you have a couple grand for the heater and 40 or so 4×8 sheets of laminate to experiment with, i wouldn’t recommend it.

How about ripping and edge gluing post formed factory tops for width? I can see that being doable for a laundry room.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View John Jerman's profile

John Jerman

8 posts in 2156 days


#6 posted 02-28-2011 08:08 PM

Good advice,
You need specailzed equipment to bend laminate over such a tight radius and lengths. In our shop, we would farm out that type of work to specialized shops that have the proper equipment. Your best bet is to glue on a solid edge, lamimate over top and route a profile.

View Roger's profile

Roger

19867 posts in 2267 days


#7 posted 03-01-2011 02:48 AM

what Dave said. our old counter tops were done this way, with oak edging.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View ScottN's profile

ScottN

261 posts in 2142 days


#8 posted 03-01-2011 03:47 AM

Have you checked on special ordering countertops? I had some odd shaped islands they were able to do. I would try your local lumber yard first. I know when it comes to special ordering anything my local lumberyard would come out and measure the job and take care of ordering for a really reasonable cost. Try it…what do you have to lose?

-- New Auburn,WI

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

686 posts in 2736 days


#9 posted 03-01-2011 04:17 AM

First, I agree with David. I would much rather put a hardwood edge banding. Much easier to repair if it ever gets banged up.

But if you’re hard on a laminate edging, there is another option. You can special order pre-made edge banding (couple different profiles) in matching laminate.

The specialists back in the kitchen and bath department at Lowes (and Home Depot, too) can show you what’s available. You might also look on the internet for them as well.

Good luck. Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View CanadaJeff's profile

CanadaJeff

207 posts in 3072 days


#10 posted 03-01-2011 03:54 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. What a great community. I come in with a problem and leave with an even better solution!

The original idea was to bend the laminate so I didn’t have a hard edge, however after seeing the wood banding, I must say I like the look better than the original idea of bending laminate.

Scott I did look into special ordering, however the Lowes guy and my local hardware store were pricing just the 8 foot piece at 400+. I did price out the cost if I were to make it myself at about 125-150. I just can’t justify spending 400 on particle board, plus doing it myself is a good opportunity to learn something new. Hopefully it works out!

Thanks very much everybody.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2313 days


#11 posted 03-01-2011 04:30 PM

Just a few trivialities to inject:

Melamine comes in a lot of colors, color patterns and (gasp) wood grain photographs. Finding this kind of product at a home center is not likely, but a real lumber yard can help you. It’s a durable material and you can get excellent cuts with a laminate blade and acceptable cuts with a sharp crosscut blade. It would be possible to complete your project with Melamine and a wood edge butt glued on that you finished with something like poly. That’s the least expensive solution.

(note: post formed laminate is a different thickness than standard flat lay grade. So you need not only the heat but also the thin stuff.)

If you’re doing flat lay, your substrate must be flat and smooth, especially that joint to the self edge that Patron so vividly described. (A 45 chamfer bit works well, too, for the edge detail). A few biscuits can help you get that in place, but they’re not necessary. Clamps are.

You’ll be working with contact cement for the laminate. Be sure you have enough on hand for the task, and be comfortable with using it.

Finally, a laundry room is home to water thus humidity, so to make it a real uptown job, be sure to seal the edges of your substrate before you install it.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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