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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I want to de-lamintate a piece of 4mm thick plywood.
The plywood is made of 3 laminates (around 1,3mm each).

I know that in most cases people ask how to fix de-laminated plywood but in my case I am doing just the opposite - trying to de-laminate a pretty healthy piece of PW.

What is a good way to do that?
Heat the plywood?
Steam it and heat it with hot clothes iron?
Boil it in water?

I know that it will all depend on the kind of glue used for the making of the plywood.
Guess it is a pretty standard glue used on this one because it is a common and standard kind of plywood, not water resistant or anything special like that.

Thanks!
 

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Well Bulldozer, that is a rather strange question . Do I have an answer, no. In fact I will answer your question with a question (man, I hate it when people do that to me :huh:) Watcha doin' ? Why are you trying to de-laminate it ? I know I have had ply exposed to the weather (water) and it de-laminated...but not in any pretty way.
Maybe some else can help you out, I just thought I would say hello.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcomes, guys.
It's just a weird (and pretty crazy, I must say) experiment of mine.
Will show you the results after (and if) I manage to de-laminate that piece of plywood.
 

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You didn't say how thick the plywood is to start with, how much you want to take off, the overall size of the piece, and the type of plywood. This type of information would make giving a suggestion some merit.

Generally speaking, other than a mechanical method, you would probably ruin the remaining plies. If the piece isn't too large, and you have the time and a sharp chisel, you can chisel off a layer. This method would add to your chiseling experience.

Or, lay the piece flat and next to it a scrap piece of the same thickness and use a router to make sufficient passes and continue the base onto the scrap piece to finish up the starter piece. Depending on how much you want to take off, you may have to make several depth changes. You can use a flat bottom mortising bit. A commom size is 3/4".




 

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If I am reading between the lines right Bulldozer wants to end up with one big laminate in good condition. I would suggest steam a section at a time. After you get the laminate separated you would then need to repair the damage. Haa Haa you got a vacume press?? That way you could flatten it just like any fletch that is warped.
 

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It could be he has a antique beyond salvage, with a wood no longer available i.e. true American Chestnut etc. and he wants to re-use it in a new project. Just a guess.

If it is contact cement, which was (and still) widely used you can delaminate it, and of course if it is an antique and hide glue was used then for sure I think you would be able to. Older veneer was much thicker, up to a 1/4" if it predates machined veneers, but if it is a standard size modern veneer it could be as thin as 1/50th of an inch.

The reason i say it can be demlaminated is not because I know how (I don't) but because I know Thom Gentle has done delaminations of some of Frank Lloyd Wrights furniture while doing restoration work, and Frank Lloyd Wright had practically everything available to him then i think except PVA. If it is PVA I think you can just forget it.

If you are wanting to delaminate an actual sheet of construction plywood then I too say - why? :huh:


Nothing like a bunch of curious woodworkers watching a mystery unfold. Only thing better is to watch, a bunch of woodworkers watching, the mystery unfold. I just subscribed to this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@TexasTimbers, it has something to do with restoration, yes. Your guess is pretty close to what I am doing.

@cabinetman, as I said in my first post, the piece of plywood is 4 milimeters thick (1/6''), sporting three layers. Which means that each layer is around 1,3 milimeters (1/18'').
Pretty thin.

I am trying to get a couple of nice 40 X 60 centimeters pieces out of the board.

I have thought of routing the excess away but this is pure destruction and not what I am after.


OK, I will try using heat because, if I remember right, PVA glues melt at over 80 degrees Celsius. If it was some other kind of glue used (like soy glue or urea-formaldehyde glue), I will try using steam and moisture as well.

In both cases my main tool will be the clothes iron. :)
 

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I would do a little more research before I started tinkering with it if you can't afford to ruin it. Does the piece have any areas that have some smaller, but otherwise non-salvageable sections you could practice with first?

If you are correct that PVA will melt at 180F then you are going to have to get the wood even hotter. And just melting the PVA would not remove it from the veneer anyway.
 
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