Aluminum Foil for Glue-ups?

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 01-07-2013 05:16 PM 6465 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 2893 days

01-07-2013 05:16 PM

I use a “mini-table” (24” x 14”) w/ a front fence to glue up laminates for my cutting boards. I’ve been using a wax-paper liner to prevent the glue (Titebond II or III) from sticking to the table, and it works OK, but sometimes it bunches up and gets in the way, and it’s always messy to peel off the finished piece.

So I had an idea: Why not use aluminum foil instead? Has anybody tried glue-ups w/ this type of backing? If so, what results did you get? Does it peel off cleanly, unlike wax paper? I don’t want to mess up a painstaking laminate, or knick my planer blades, because of residual metal on the workpiece.

-- Jim in Tennessee

11 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3210 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 06:31 PM

Aluminum foil residue should not be too rough on planer blades.

BUT, no glue on earth will stick to polyethylene. The thin stuff, like Glad Wrap, can get wrinkles and the glue might trap the wrinkled sheet in folds that harden, but you can avoid this by using the thicker sheets.
I use 2 mil thickness like the type used for temporary tarps and under concrete.
Even peels off of epoxy and Gorilla Glue.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4996 posts in 2548 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 06:50 PM

Change your table top to something like Melamine and you wont’ need to fuss with wax paper or foil. Glue pops right off melamine with little effort.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 07:11 PM

Odd that the glue would stick to wax paper. What brand of paper are you using ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2704 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 07:27 PM

Aluminum foil has a very thin sheen of oil on the foil, a left over from the manufacturing process. Might interfere with future finishing attempts. I like either a polyeurothane or malamine top for my glue ups. Pops right off.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

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148 posts in 2893 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 07:30 PM

Dusty & others-

I’m using name-brand wax paper (Cut-Rite). BUT the way I do my glue-ups, the piece can sit on the table top for several days, long enough for the glue to harden completely. If I could make a complete laminate in one day and then remove it from the table, I think the wax paper would peel off nicely.

I’m working on ways to speed up the process!

-- Jim in Tennessee

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 07:39 PM

Must be the time thing..I also use the Cut-Rite brand : )
Sounds like Melamine would be the answer for your needs.
I picked some up at my local lumberyard. It was a damaged 16” wide piece that they sell for shelving and storage closets.
Just one example here.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2923 days

#7 posted 01-07-2013 07:48 PM

try butchers freezer paper (waxed one side)...available at Wally World. It’s got more substance than plain old wax paper.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5817 posts in 3052 days

#8 posted 01-07-2013 07:54 PM

1+ Alaska Guy’s comment. I do glueup on a sophisticated platform: two sawhorses with a piece of 3/4” melamine on top. Let the glue fall where it may. It pops off easily with a putty knife of chisel.
The problem I have with wax paper – and I don’t think foil would be any different – it often doesn’t let the glue dry.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View woodsmithshop's profile


1365 posts in 3784 days

#9 posted 01-07-2013 08:06 PM

I lay a sheet of visqueen on top of my bench before doing a glue up, I also lay a sheet on top of my clamps to keep the glue from sticking to makes clean up much easier , you just don’t want to leave your project lay on top of the plastic sheet very long or the glue will not dry.

-- Smitty!!!

View Minimalist's profile


1 post in 2201 days

#10 posted 01-15-2013 06:14 PM

I’m not sure if it will work on your table top but I have used strips of packing tape on my cauls and have never had any glue stick to them. You know, that shiny baby-poop brown stuff that is an exercise in frustration to peel the working end up. Might be a simple fix until you can change to the melamine table top.

-- I like rocks; they're really good a being what they are, and darned handy in a fight.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 01-15-2013 08:31 PM

Wax paper wasn’t working for me so I use plastic sheeting now (the thick kind used for drop cloths).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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