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  1. #1

    Default gluing down Formica


    Hey all

    My tower project is MDF with formica laminate on ALL outer surfaces.
    What is a good glue to use for the Formica?
    I'd like to use wood glue or 3M spray adhesive, I think using a layer of rubber cement will be too thick which will cause problems in getting a nice edge after utilizing a router with a proper laminate bit.
    Thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Contact Cement


    > Hey all

    > My tower project is MDF with formica
    > laminate on ALL outer surfaces.
    > What is a good glue to use for the Formica?
    > I'd like to use wood glue or 3M spray
    > adhesive, I think using a layer of rubber
    > cement will be too thick which will cause
    > problems in getting a nice edge after
    > utilizing a router with a proper laminate
    > bit.
    > Thoughts?

    Use contact cement, but not the water based one. For best application, get acetone, and cut it down in thickness by adding one part acetone to two parts CC. Mix well, and it will go on smooth, flat, and will dry much quicker.

    Apply the cut down CC three times to both surfaces and then wait for it to dry9that way you will guarantee a smooth surface. Then apply them together. Also use a piece of 2/4, turn it on the 1 1/2" side and use a hammer to force the PL to the substrate. I start in the middle of the piece and move outward by continually hitting the wood with the hammer. YOur arm will get tired, but the PL will be tight to the substrate.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kingman, Az
    Posts
    1,449

    Default Yup contact cement. *PIC*




    I didn't thin mine.

    I used a wallpaper roller to push it down.

  4. #4

    Default Re: gluing down Formica


    I used water based contact cement on my last pair of speakers (mind you I was veneering with oak) and it worked perfectly. You just let it tack up and it holds like nobodys business, and almost no smell. I would try a practice piece to see if its up to your standards, only costs like $5 per bottle, just try doing a small piece on scrap wood. I think the veneering time is somewhere around 30 minutes after you apply the water based cement.

    Normal contact cement is a pain to use, its very hard to apply and the smell will knock you on your **** unless your outdoors and when veneering even small cabinets takes 4 hours this stuff will make you feel sick for sure.

    goodluck.

    > Hey all

    > My tower project is MDF with formica
    > laminate on ALL outer surfaces.
    > What is a good glue to use for the Formica?
    > I'd like to use wood glue or 3M spray
    > adhesive, I think using a layer of rubber
    > cement will be too thick which will cause
    > problems in getting a nice edge after
    > utilizing a router with a proper laminate
    > bit.
    > Thoughts?


  5. #5

    Default Re: gluing down Formica


    Hmmm...one says water-based, the other says non-water-based....I think I will try the water based....the fumes are a big concern for me...and by the way, I meant to say contact cement, not rubber cement in my original post...thanks...
    Just as an FYI, I called a place locally that makes kitchen counters, and they said to use spray adhesive....go figure....
    > Hey all

    > My tower project is MDF with formica
    > laminate on ALL outer surfaces.
    > What is a good glue to use for the Formica?
    > I'd like to use wood glue or 3M spray
    > adhesive, I think using a layer of rubber
    > cement will be too thick which will cause
    > problems in getting a nice edge after
    > utilizing a router with a proper laminate
    > bit.
    > Thoughts?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    6,251

    Default Re: gluing down Formica


    The spray adhesive they are referring to probably is thinned down solvent based contact cement. I've used both water based and solvent based with formica and have accepable results with both. I prefer solvent based because it is SLIGHTLY more forgiving if you do make inadvertant contact with substrate and too often when you apply a second coat of water based, the first coat pulls off the substate as it sticks to the roller. With proper ventilation the smell of solvent based doesn't bother me. The only time I've had laminate come off is when I did thin the adhesive. I use two unthinned coats on both sub and lam. The important point in applying laminate is to get adequate pressure applied as soon as contact is made. I use a roller for this as a block and hammer are too slow. Sometimes I clamp the corners or edges if the substate isn't absolutely completely flat.


    (Originally posted by: Jdelys)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Outer Banks NC
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: gluing down Formica


    > Hey all

    > My tower project is MDF with formica
    > laminate on ALL outer surfaces.
    > What is a good glue to use for the Formica?
    > I'd like to use wood glue or 3M spray
    > adhesive, I think using a layer of rubber
    > cement will be too thick which will cause
    > problems in getting a nice edge after
    > utilizing a router with a proper laminate
    > bit.
    > Thoughts?

    Scotch 90 is basically a spray contact cement and will hold just as well. When the cabinet installers did my island I had designed using stock cabinets we had to face two sides and 90 was the stuff. Great especially for small jobs because I hardly ever use an entire pint of CC and end up with a roller to trash, a liner, etc. and a part container to dry out right before I need to use it. Be sure and plan your spray using side to side motion as the tip puts out a vertical slit pattern. The tack time is also way shorter than canned stuff so you can get on with the job and have less fumes, meaning more functional gray matter.


  8. #8

    Default I still wouldn't use the water based stuff


    > Hmmm...one says water-based, the other says
    > non-water-based....I think I will try the
    > water based....the fumes are a big concern
    > for me...and by the way, I meant to say
    > contact cement, not rubber cement in my
    > original post...thanks...
    > Just as an FYI, I called a place locally
    > that makes kitchen counters, and they said
    > to use spray adhesive....go figure....

    Just remember this: if you use the water based CC, because working outside is beyond your pay grade, and it does not do the job properly, don't come back and blame CC as the problem. Maybe it will work, maybe not.

    But I can guarantee you that if you use the regular CC and cut it down, and apply three thin coats, you will NEVER have any problems. I Promise you that. What you do is your responsibility.


  9. #9

    Default Re: I still wouldn't use the water based stuff


    > if you use the water
    > based CC, because working outside is beyond
    > your pay grade,

    That's an interesting thing to say...what do you mean by that?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    889

    Default Re: I still wouldn't use the water based stuff


    I ditto the solvent based CC. I only use one coat, but I seal all my cabinets with sanding sealer and sand for a glass like finish before I apply the CC. I use a 4" disposable roller($.99) to apply and I've never had a problem with delamination. With wood veneer and PL going for ~$100+ a sheet, getting it right the first time is the ONLY option.

  11. #11

    Default I'm rootin for the water based!!! Please read!


    Like I said, spend an extra $5 on a water based can and try to veneer a small scrap piece and see how it turns out for you.

    If you just use a generous single coat of water based then you dont need to do a second coat. I used water based on oak veneer, which is supposed to be a MAJOR no no because it makes it curl, it turned out perfectly and holds like a mofo.

    Now formica wont even curl at all because its not wood. AGAIN just spend the extra $5 and see how it turns out for you, I for one have used both solvent based and the water based on the exact same oak veneer and the water based was a like a gift from god. I did two sides with solvent based and said F* this because the smell was so overwhelming, and guess what, those two sides ended up laying out like S**t and I try to hide them by having them face the walls of my audio room. The project im talking about are my huge 15"wide X 24"deep X 75"tall cabinets!!! I was laying down peices that were 2'wide X 3' tall.

    Just some ideas from me, and thats not to say that these other guys dont know what there talking about because they build some really nice stuff, and its what the pros use.

    > Hmmm...one says water-based, the other says
    > non-water-based....I think I will try the
    > water based....the fumes are a big concern
    > for me...and by the way, I meant to say
    > contact cement, not rubber cement in my
    > original post...thanks...
    > Just as an FYI, I called a place locally
    > that makes kitchen counters, and they said
    > to use spray adhesive....go figure....


  12. #12

    Default Re: I'm rootin for the water based!!! Please read!


    Also another key tip with the water based is to apply it to the surfaces and let it sit for about 30-45 minutes, then lay the veneer onto the cabs and I think youll be happy with the results.

    > Like I said, spend an extra $5 on a water
    > based can and try to veneer a small scrap
    > piece and see how it turns out for you.

    > If you just use a generous single coat of
    > water based then you dont need to do a
    > second coat. I used water based on oak
    > veneer, which is supposed to be a MAJOR no
    > no because it makes it curl, it turned out
    > perfectly and holds like a mofo.

    > Now formica wont even curl at all because
    > its not wood. AGAIN just spend the extra $5
    > and see how it turns out for you, I for one
    > have used both solvent based and the water
    > based on the exact same oak veneer and the
    > water based was a like a gift from god. I
    > did two sides with solvent based and said F*
    > this because the smell was so overwhelming,
    > and guess what, those two sides ended up
    > laying out like S**t and I try to hide them
    > by having them face the walls of my audio
    > room. The project im talking about are my
    > huge 15"wide X 24"deep X
    > 75"tall cabinets!!! I was laying down
    > peices that were 2'wide X 3' tall.

    > Just some ideas from me, and thats not to
    > say that these other guys dont know what
    > there talking about because they build some
    > really nice stuff, and its what the pros
    > use.


  13. #13

    Default It's your call


    > That's an interesting thing to say...what do
    > you mean by that?

    I said that in reference to the fellow, who said that he would rather work inside with his contact cement. What? If that is the only reason to use the water based glue, then obviously convenience is more important than the finished product.

    I understand that the water based CC has greatly improved, but it still cannot equal the solvent based CC. And yes, I wouldn't even begin to think of applying it inside, unless I want to have a severe high/headache. I'm not a masochist. but it does not take long to dry outside, and is not that much trouble to work with.

    Oh, and while some here prefer to use a roller and just one coat, I personally don't recommend it. Not that it will not work, but it is impossible to make a flat coat. Taking the time to cut down the CC with Acetone and apply three thin coats is far better, makes a nice finish, and lays flat without any air pockets when you apply the product.

    If you haven't gone through this process before, you have no idea how well it will adhere the two. I use a brush to apply it, and because it is cut down it dries very quickly. With the first coat, by the time you finish both the PL and then the substrate, you are almost ready to apply the second coat again, it dries that fast. Plus, the brushed on surface is so smooth, it looks like you are a professional. The coats dry very quickly, and you KNOW that it will adhere well once you apply them together.

    Anyway, use your own judgement. If you want to use just one coat, go for it. But remember, by taking a little extra time and care, you will have a better product. that's all.

    Also, I don't recommend using CC on wood veneer unless it is paper backed. Raw veneer will not take to CC very well. We had a detailed and sometime heated discussion about this over at DIYAudio.com a couple of months ago. The best way to apply raw veneer is with a good PVA adhesive, such as Titebond II, or an epoxy resin glue in a vacuum press. I have not used epoxys yet, but intend to build a nice veneer press in the near future. That way a professional gluing of veneer is guaranteed.

    Most people use large sheets to veneer their speakers, and paper backed veneer is adequate for this, but your options are limited. If you are into bookmatching or quartermatching, you are SOL with CC. CC is not rigid and even if you are able to make the matched veneer look tight when it is applied, it will tend to move away and leave an opening over time. That is why PVA glues or eposy resin glues are best.

    Anyway, I am getting off topic, but CC is limited if you wish to acheive professional results. However, for Plastic laminate, CC is your best option. Just remember, you only have one chance with CC, so be certain that you apply the CC properly.


  14. #14

    Default Re: It's your call


    > I said that in reference to the fellow, who
    > said that he would rather work inside with
    > his contact cement. What? If that is the
    > only reason to use the water based glue,
    > then obviously convenience is more important
    > than the finished product.

    Oh..well, working outside isn't an option for me right now, and I don't have the means by which I can adequately ventilate the room I'm working in.

    Anyways, thanks everyone...I'm much wiser now.

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