Formica laminated over polyurethane on wood
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  1. #1
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    Default Formica laminated over polyurethane on wood

    At risk of sounding like a Neanderthal, I have an application where I'm considering applying laminate over a polyurethane-finished slab of butcher-block, about 24 x 36 x 1.5" thk. Anyone out there have any guidance on process to make certain that there are no downstream issues with adhesion, or any other sorts of possible gremlins? My concerns are these:

    -solvent in contact cement attacking polyurethane, causing possible loss of adhesion or other unimagined issues,
    -flatness of finished (imported) butcher block not as flat as I might like, causing possible voids, leading to - you guessed it, loss of adhesion.

    My goal here is to do as little modification work as possible, and turn a commercially-made heavy-duty consumer cart into a part of our technical system product line. I have gone down the make-it-myself road for one-off, but I have been unable to find a supplier who would even provide a quote, or even an acknowledgment of RFQ receipt, for making replacement tops from MDF + Formica.

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    I think if the poly undercoat is firm and fully attached to the wood then all will be OK. If the contact adhesive were to partially solubilize the poly, when the contact fully did cure, it would cure along with the poly and form a super tight bond to the substrate. My unprofessional 2 cents!

    Stuart

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    Surface prep is important. A light sanding of the top surface would be required. Use a backing block and fine 600 to 1200 wet dry paper wet. This will level out any orange peel or finish lumps. Then dry the surface and clean it. The contact adhesive has some little film build to hide tiny dust particles. Shop duty may be hard on laminate edges. Have any thoughts on that? Butcher bluck will hold up much better than MDF or termite barf IKEA wood.
    Joe

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    Skip manufacturers; go to a good local cabinet shop. They can turn these out by the hundreds, at a good price if they can use it to fill in the slower periods. QC is easier, since you can monitor what they're doing and make changes before you have a container-load of them. Won't be as cheap as 'new', but selling the existing tops can make some money. Or, have them start with the new tops and do the sanding, etc. They'll have a 24" wide sander and planer for flattening if you want to go that route.

    What's your monthly/annual volume, and target price? I know a few folks who would take this on, but they're in Central Ohio...

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    There is no good way to do what you ask. The best would be epoxy but the poly may fail anyway. The butcher block will move with any humidity change while the laminate doesn’t. It’ll try to come apart.

    Any cabinet shop could make you high quality tops for not much money.

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    Thanks for the inputs. As I noted, I have gone to several cab shops/woodwork shops to have these quoted, and seemingly no one is interested at a build qty of maybe 10 at a time. The commercial shops are apparently tied up with the new-home construction biz out this way, at the current time. Frustrating to be ignored, but we will never be in the "buy 100 pcs" category.

    The application is for a support surface for an instrumentation system, not for shop use (where I would also much rather use butcher block), but the Formica gives a nice clean look for an instrument system.

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    Are you sure it is poly?
    Most butcher block would be oiled or something, think Ikea with their special oil they sell you

    I would buy one and try using regular contact adhesive to mount some smaller pieces and to just glue without anything to try to see what happens

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    I think there is no adhesive certified for polyurethane. You need a better plan.

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    I would (without any specific reason) be concerned about adhesion. But have experienced a residential laminate become delaminated...wasn't pretty.

    Is there any reason why you couldn't interpose a layer of fresh MDF over the poly coated bucher block (mechanically with screws) and then apply the laminate to the new MDF directly?

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    You are wanting to adhere Plastic laminate to a solid wood product. Plastic laminate IS a solid wood product almost, complete with grain direction and movement with atmospheric moisture content. Any fabricator with a brain will not want this business without a disclaimer. We glue, you pay COD and screw.

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    It might work but sounds iffy...

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    This doesn’t address/answer your original question but have you considered or would you consider powder coating the butcher block work as a finish for you? I know it sounds crazy at first, powder coating wood? But yes powder coated wood of many kinds (including some mdf) works well in some products.

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    From a quick web search —

    Restaurant Dining Tables and Table Tops

    There is someone out there who does this every day.


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