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Applying formica to MDF

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Chronosoft

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Hi Folks
Wondering if I can get some advice. Im building a counter for a salon that I am opening. I am doing the counter in MDF and need to laminate it with some high gloss formica. Whats the best glue for applying the laminate to the MDF. I know the popular choice is contact adhesive but it just worries me that its a one shot deal (are there repositionable contact available?).

Also has anyone got any tips for successful applications and what pitfalls do I need to check for.

Kind regards

David
 

jasonB

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Its usual to cut the laminate oversize, apply and then trim flush to the substrate, that way you have a bit to play with.

Once the glue is touch dry lay some thin battens every 12" over the surface , place the laminate on top and then pull one batten out at a time as you work along teh counter. Ideally a "J roller" should be used to roll down teh laminate and push out any air.

J
 

eribaMotters

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David,
its a few years since I have used large sheets of formica oir similar, but:-
[1] - You need an impact as opposed to a contact adhesive. The difference is the later does not allow movement once contact is made between the two surfaces. Read the small print on the tins.
[2] - If possible cut the laminate a few mm over size. Apply adhesive and allow to go TOTAlLY dry. This means go away and have a cup of tea. The surfaces should be dry enough for you to lay your hand on without any "tack".
[3] - Lay out sticks or when competent sheets of newspaper over the mdf surface. Lay the formica ontop and line up so you have a mm or so overlap on the edges. Pull out the sticks or paper and press down with a block of wood. Trim overlapping edges with a sharp plane.

I have used this method on sheets up to 8 x 2, following the advice of an old chippy who used to laminate large surfaces up inside the local prison. It works well. Best of luck.

Colin
 

Shane

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Make sure the Formica (or equivilant product) you use is of the right grade/thickness, otherwise you'll see loads of ripples in it, no matter how even you spread the adhesive. Formica do not specify any type of adhesive for their products, so whatever you use they will not give you any sort of back up or advice.
 

Paul Chapman

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I haven't used Formica since the 1970s but there were two contact adhesives I used to use that allowed some limited movement. They are both still available (although I'm not sure if their composition has changed). One is EvoStik Timebond http://www.bostik.co.uk/diy/product/evo-stik/Timebond/7 and the other is Dunlop Thixofix http://www.technix-rubber.com/dunlop-thixofix.html

In those days I used chipboard as a substrate (MDF wasn't widely available then). Because the chipboard was fairly absorbent, I used to apply the adhesive (with a notched spreader) to the chipboard and let it dry thoroughly. I'd then apply another coat and a coat to the Formica.

As others have said, use battens and gradually remove them and press down the Formica with something like a roller. If you are covering the edges of the counter as well, do these first, then the top as the edges will be better protected that way.

I used to use a low angle block plane to trim the edges, finely set and honed to a steep angle. You'll need to re-hone the blade frequently.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Chronosoft

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Thanks chaps - amazing advice and I will take all that on board.

Many thanks

David
 

OPJ

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When I made my router table a few years ago, I used a cheap brand of contact adhesive to bond the Formica to the MDF and it's held very well indeed. Any surplus glue (on your hands or on the show face of the laminate, for example) can be cleaned away with white spirit.
 

Benchwayze

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David,

Save yourself the trouble, and use common-or-garden kitchen-counter top. It's available at most DIY sheds. Unless you don't like the various effects that are used on the stuff of course.

I always find that lighter fuel removes contact adhesive much better than white spirit, and it dries quicker. Although that might depend on the make of adhesive. My experience has always been with Evo-Stick.

HTH :D
 

Chronosoft

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Its a custom curved counter John so i don't have the option of buying in pre laminated.

Cheers though
 

Benchwayze

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Chronosoft":3upoe7yo said:
Its a custom curved counter John so i don't have the option of buying in pre laminated.

Cheers though
I never fought of dat! #-o :oops:
Point taken though! :)

Best of luck all the same.
 

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