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Left over Formica= Dry Erase Board?

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 09-10-2011 11:22 PM 7562 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2289 days


09-10-2011 11:22 PM

Hello, My question for my fine feathered friends here, is, Would left over formica laminate work in the application for a whiteboard?

I recently converted my old bedroom into a home office/study of sorts, and one of the things I wanted to do was have a white board. And the thought came to my mind, that I could perhaps use a piece of Formica I had lying around for this purpose. Its nothing special, just plain white formica you would use on counter tops(I used it on my router table.) The sheet is a few inches less than 4ft^2 since I need to cut out a cracked spot near an edge, and clean up the edges where the butchers at lowes chipped it out on the Panel saw.

Now I realize this probably isn’t the greatest material, however I was wondering if it would work decently for this purpose. Meaning it could be erased/cleaned, without leaving behind too much ghosting.

This isn’t really a woodworking project perse, since I do intend to probably just mount it the the wall using a couple roofing nails hammered into studs(big heads) since the stuff isn’t heavy at all. However it is a project, and you folks are extremly knowledgeable.

Many thanks.

Cheers,
Brendan

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."


14 replies so far

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patron

13535 posts in 2803 days


#1 posted 09-10-2011 11:34 PM

it should work just fine

i used ‘thrift board’ for one

it does need to be ‘washed’ from time to time
with a rag and water

to keep the ‘ghosts’ at bay

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

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 2014 days


#2 posted 09-11-2011 01:26 AM

I don’t know. The whole way dry erase works is that the surface is incredibly shiny and sealed off, (like glass, which works as dry erase too) and the inks are oil based (in such a way that they do not dry), and the formica might absorb the inks.

Instead, I would check out the stuff I saw at home depot last time I was picking up house paint. It’s a film with an adhesive backing meant to turn any surface into dry erase. Either that, or slap a sheet of glass over the formica.

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2289 days


#3 posted 09-11-2011 02:08 AM

Patron: “Thrift Board” do you just mean the cheap stuff, or a particular kind that is known as that? Washed with Water? I always thought you were supposed to use isopropyl alcohol. I guess what works works.

Bob: Bob, yea, glass is a good idea, however, 4×4 sheet of glass would not be easy to transport.. nor cheap… Not to mention the BORG doesnt carry glass really, and we don’t really have any glass shops. I have used Polycarb for it before, however I would be better off hanging a sheet of gold…. lol.

Thanks

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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DamnYankee

3297 posts in 2024 days


#4 posted 09-11-2011 03:05 AM

Yes it will work… I’ve used it in the past. However, it will not last as long without getting a colored haze to it as it does not have the finish that purpose-made white boards have. But yes it will work, and for some time. Recommend you avoid using blue white board pens. Blue, even dry erase, tends to stain more than other colors (even on actual white boards)

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

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willie

533 posts in 1916 days


#5 posted 09-11-2011 03:19 AM

If you use a plastic laminate that has a glossy finish, the dry erase markers will work fine. The smoother the surface, the less areas to hols any ink.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2289 days


#6 posted 09-11-2011 04:04 AM

Yankee: Alright, thanks. Yea, as a general rule I tend to write alot in black, simply because it seems to stand out more to me than any other colour, however I will keep that in mind particularly.

Cj: Im pretty sure its rather smooth/glossy; Its the white Formica you get at Lowes. It was that or have a granite patterned RT, but that would have gotten expensive, lol.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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patron

13535 posts in 2803 days


#7 posted 09-11-2011 04:26 AM

what ever works brendan
it’s been a while since i had one

maybe it was lacquer thinner i used
as i do use allot of it
and mineral spirits too
you will find something i’m sure

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

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2152 days


#8 posted 09-11-2011 05:32 AM

I have that white Formica from Lowes on my workbench. I write on it with pencils and dry erase markers. A pencil eraser or Mineral spirits seems to get all my marks off without leaving any ghosts. Even dried stain will come off with MS and a little elbow grease.

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

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3174 days


#9 posted 09-11-2011 05:35 AM

Can you find one of those panels that sometimes come from dishwashers that allow you to ‘change’ the colour of the front of the machine? These work well as do panels cut from old dryers, stoves or other kitchen appliances. The enameled metal works really well for whiteboards and is magnetic as well. I did this for my kids drawing easel a few years ago and they are still using it.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2289 days


#10 posted 09-11-2011 06:05 AM

David: Alright, thanks for the alternative ideas.

Gfadvm: Alright, thats probably the same stuff as I have. I found on my RT I can usually write on it, and erase with relative ease, however I don’t usually do alot of writing, usually just a tick mark or something if I am marking a distance from the bit. Not usually any words. But sounds good.

Mark: Alright, if this doesn’t work, Ill try that. I just happen to have this stuff on hand, rather than trying to find a dryer or dishwasher to cut up.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2445 days


#11 posted 09-11-2011 08:03 PM

I don’t know about using it for a dry erase board, although you should have no problem using wet erase markers. They wipe clean with a damp sponge. I have one that they work fine on.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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mdufinetz

1 post in 1910 days


#12 posted 09-12-2011 02:59 PM

I work in the Technical Department at Formica and I have some advice on this. We produce a product specifically for this application. Conventional laminate was not designed for this application. Ghosting will occurr in most cases when conventional laminate is used. Acetone should work to eliminate the ghosting , but not guaranteed on conventional laminate. Here is a link to see the Tech Data sheet for Dry Erase product:
http://www.formica.com/documents/Laminate_DryErase_MB_TD_050310.pdf

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3174 days


#13 posted 09-15-2011 04:48 AM

I don’t know about anyone else but I think it is very impressive that somebody from Formica joined Lumberjocks and posted with some really useful information in response to this thread! It speaks well for the folks at Formica and the the great nature of LJ’s that a manufacturer representative felt comfortable posting here. Well done!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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newbiewoodworker

668 posts in 2289 days


#14 posted 09-15-2011 08:41 PM

Ahh yes, thanks guys, and thank you Mdufinetz. Impressed to see you joined just for my question.

I am sorry if I made anyone feel like their input was not appreciated; I had a bit of a family issue occur(its in the non-shop section) and I kinda forgot about this.

Thanks guys.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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