Applying laminate over countertop front

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Maybe one of you guys can offer some advice.
I need to build a countertop in our laundry room. I plan on using 3/4" particle board or MDF and applying laminate (formica or equiv) on top.
I want to have a rounded front - but not the small rise (lip) that you usually see that keeps water running off. I will glue small piece on the front and then round the edge with a router.
The question is, how do you get the formica to bend and form around the rounded front without cracking? Do you apply heat or maybe I use a materal other than formica?
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"San_Diego_Flyer" writes:

You don't, use a solid surface material.
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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I'm sitting at a countertop right now with a laminate top that has a wrapped front. So, apparently, it can be done. If you don't know how, no one here will make fun of you for saying so.
todd
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news:HEednVpALZHUavSiU-> > You don't, use a solid surface material.

Todd,
A countertop factory can form it this way. However, the typical woodworker can not produce this sort of radius with common tools.
Just because you can buy something doesn't mean that you can make it yourself.
-Jack
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What's special about the factory process that makes it hard to duplicate? I'm not saying what you're saying is incorrect, I'm just curious how the factory does it. With that said, I'd give serious thought if I was the OP to purchasing a coutertop with the appropriate wrapped front.
todd
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wrote in message

heat. pressure. evenness. multithousand dollar tools to do all these correctly.
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I love it when someone says "you can't make one of those, you have to buy them". It goes right along with the idea that every thing good is made by someone you don't know far, far away.

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Clinton,
I make all sorts of things that could be bought, however, there are limitations. Care to machine a piston for your car on your trusty lathe? It is possible.... Care to fabricate a CPU for your favorite computer... well, spend a few billion and you can make one yourself.
As for the idea that everything good is made by someone you don't know, far away, well that is idiotic. Why would this be true?
-Jack
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you buy it that way. it's formed at the factory.
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On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 11:13:41 -0700, "Charlie Spitzer"

no you dont "buy it that way". You can buy a post-formed countertop which has the edge rolled, but you cannot buy rolled formica, which is what the original post referred to.
Rolling formica involves the application of considerable heat and it has to be done so evenly. Cabinet shops generally have an electric 'heat bar' to do it with, something thats beyond most home ww'ers.
In any case, the material will not form to a radius thats much less than 4" without difficulty, and under 2" its pretty much guaranteed to crack.
Further, the original post reads as if the edge will just have a (relatively) small roundover, and getting formica over it isn't possible.
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that's what i meant; you buy it already preformed on the substrate. didn't put on your mindreading cap this morning, did you?

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I'm only familiar with Wilsonart but I assume that the other manufacturers have equivalent offerings. Wlsonart's standard product is 0.045 inch thick (type 107) and while I have bent it around some pretty tight corners in thin strips with a heat gun and a lot of patience I don't recommend it. They also have two other products type 335 and type 350. These are 0.028 and 0.039 inch thick. The type 350/0.039" is used for post forming and is specified to bend to a 9/16" radius. They offer a special post forming adhesive, probably better strength than plain vanilla contact cement. I use it for edge banding when I have tight radii to deal with.
Look through the Wilsonart web site using "post form" or "post forming.
The basic laminate spec sheet will give you most of the info.
http://www.wilsonart.com/design/technical/techdata.asp
Phil
San_Diego_Flyer wrote:

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On 18 Sep 2003 10:34:06 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (San_Diego_Flyer) wrote:

Postforming is a process that is done under factory conditions. It uses heat and pressure in a way that is very difficult to duplicate in a small shop environment. Also, postformed laminate is of a smaller thickness than regular plam and may (I can't recall) have a different formula for its makeup, to allow for the degree of plasticity needed to form the curve.
Commercial level suppliers will sell you edge materials in the same colors as the flat lam that will form the round you want when applied.
Check out the Formica website or Wilson Art's.
Regards, Tom Tom Watson - Woodworker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Go buy pre formed counter top. -- Jim in NC
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As Tom Watson stated this is something that really can't be done with the average shop tools. Here is a link to what some of the machinery you would need to do this with. This is some of the lesser expensive equipment out. http://www.evansmachineryinc.com/postform.htm With this you can do it at home, but there is still making the blank substrate to put the laminate on. This one runs about $15K and it's manual.
Eric Morehouse ELM Woodworks, LLC
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if it's for the laundry room why not buy a preformed counter top, cut it to length, and slap it on YOUR cabinet? easy and relatively cheap. they are available at HD and such.
dave
San_Diego_Flyer wrote:

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Just to wrap of this thread, I've concluded there is no easy way to bend the laminate around that small radius.
Thus, I'll take another tack -- I'll apply wood trim to the front instead -- it will still look good.
Thanks for the replies.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (San_Diego_Flyer) wrote in message

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I had a similar problem with a tiled countertop in a bath. I didn't want bullnose since it is just asking to be chipped. I found a Corian fabricator who sold me some 1.5" strips he had in his scrap pile. I used RTV and some finish nails with the heads cut off and countersunk into the back side to hold it on. That came out great.
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All sorts of houses have a laminate counter top with a wood edging on the front that is beveled. Why not just do that -- probably much much easier.
--randy
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