Aluminum Foil for Glue-ups?

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 599 days ago 1531 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 1288 days

599 days ago

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


3378 posts in 1604 days

#1 posted 599 days ago

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.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View AlaskaGuy's profile


606 posts in 942 days

#2 posted 599 days ago

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


11644 posts in 2321 days

#3 posted 599 days ago

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


518 posts in 1099 days

#4 posted 599 days ago

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

View jasoncarpentry's profile


111 posts in 1288 days

#5 posted 599 days ago

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


11644 posts in 2321 days

#6 posted 599 days ago

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


1208 posts in 1318 days

#7 posted 599 days ago

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


3335 posts in 1447 days

#8 posted 599 days ago

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


1126 posts in 2179 days

#9 posted 599 days ago

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 596 days

#10 posted 591 days ago

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


2709 posts in 1210 days

#11 posted 591 days ago

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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