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Lino As A Desk Covering

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custard

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I'm building a built-in desk along three sides of a study and was musing on a suitable desk top material. Flicking through some old copies of Furniture & Cabinet Making I found a great article about a desk top made from MDF with a lino top and timber lipping all round. It looked terrific and the article recommended Forbo as the lino supplier. Sure enough they have a lino range specially designed for desk tops.

But looking at the samples they've sent has prompted two questions,

This stuff is as tough as old boots, any recommendations for cutting it to precise dimensions? Or would you cut oversize then route/trim off the overhang?

Any advice on gluing?

Thanks
 

Andrewf

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Have never fitted the stuff, but it has been a tradional covering for chart tables on ships, and is a really good surface to work on.
 

custard

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Andrewf":1vmww7in said:
Have never fitted the stuff, but it has been a tradional covering for chart tables on ships, and is a really good surface to work on.
Sounds like you're an east coast sailor, I used to have a boat moored on the Medway and sailed to Maldon regularly.
 

Benchwayze

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Custard,
I would try an email to the suppliers (Forbo?)
They ought to know something about the working properties of lino I gues.
If it's true lino, it is tough as a very tough thing, believe me, but it needs sticking down well, otherwise it balloons and cracks. Needs polishing regularly too IMO.


http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-linoleum.htm

It was used extensively in HM ships, on interior decks too. Tough as old boots is about right .

HTH
:D
 

houtslager

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Been there and done it :) depending on the quality of your ;ino, it machines great, leaves an interesting smell in the air after though :)

Personally, I'd make it oversize, then rout to size.

hth,

k
 

woodbloke

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There's an excellent article in the current issue of F&C where the ed, Derek Jones is restoring classic 30's tea trolly and uses lino (sourced through Forbo) as a surface replacement for the original. He also goes into some detail on the best ways of using the stuff...highly recommended as a covering - Rob
 

Benchwayze

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I am obliged to Custard too. One of my 'round tuits' is a computer desk. My memory has been jogged, to the point that I did fleetingly think about lino, but thought it unavailable except maybe in small sheets for artwork! So now it's on.... :D
 

AndyT

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We had some lino covered tables at school, and they survived everything!

An old diy book of mine describes laying lino as a floorcovering and says you need to leave it unrolled in a warm room for a day or so before cutting, as it will spread a bit. It says to use a hooked knife to cut the top side, then fold and complete the cut from the back. You can still get hooked Stanley knife blades which might do.
 

Benchwayze

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You can buy lino cutting knives at most art-shops. They might want to sell you a few other cutting tools as well, so you can make 'lino-cuts', but all the lino knife is, is a version of the boot-maker's leather knife with a larger, hooked blade. ( A boot-maker's knife makes a great marking knife BTW.

HTH :D
 

No skills

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AndyT":2rjhcimi said:
We had some lino covered tables at school, and they survived everything!

An old diy book of mine describes laying lino as a floorcovering and says you need to leave it unrolled in a warm room for a day or so before cutting, as it will spread a bit.

This is spot on advise, the warmth needed for best flexability in linos varys a bit - we have used some that needed to be very warm to avoid cracking and be pliable. Our current floor lino can be used at room temperature with no problems, if there are any humps or bends in it then localised heat from a heat gun will sort it out.

Our (old :D ) floor layer uses hooked blades in a dolphin knife and has for donkeys years (as do lots of other vinyl layers), change the blades often to keep acuracy and safety up. For our flooring lino he uses a laytex adhesive.

FWIW
 

twothumbs

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Old fashioned lino is a good covering which got lost when newer and ‘better’ materials came into use. The old lino isn’t so bad after all, as discovered in the Falkland war when it was shown that plastic burns with an acrid and health damaging smoke, etc. (did someone not know that before?). Ships had always used battleship lino (thick). Lino is self extinguishing but will of course burn if you subject it to flames. The wear is through the body material so does not suffer from that worn out look. It is also a good anti-bacterial, as rediscovered for hospital uses and is relatively good environmentally, largely using natural materials; hessian back, linseed oil, another ? oil, wood flour, chalk, and some 30% reuse of factory cuts and wastage. Possibly still British made.

It can be sanded and refinished and will take a lot of finishes including the sort of thing used in pubs. It has a slight give to it which is far more forgiving than plastic laminate so good for counters and table tops. Easily cut with a knife as said so a good material to handle. Patterns and colours have improved from the old marbling of childhood. I’m sure the 2mm thickness would be good enough nowadays. The thick stuff must have been more like 6mm (1/4”) equivalent. You may need to weight it down to stick.

I was recently in a school and the built-in cupboards, which I played a small part in, had the same worktops of 50 years ago and are still good, so something done right back then. I don’t think laminate would do that, although the ones of that era were much thicker.


Good luck.

.
 

Benchwayze

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We had another name for the stuff that was laid 'tween decks in H.M Ships. Can't recall the name now, but it was similar to lino; probably was lino. It was about 5mm thick, and needed to be heated to make it pliable. It was 'rolled' a short way up the bulkheads, like 'hospital-skirting'. It formed a curved, easy-clean fillet all along the junction of bulkhead and deck. Happy Days! :D
 

No skills

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Our floorlayer calls that capped and coved lino, a curved former is glued where the floor meets wall - a finishing 'cap' is glued along the wall at desired height - lino is rolled up the wall and trimmed to fit in a recess/groove in the cap. Any corner joints are hot welded, tho he keeps telling us using a sealant is the new thing as the welds 'always' crack :roll:

Popular in hospitals/doctors/vets etc etc
 

Benchwayze

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No skills":3okuxdsx said:
Our floorlayer calls that capped and coved lino, a curved former is glued where the floor meets wall - a finishing 'cap' is glued along the wall at desired height - lino is rolled up the wall and trimmed to fit in a recess/groove in the cap. Any corner joints are hot welded, tho he keeps telling us using a sealant is the new thing as the welds 'always' crack :roll:

Popular in hospitals/doctors/vets etc etc
I want to remember the name we called this lino. But it is 50 years ago! It will come to the surface eventually! :D
 

twothumbs

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I will probably remember the name in bed annd sleeping at 3.00 o'clock in the morning..... will phone you immeadiately!
 

Benchwayze

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twothumbs":3tvom762 said:
I will probably remember the name in bed annd sleeping at 3.00 o'clock in the morning..... will phone you immeadiately!
Can't say I am that desperate to recall it mind! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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