I have to apply some high pressure laminate to MDF using solvent based
contact cement. The instructions say to do in a well ventilated area which
makes a LOT of sense. The instructions also say to "assemble glued parts at
or above 65 degrees". I would like to put the cement on in my garage where
the fumes can dissipate but right now my garage is 40 degrees. So here is
my question: do you think assemble means just that and that I can apply the
contact cement in 40 degree temps and then bring it back to the warmer
basement once the cement has gotten tacky? If not, what do you suggest I do
(and please don't say that I should wait until next summer!)?
I was planning to use solvent based contact cement because I have some. I
have not used water based. Does anyone in this group have experience with
that and if so, can you share your experience both good and bad?
Yes, I'll be happy to. I recently used both Titebond neoprene contact cement,
and DAP non-flammable contact cement
for exactly the same application as you: laminating Formica to MDF. It was
important for me to have an adhesive that could safely be used indoors,
because the sections of countertop I had to laminate were too large to easily
carry back and forth to the garage, and I needed to be able to do them in
Both of these products are water-based, with very very low odor. Both are easy
to apply, clean up readily with water, and form a good strong bond.
But there are some differences, and IMO the DAP product is *far* superior.
They both take about 30-45 minutes to dry, but the Titebond has a *much*
narrower window for assembling the pieces (about 20 minutes, versus two to
three hours for the DAP). The DAP is easier to spread, and it seems to require
a little less cement to make the bond. The DAP costs $9 at Lowe's, versus
$14.50 for the Titebond at Woodcraft.
But the biggest point in favor of the DAP is that it goes on white, and dries
nearly clear. The Titebond goes on blue, and it *dries* blue -- leaving a very
fine, but visible, blue line at the edge of the lamination. I'll never use it
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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...I think you'll be alright, applying the contact cement at that
temperature....it will obviously take a little longer for it to tack up, but
I doubt you'll have any grief, especially if you're going to let it "cure"
in a more controlled environment.
One would assume that the contact cement would be stored in a warm place,
until it had to be applied......and this seems to be an option (eg. do the
setup, prep, dry run...go into the house get the contact cement and apply
it....let it tack (tack time will be a little longer), assemble the
conponents, bring them into the house to cure......
I did this about 20 years ago with a solvent based adhesive in a cold
environment. I recall the glue being THICK and hard to spread evenly in
those low temperatures. The glue up came out OK but I think I would not
read too much into the instructions. Assuming that you can apply adhesive
at 40 degrees and assemble at 65 degrees may be an unreasonable assumption.
The adhesive may dry out too much by the time the wood warms up 25 degrees.
If it were me I would assume that 65 degrees is the lowest temp to work with
the material PERIOD.
You could try keeping the items to be glued, as well as the glue itself in a
warm room. Maybe even heat up the glue container in some hot water till it's
about 80 degrees or so. Move everything to the garage, apply the glue there,
and if you have one or two 1000 watt worklights position them over the items
to keep them warm. Once most of the solvent has flashed off you can bring
everything inside for assembly at the correct temps.
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