cutting plastic laminate - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-31-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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cutting plastic laminate

I need to cut a 2x6 ft piece of Formica from a 4x8 sheet. The piece will need to be cut accurately and dressed prior to gluing it down, as the substrate has a roundover on the edges, and I can't use a trim router afterward.

How do you cut a big sheet down without chip-out? And how do you keep it flat when cutting? It's too big for the table saw and putting it across saw horses and using a circular saw seems like an invitation for chipping.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-31-2017, 04:29 PM
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It depends on the blade you have. Using a good 40 tooth blade I would cut it 25"x 73". If it's like I'm picturing I think I would let the laminate overhang a little and use a bit with a little larger radius and radius the wood and laminate in one step.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-31-2017, 04:58 PM
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Could you cut it slightly oversized, then sneak up on the final size using a router?
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-31-2017, 09:43 PM
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I would cut it using most any method (I've used my Roto-Zip, jig saw with sheet metal blade, etc...) and then temporarily mount it on a slab that is the correct dimension you want with double sided tape. Run your laminate trimmer over it and call it good.

My second (if not first) choice would be to do as Steve says in post #2

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-01-2017, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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It's actually a workbench with an MDF top that already has rounded edges. Home Depot, really nice:

I'm using it for my brewing table and it's gonna get wet, so I want to cover it with plastic laminate. I don't think I can cut the sheet oversize and match the profile of the rounded top edge, so I'm trying to come up with a way to cut it a bit smaller but with some precision.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-01-2017, 10:42 AM
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I always cut the laminate on my table saw, just curl the hpl back under at your feet and cut slow. Place a 1/4 inch strip of wood at the fence so the hpl don't run under it. It isn't hard to cut like that.

As for the rounded edge, just let your hpl run wild a little passed the over hang and use a round over bit like below, just lower the bit so it will leave a square shoulder, that way it will make a new round over and cut the hpl good and square neatly. Be sure to file the edges of the hpl after installing, it gets very sharp and will cut the fool out of you.

I would suggest sealing the edges of the mdf very very well and even under the edges to keep the mdf dry as possible. JMHO
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Last edited by BigJim; 11-01-2017 at 10:52 AM. Reason: added
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