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helpless handyman 10-19-2007 09:48 PM

Need Help With Formica Top
Hi Everyone, and all suggestions welcomed. I am trying to make a countertop, there will be a 16 inc deep cabinet on the left side, and a 16 inc deep cabinet on the right side, cabinets are 34 inc in height. I need to know, what type of plywood, thickness as well, and what to use to build up the edge of the counter, 1x2 etc.... What type of bit for router to cut the formica, as well as what to use to cut the sheet of formica. It will be a small work station, 17 inc deep by 64 inc in width. Thanks so much, I have a router, as well as a table saw, and many more toys...:laughing: .

send_it_all 10-19-2007 10:30 PM

Make the top out of 3/4" particle board. Use a 3/4" x 3/4" piece to build up front edge. Glue it and nail it with 1-1/4" brads. You can use your table saw to rip the formica to rough width if it has the capacity, or just use heavy duty scissors or sheet metal shears. Also. rip a piece 2" wide for the build-up. Attach the front (buil-up) piece first. Brush or roll contact cement onto both surfaces. Let it sit till it is almost dry to the touch then stick the pieces together. It bonds instantly so make sure it is aligned correctly. If you need to take them apart, use laquer thinner. Use a block of wood (if you don't happen to have a J roller) to rub/press the pieces together. Route off the excess with a straight cutting bit w/ a bearing on it. Then repeat this process with the big/top piece. To pull pieces apart put laquer thinner in a squirt bottle. Squirt a stream between the pieces and use a putty knife to slide in and unstick them. Try not to need to do this as it is no fun. When using the router, have the work piece on sawhorses and as you are looking at the edge closest to your body, route from left to right. If you go the other way, the router will try to get away from you....hope this helps.

helpless handyman 10-20-2007 09:03 PM

Thanks Send It All, you gave me instructions to the teeth!:thumbsup:

send_it_all 10-21-2007 05:51 AM

I try to be thorough.

helpless handyman 10-22-2007 07:48 PM

Hi Send It All, do I build up just the front edge? Or all around the top?


send_it_all 10-22-2007 09:17 PM

Build up any edges that will be exposed. Obviously the front, and any sides that will be exposed. If you are building in a backsplash, that should have a build-up attached to the back/top of the splash. This will allow you to scribe the countertop to the wall by tracing the shape of the wall onto the build-up and the cutting it to fit. That is a process that might be a little difficult to explain here. If you need me to try, let me know.

Remember to apply the laminate to the edges first...cut the excess off, and then apply the top. This will look cleaner by having the top piece cover the edge of the side pieces. It will also make it more resistant to damage if liquid is spilled on it by not letting the liquid leak into the seam....hope this all makes sense.

helpless handyman 10-23-2007 12:48 PM

I can use my regular router? Or does it have to be a laminate trimmer?

send_it_all 10-23-2007 02:01 PM

It can be a regular router, but the smaller laminate trimmers fit into tighter corners. Check into a laminate file also. They are designed just for laminate. It will have a coarse side and a fine side and also a serrated edge for "sawing" off overhand where the routers cant reach. Be careful when filing edges. It is easy to file the color from the face of laminate.

helpless handyman 10-23-2007 06:11 PM

Thanks, Send It All! Got it! Again, Thanks for all your help..

send_it_all 10-23-2007 06:50 PM

No problem at all.

helpless handyman 11-12-2007 11:36 AM

Okay, picked up the particle board this weekend. I cut the piece for the top, 17 by 68. I lay the top on the cabinets, and I need to scribe it so that it fits smugly to the back wall. Don't want to have a thick bead of caulk running on the back. Whats the best way to scribe? Can I use a belt sander ? Last but not least, should I get the top fitting in perfectly before I glue the laminate on, or should I install the laminate first? Thanks

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