Formica alternative - will this work?

I am building a router table top and had planned on using Formica for surfacing the top and bottom. That is until I saw the $43 price tag on a sheet of Formica! That's a lot to pay for a sheet of material I only need about of a third of for my project. The only thing I found close at Lowes was some wall board that appears to be hardboard with a white plastic coating. 1/8" thick. Will I regret trying to substitue this for Formica? I didn't see any other types of laminate. I plan to attach this stuff with contact cement and flush trim the edges.
Thanks for any input.
-Walter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would be concerned about the exposed edges where you make the cutout for the insert. Won't take long before it starts to get fuzzy and swell up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RayV wrote:

I made my router table top two years ago with laminated MDF and plywood. While it is true that the MDF is a bit fuzzy, it hasn't swollen up yet.
I do live in a fairly dry area, so maybe if you're in somewhere a bit more humid it could be a problem.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Walter wrote:

I don't think that will hold up well long-term. Keep looking around.... some places sell partial sheets of formica. You might also check with a countertop fabricator in your area. They should be able to sell you a piece left over from a job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think Home Depot sells 1/2 or 1/4 sheets. I remember buying some for a project and didn't have to buy a 4x8 sheet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or check somewhere else. 4x8 is not "the" standard size for Formica. I have bought it in 26" widths 10' long. It is available in a lot of standard sizes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check with a Formica/ plastic laminate supplier and ask if they have any damaged pieces. I have paid as little as 35 cents per sq. foot for a full sheet with a chipped corner.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is a good suggestion. Make sure you ask for GP, not the post-form grade. A few years ago, I bought 100 sheets at $8.00ea. Many of the discontinued colours were fugly. Many were nice enough to sell at a healthy profit. All the fuglies were used as backer sheets. In retrospect, that was a gloat. Colours are discontinued all the time. Call your local distributor of Arborite, Wilsonart, Formica, Nevamar.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Walter wrote:

Try going to a shop that makes counters. I went to one and they gave me some old pieces with out-of-date patterns on them that nobody wanted.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Home Despot uset to carry cut sheets of laminate for a reasonable price, but they seem to have discontinued this for some reason, at least locally. Might want to check.
Beyond that there are a couple of online options.
McMaster has a whole range of laminates intended for industrial use--I doubt you'll save much over buying a sheet of Formica though. They've got a sampler (5331K3) for $18.52.
Woodcraft carries 3/4 inch phenolic-faced plywood in 2'x4' sheets for about 40 bucks. Rockler uses the same stuff for their $600 router table tops. The stuff is known as "PSF" and is intended for use as concrete forms--you can probably find it locally but getting it in single-sheet quantities might be problematical.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I just got in my mcmaster order a few minutes ago. I got some of the Garolite XX, in 24"x36"x1/32" sheets for about 10 bucks a sheet. It's pretty shiny on both sides so I'm not sure how gluing is going to go, I plan to rough it up first. It's a medium reddish brown color.
Depending on the size of your top, probably not worth it unless you are ordering other stuff from them. They have a really good price on link belts and I picked up some 8 oz press fit cans for transfering finishes to, among other stuff.
-Leuf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What I did was go to a local cabinet shop and they gave me some scrap pieces of formica. Had more then enough for the router table top. Mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Call a couple counter top installers and see if you can get a hold of a couple kitchen sink cut outs. That is what my router table top is made out of. The best part, cost to me, nothing! Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Find a Habitat for Humanity store and get a used piece of counter top for a couple of bucks Lou
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks all you guys for the suggestions! What a helpful group!
I think I will try to find some scraps somewhere, even if they are fugly. If that doesn't work out,I will try some of the online suggestions.
Thanks again!
-Walter (wood butcher in training)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
IF the table you are building is of the right size, you might consider building it out of pieces of an old countertop that is being ditched in a remodel job. I've reused some of these that were still in great shape.
Ron T
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 00:17:01 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Ron Truitt) wrote:

He might try to find a suitable Onyx's counter top or rectangular top slab at Habitat stores. Before we moved last year I bought a new unused slab at Kansas City's Habitat stores for $10 and sold it for $15 at a moving sale. I was planning to use it for a new router's table, but decide that it was too much a hassle to bring it along.
.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used 3/4 mdf for my top without anything else. Work's fine. I did put a little wax on it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.