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Forum topic by GeorgeInNWFla posted 08-13-2018 08:31 PM 335 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GeorgeInNWFla

43 posts in 1822 days


08-13-2018 08:31 PM

I’m in the design phase of building a work table for a friend who does vinyl decals. I was wondering what would be the best finish to use that would withstand high heat on the table top. She said the vinyl press heats up to 375°F. I’m sure the table top won’t get that hot, but I’m sure it will get a fair amount of heat. I made a laptop desk once and the heat from that caused the poly finish to wear off after a few months.

Any ideas would be great.

Thanks,
George aka Sleepy Dragon

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.


9 replies so far

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1834 posts in 2107 days


#1 posted 08-13-2018 08:39 PM

Just use a formica top – its a worktable, it doesnt need to be wood.

View Sprung's profile

Sprung

96 posts in 1834 days


#2 posted 08-13-2018 08:55 PM

For a worktable, I’d agree that a formica top might be the way to go here.

But, if it has to be wood with a clear finish:

https://www.kbs-coatings.com/DiamondFinish-Clear.html

I have used this finish. You definitely want to wear a respirator and have very good ventilation while applying, but it works well. I haven’t tested the extremes of the heat rating, but they say it is good up to 300F. They have a spray version as well, which I have also used. It is a very tough, durable finish.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1309 posts in 281 days


#3 posted 08-13-2018 08:56 PM

X2 on Formica or Wilsonart if the table will be a dedicated heat contact surface.
if you want something removable, get a piece of hardboard and cut it to size.

.

.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View GeorgeInNWFla's profile

GeorgeInNWFla

43 posts in 1822 days


#4 posted 08-13-2018 09:29 PM

Thanks for the replies :) Y’all did give me an idea to use some old ceramic tiles I got from the scrap pile of a local flooring company a while back. Been wanting to use them for something :)

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.

View GeorgeInNWFla's profile

GeorgeInNWFla

43 posts in 1822 days


#5 posted 08-13-2018 09:48 PM

@Sprung

Thanks for the link. I’ve got it bookmarked and will definitely try them out in the future. :)

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

452 posts in 1612 days


#6 posted 08-14-2018 12:32 AM

Wood & 375F? oh boy…..

Wood auto ignition temperature is ~350F with extended duration, with some woods able to combust in less than 1 min @ 400F.

If you are trying to protect wood table from heat generated by laminating machine sitting on top, add some insulation. Tempered glass plate with some 1/8 inch thick cork spacers to create an air gap will help insulate wood from heat. There are also silicone/fiberglass insulation pads available (ugly & expensive, but effective). A disposable half inch thick sheet of wood could also be used, knowing it will need to be replaced occasionally.

Without some temp measurements, will not know if laminate could be used.
FWIW – Laminates (Formica/Wilsonart) will discolor with extended exposure to high temperatures. I was instructed 250F was limit for any long term exposure. Most adhesives can/will fail or soften at temperatures lower than laminate can handle (~200F). Wilsonart temp guidelines here.

Another alternative that might get mentioned; Solid surface materials. Solid surface materials like Corian are made from thermoset Acrylic, and become pliable above 250F. They can be slowly heated to ~325F, and formed into complex shapes. IE, not good for extended high temp exposure.

If you want to have a 375 degree heat source sitting on table: Use steel or stainless steel as top layer (aluminum conducts heat too easily). If you want to add color, there are many high temp epoxy & silicone modified epoxy paints that can be used to make it look pretty. PPG and others have long list of options.

If a wood substrate is used as part of a table directly exposed to high heat, normal design precaution would be to use a layer of mineral wool, or fiberglass insulation between wood and metal outer surface.
Severe application might require water cooled plates under table top.

Lots of options. Once you know how much temp and how long, a solution can be developed. :)

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View GeorgeInNWFla's profile

GeorgeInNWFla

43 posts in 1822 days


#7 posted 08-14-2018 04:39 AM

Thanks for the reply, Klutz :) The machine itself heats up to 375° to do it’s thing, not the ambient temperature around it. They’ve had it sitting on a fold up party table (typical laminated particle board top) for a few months now, so the risk of combustion from the heat coming from the machine isn’t a concern. I’m just worried about the finish melting/wearing off like it did with the laptop desk I made a while back.

-- Leave out the fiction. The fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence. Leave out conditions. Courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12331 posts in 2498 days


#8 posted 08-14-2018 06:04 AM

I own a heat press and have used them since the 80’s, don’t worry about finishes or special materials. Use whatever you would normally use. The upper platen is the heating element and it contacts the lower platen for 15-30 seconds at a time and then rises up so most of the excess heat is way above the table. My press sets on a bare plywood platform. I doubt the temperature of that table rises more than a few degrees.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7126 posts in 3486 days


#9 posted 08-14-2018 05:38 PM

How about paper?
Richlite is a paper product, much like Paperstone which can take heat up to 350°.
Both of these products are made from recycled paper and “glue”, much like other man made countertops.
Paperstone, I assume this also pertains to Richlite, is easy to work but does require breathing protection during milling and sanding.
And, paper is a wood product!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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