High Pressure Laminates and carbide cutters

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Forum topic by Ivan posted 10-22-2012 07:48 PM 3537 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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185 posts in 3373 days

10-22-2012 07:48 PM

Anyone have experience with High Pressure Laminates?
I was thinking of doing a few projects like kids place settings or the like that will see water and wood is just not the best solution for a slobbery environment.

I was thinking of making templates out of hardboard and using a spiral carbide router bit. Thoughts??

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

8 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2686 days

#1 posted 10-22-2012 08:31 PM

Formica cuts easily with a router.What exactly is the question?

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2416 days

#2 posted 10-22-2012 08:41 PM

HPL will wear a carbide bit with extended use, but will cut just fine.

If you are going to be doing it continuously, I’d consider a diamond tipped spiral cutter.
They’re about 4X the price but last 30X longer when cutting HPL.

If tool longevity is not a consideration, just use a standard carbide trimming bit.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4088 days

#3 posted 10-22-2012 10:43 PM

HPL is hard on bits. Spiral bits would cut HPL just fine.

I’d be more concerned with your comments about a wet environment. HPL gets glued to some substrate and the substrate will need to be waterproof. I’ve seen too many water damaged counter tops. Just something to think about.

-- Nicky

View oldnovice's profile


6845 posts in 3363 days

#4 posted 10-23-2012 03:43 AM

I have cut a lot HPL, Corian, Sandstone, PaperStone, and similar materials but always with my router and carbide bits! I have had excellent results using carbide bits. All of these materials eminate their own specific oder while they are being cut but I have never cut enough or in a confined space to cause any issues.

These materials contain binders and, in the case of Corian and similar, minerals that “eat” non carbide tools.

Be sure to wear eye protection!

I made a kitchen with Formica counter tops for my daughter when she a little girl …. she now has two kids of her own! Back in Illinois we had a surplus store that sold Formica for $0.12/sq ft cheaper than any paint and more durable!

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

View Ivan 's profile


185 posts in 3373 days

#5 posted 10-23-2012 12:26 PM

Thank you all for the help.
I guess now my only concern is will HPL delaminate if exposed to water? I had a piece of Formica that I left outside and all it did was curl. Will the cut edges ‘wick’ water or is it basically plastic?

Please keep in mind that they are not intended to last forever, maybe a year and then make new ones, kids like variety.

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View oldnovice's profile


6845 posts in 3363 days

#6 posted 10-23-2012 04:58 PM

I have seen full sheets, inside a store, start to curl. HPL is typically composed of paper or fabric with melamine resin and is called a plastic. Humidity can cause it to curl. HPL should not be applied to solid wood unless both sides are covered and the edges sealed otherwise the wood and HPL may curl.

The best substrates for HPL are plywood or particle board and in both cases covering/sealing the edges from moisture is not a bad idea to maintain the integrity of the substrate and therefore the HPL.

There is another material that you may want to try, perhaps on another project

I purchased some cutoffs that met my size requirements and bypassed the cutting charge. In my case there were cutoffs in my desired color available. This material cuts like other solid surface material but with less grit (no mineral content).

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

View weldmast's profile


3 posts in 2037 days

#7 posted 10-24-2012 06:11 AM

I work for an importer of HPL, and we manufacture shower panels out of HPL, bonded to lightweight poplar plywood or mdf. When these are installed on site the joints need to be sealed, but otherwise there are no water issues and no delamination. I would imagine that shower room humidity and wet is greater than you will experience in your application. Having said that, our bonding process involves 14 hours in a hydraulic press, so using a contact adhesive in a workshop will not give the same bond integrity. As oldnovice said, both sides of solid wood need to be laminated. This will prevent the finished panel from bowing. If you use a substrate of 9mm or greater a pvc matching edging will help to seal the panel. We also always store HPL flat to prevent curling.

View weldmast's profile


3 posts in 2037 days

#8 posted 10-24-2012 06:13 AM

Check out the website
They have some good hpl products

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