How to "smooth" out laminate on the router table

Page 1 of 2  

After I have my sub-boards glued and ready for the laminate topping, how do I get the laminate "as smooth as possible"? Of course, I'll also laminate the bottom, but that's just to keep the moisture out of the MDF.
People talk about getting their table 0.01" smooth ... but it seems to me that the glue could easily vary by more than that.
Is there some technique to smooth it out? I haven't found anything in my books about this.
Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

A "J" roller:
http://www.constantines.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDp5
or if you're cheap like me use a rolling pin (just don't tell her).
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
.010 variation in the glue layer would be HUGE. Use contact cement and roll the laminate on with a J roller. "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

BTW, you're smart to put a backer on the substrate (called a balance sheet) without it, it WILL warp. For openers, use GP laminate. The post-formable stuff is too thin and will telegraph irregular surfaces. One trick is to use multiple coats of severely (up to 30+%) thinned contact cement, that gives it time to flow out without building up and 'threading'. Use a short haired roller. (A cheapie that you toss after you're done. CAREFUL, that the solvent doesn't take the roller apart. Look for rollers that can handle nasty solvent-based stuff in marine supply stores.
Don't waste your time with water-based contact cement. The stuff sticks to wood okay, but not very well to the bottom of the laminate (phenolic).
Wilsonart 3000 PVA adhesive works very well, but you need a pro to glue it up for you (see coffee and donuts)
The best way, but costly, is to use 3M contact cement spray from a can. Hold the can way back so there is a feathered fan of adhesive, then do the same thing to the laminate but rotate the pattern 90 degrees from the pattern on the substrate. Less is more..do not use too much.. if the propellant starts to bubble the adhesive, you are using too much.
Make sure, if possible, that there is very little airflow across the fresh cement surface, and that the surface is cool. The J Rollers (Bennett sells one through Home Depot) are essential as they apply all your weight on a very small area creating a very high pressure zone. No other roller will work as well. (Rolling pins are too wide and distribute too much pressure over too wide an area.)
Another thing to try is to buy the guys at a local laminate shop a round of coffee and donuts. They, like I do, use Imperial(or Formica Brand) propane powered airless feathersprays. (looks like a BBQ tank) The nice thing about that system is that you don't have to wait for it to dry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Where does one find GP laminate? I see what you mean about it being thicker (web says it's about twice as thick).
Jack
Robatoy wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

Most Borgs carry GP laminates in sheets of 48 x 96. The post-form versions are like paper thin and very hard to handle. I have never seen PF grade in a Borg. To a pro, the PF version is desirable because it minimizes the 'black' line. It also bends to a much tighter radius that GP. But for a router table, GP's the one. Go look at a Borg's countertop department and pick a colour/ finish you like. Formica's Natural Maple in satin is nice, it also hold onto wax really well. Lab Black in gloss is pretty cool with some aluminum t-track mitre slots.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LOL ... okay, I give up. I clearly have to read a lot more to understand all the lingo in woodworking.
What is a BORG?
The only one I know about are the cybercreeps that stalk the Enterprise in Star Trek!
Jack
Robatoy wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A Borg, as I understand it, is any national big-box retailer, commonly Home Depot (the orange borg) or Lowes (blue borg). Same idea as the cybercreeps - they're apparently trying to take over the world.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

eggggzactly
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

If people are getting their router table to within .01 they may be AR. Are you AR? LOL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No, I'm not AR, but I have been called an A.
Leon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon (in sPNPe.4926$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com) said:
| "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) | PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message | || After I have my sub-boards glued and ready for the laminate || topping, how do I get the laminate "as smooth as possible"? Of || course, I'll also laminate the bottom, but that's just to keep the || moisture out of the MDF. || || People talk about getting their table 0.01" smooth ... but it || seems to me that the glue could easily vary by more than that. || || Is there some technique to smooth it out? I haven't found || anything in my books about this. | | If people are getting their router table to within .01 they may be | AR. Are you AR? LOL
I hope not. I machined my router table to within 0.0015 - but didn't install any laminate. If I were AR I'd probably have tried for within 0.0005
I did think about surfacing the table with 0.75" UHMWPE and routing it flat - but decided that /would/ be AR :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

LOL........ ROTHLMAO....... I think that HPL has more than .01 deviation... You are a different case though.. You can probably justify the need.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon (in pFQPe.4216$u snipped-for-privacy@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com) said:
| || || I hope not. I machined my router table to within 0.0015 - but || didn't install any laminate. If I were AR I'd probably have tried || for within 0.0005 || || I did think about surfacing the table with 0.75" UHMWPE and || routing it flat - but decided that /would/ be AR :-) | | LOL........ ROTHLMAO....... I think that HPL has more than .01 | deviation... You are a different case though.. You can probably | justify the need.
Probably - since I do a weird flavor of woodworking. Lately I've been hankering for a 52"x100"x1" slab of aluminum to mill mini T-tracks into for my router table. So far the price tag has held me back - but it sure would make life easier.
<thread divergence>
Current project requires scarfing two 4x8x3/4" sheets of Extira (waterproof MDF, 90+ lb/sheet) end-to-end for a sign, so I'm building a monster clamp (using six LV veneer press screws and a pair of /long/ pipe clamps) to hold the joint together while the glue dries. Once the glue-up is done, I'll slide the panels onto the router table (which is only 8' long!) and carve the lettering. If I can get enough of the clamp together tomorrow, I'll shoot some pix and post to ABPW. Not sure if I'll ever use the clamp after this project, but someone may be able to use the design.
</thread divergence>
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Got just what you need: http://www.monumenttoolworks.com/pages/gorillagrip.htm
I use the smaller ones: http://www.monumenttoolworks.com/pages/parallign.htm
Do a trumatch edge and use the clamps. On MDF it makes for very strong joint (I toss in a few cookies just be anal.)
Rob
www.topworks.ca
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy (in snipped-for-privacy@news.bellglobal.com) said:
| || Current project requires scarfing two 4x8x3/4" sheets of Extira || (waterproof MDF, 90+ lb/sheet) end-to-end for a sign, so I'm || building a monster clamp | | Got just what you need: | http://www.monumenttoolworks.com/pages/gorillagrip.htm | | I use the smaller ones: | http://www.monumenttoolworks.com/pages/parallign.htm | | Do a trumatch edge and use the clamps. On MDF it makes for very | strong joint (I toss in a few cookies just be anal.)
Those are neat! Thanks for the link. For this project, though, I'm going to pass on the butt joint in favor of a 6" stepped joint (two-inch "treads", 1/4" "risers", and a generous application of Titebond III).
I don't dare to use any kind of embedded support because, once the glue dries, I'll be routing text right across the joint. The sign will be exposed to wind and weather about sixteen inches above the ground (meaning that it'll be in contact with snow and ice through the winter).
Had visitors (customers!) in the shop all day today so didn't get much done on the clamp (not even a photo). Will try to do better on Monday.
I should have gotten one picture tho - one of my visitors brought in and demonstrated a stirling cycle engine built of plastic tubing. He's replaced all of the usual mechanical components with tubing and water. He'd like me to build a high-temperature solar collector and intends to use a larger version to run a generator. Crazy thing is that I can't see any reason for it not to work. Some days are definitely more interesting than others!
I didn't really need the clamp /today/ anyhow. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey (in xV6Qe.24$ snipped-for-privacy@news.uswest.net) said:
| I didn't really need the clamp /today/ anyhow. :-)
Posted a picture of the just-assembled monster for clamping 49"-wide joints to ABPW. 'Taint beautiful, but it works.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah post pics. That sounds like a bigger than life size project.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have some engineered stone and granite slabs (sink and cook-top cut-outs) They're flat. They're difficult to machine/core-bore to adapt inserts and so forth.
Can one be AR AND Type-A?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy (in snipped-for-privacy@nr-tor01.bellnexxia.net) said:
| Can one be AR AND Type-A?
Not recommended for anyone except extreme introverts.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.