Cutting laminate accurately - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-19-2017, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting laminate accurately

I'm laminating an existing bare wood "countertop" in my teardrop trailer galley. It will need to be cut as accurately as possible on one side as I will not be able use a trim router there. I can use one in the front edge and get pretty close to either side, (within 1 1/2 inches). I guess I'll hand trim the remaining length on the ends, but if anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate them. My real question is how to accurately make the side cut the first time. The sides of the existing counter are butted against the walls of the trailer so I like to make one straight, clean and perfectly measured cut if possible. I will have to cut a small piece for the nose as well of course. Thanks y'all.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-19-2017, 04:51 PM
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When a little trimming is needed and a router won't fit, you can use a hand file to pull down an edge flush.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-19-2017, 05:16 PM
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I cut my HPL on a table saw the using a laminate file I will file the edges smooth. Lay the file flat so all of the file is touching the edge of the plastic. Be very careful, the edges will be razor sharp so you will need to soften the edges.

Here is my galley on the teardrop I built.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-19-2017, 06:25 PM
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Keep in mind contact cement does poorly in such an application. The heat dries it out quickly. Restaurants used to use formica counters at drive through windows and found they had to replace them yearly. For that application I think I would use a resin glue.

If your shelving is square you should be able to set up a straight edge and just route the laminate to it's finished length. The front edge you could also trim the width at the ends just enough you can finish the job once the laminate is laid.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Big Jim that's a pretty awesome teardrop you built. Do you have other pictures of it that you can share? I'm sure you know how it is. Can't get too many ideas.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Keep in mind contact cement does poorly in such an application. The heat dries it out quickly. Restaurants used to use formica counters at drive through windows and found they had to replace them yearly. For that application I think I would use a resin glue.
Steve, do you mean the heat from whatever I might put on the counter, like a stove or from being in the sun and closed up when not in use?
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
When a little trimming is needed and a router won't fit, you can use a hand file to pull down an edge flush.
Thanks for the advice.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 04:59 PM
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make a kraft paper template

For inside/blind fits, make a paper template that fits exactly by taping straight edges together to form the rectangle. Then use a scoring knife meant for HPL and a straight edge to score a line OR cut all the way through. It has a V point made of carbide and will give you a clean edge. You pull the knife rather than push it. When filing always pull downward to avoid lifting the HLP, off the adhesive.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 06:59 PM
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You can get heat from just having the camper in the sun. Interior temps in a car can go up to 140 degrees. An aside here- I marvel at people who leave their kids in the car while they go into a store "for a few minutes."
I would also like to see more photos of the camper. Off topic a bit but the wife and I saw a club on TV where members buy old/ancient campers and restore them. The club has rallies at different places each year.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 07:07 PM
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There are forums for tiny teardrop campers; both made from scratch and refurbished have lots of threads. My best friend is building an off road version to tow behind his Jeep. He has the frame, axles and fenders done; he asked me to do the wood work for him. I will post pictures of it when I get into that stage of the project.

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post #11 of 11 Old 03-20-2017, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTintheMorning View Post
Steve, do you mean the heat from whatever I might put on the counter, like a stove or from being in the sun and closed up when not in use?
Like pineknot pointed out in inside of the camper would get as hot as the interior of a car. Contact cement just won't hold up for very long at that temperature. There might be some issue with wood movement and laminate but you would have better luck with a different adhesive.
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