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Doing it myself
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I have a piece of formica countertop (slightly warped) that I want to make rigid and flat by use of some 1x3 lumber in the shape of a frame with some cross bracing. It needs to stay straight. I'm almost certain that building a frame out of hardwood is the way to go, but what I don't know is if there will be much gained with a rough frame by spending more money on something other than poplar. What other alternatives might be sufficient for this purpose?

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance. :)
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Is this just a sheet of laminate?

Or is it already on a backer of some kind?

I have seen Formica laminate on particle board, that was just fine .

So you don't need to buy expensive hardwood, a sheet of particle board and a can of contact cement and you are set.


ED
 

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Doing it myself
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Discussion Starter #3
No, it's a used (large) piece of top I picked up from a remodel for free.

My intention is to build a table saw cabinet and use that for the top. It's got a decent bow to it and I need to straighten it out. I kind of figured some sort of hard lumber would be the best option.

I thought about buying some angle iron and drill and bolt them together, but it seemed a little cleaner to glue and clamp 1x3's around the perimeter and cross members in between every 12" or so.

I've also come to the conclusion that the 'cheap' hardwood isn't necessarily that expensive, but shipping it is what will break your budget. I found red oak 1x3 and 1x4 between 1.28 and 1.50 a foot, but the shipping cost about twice what the wood did.

I can hit the local lumber yard but I want to be sure to not spend an excessive amount of money where it isn't necessary. I'd rather save the $$$ for the cabinet part of the job. :p
 

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No, it's a used (large) piece of top I picked up from a remodel for free.

My intention is to build a table saw cabinet and use that for the top. It's got a decent bow to it and I need to straighten it out. I kind of figured some sort of hard lumber would be the best option.

I thought about buying some angle iron and drill and bolt them together, but it seemed a little cleaner to glue and clamp 1x3's around the perimeter and cross members in between every 12" or so.

I've also come to the conclusion that the 'cheap' hardwood isn't necessarily that expensive, but shipping it is what will break your budget. I found red oak 1x3 and 1x4 between 1.28 and 1.50 a foot, but the shipping cost about twice what the wood did.

I can hit the local lumber yard but I want to be sure to not spend an excessive amount of money where it isn't necessary. I'd rather save the $$$ for the cabinet part of the job. :p
If you are building a cabinet, why not just fasten the counter to the cabinet top?
 

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Drywall Hat Track might work to stiffen it.
Depending on how warped it is, it might straighten it as well, but your best bet is to ensure that it is dry and clamp it to something flat to see if you are wasting your time.
 
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What is the substrate? If it's MDF or particle board and has gotten wet then you may never get it flat. Can you get it flat with clamps or by weighting it? If so, you may be able to glue and screw it down.
 

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Doing it myself
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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, the substrate is particleboard, but it hasn't gotten wet. I presume that it didn't have enough support underneath it in a few spots over it's lifetime.

It had occurred to me to simply fasten it to the cabinet, but I still think it will need additional support across it's width, and i'd like to get it flat before I set it up there rather than trying to do it from below and inside the cabinet.

I hadn't really thought about plywood... Is the end grain of plywood strong enough to hold a glue joint to particleboard? I could always use the pocket hole jig to screw it in from underneath, but then should I worry about the strength of the plys to hold that screw?

At this point I should probably take a picture of it to illustrate the amount of warping. I don't think it's really that bad, but it definitely won't work for a tablesaw top the way it is now.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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To get this as flat as possible I would place it on the floor with the laminate side down.

then have a sheet of 3/4 plywood already cut to size to glue to it spread contact cement on the two parts, put them together, with a lot of weight on the plywood.

Weight = anything heavy enough to press it all down flat until the glue dries.

Bricks, exercise weights, beer kegs, etc.

This way you are only thickening it the same as you would have with 1X4s, but are strengthening it all at once, and making it heavy. But strong , which is needed for a table saw extension.


ED
 

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Doing it myself
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Discussion Starter #11
I see your thought process is a little different than mine.

I was planning to lay 1x4 on end similarly to a floor joist and then clamp and glue perhaps even pocket screws to help hold it in place. When 3/4 ply was mentioned I had envisioned the same sort of process.

The main problem with thickening the entire top would be loss of cut depth. when the saw is mounted. As it is now going from an aluminum top to a 3/4" material Im going to lose some depth already.
 

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Single layer mdf or edges blocked to 1 1/2"? If mdf damaged, won't hold screws. For shop, I would use 2x4 on edge. Straight, dry 2x4 frame, screw one end then hold with clamp over piece of wood against the top. Then bring the opposite end down with clamp until it lays flat then recess the top and hold down with washer and screw. I'm assuming from the description that this is formica slab (without the splash back) and sagging in the middle. 1x4 ply backing can hold a bit of weight (4'x10" bookcase shelf with 1x4 ply backing and pine 1x2 nosing and 10" stack of books, but about 1/4" sag over some months), but may follow the top if it wants to spring back to old shape.
The 3/4" ply I used was from homedepot and I think its name had "core" in it. It was sanded smooth, nothing structural, just about no grain, and the top veneer may be was cheap grade mahogany. It was relatively flat and light. My color combo was amber shellac and black stain trim. These days, I don't see it but instead a ply called sand-ply, but the sand ply is less flat.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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I too would use 2X material then, If you are thinking that losing cut depth will be a problem.

Build a box frame against the saw, and then the outside of the laminate sheet, attach with pocket screws if possible.

Can also add more bracing from the inside box to the outside box.

Then place it over the saw, use support legs on the outside edge for stability.


ED
 
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