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Contact Cement for MDF

This is a discussion on Contact Cement for MDF within the Table-mounted Routing forums, part of the Routers category; Originally Posted by Tellefan You stated that you scraped both surfaces, did you do that ...


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Old 04-05-2010, 06:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellefan View Post
You stated that you scraped both surfaces, did you do that to make it more even (cleaned off the glops)? I'm getting ready to make my top by laminating 1/2" MDF to 3/4" MDF and top it with Corian then put on oak edges.

Do you think if I seal up the bottom and the plate cut out with poly it will be OK?

I really don't want to put Corian on the bottom also.

Thank you,
David
Hi David:

Welcome to the forums!

The reason for scraping the contact cement is to remove lumps ("glops") and level out the contact cement layers. I had forgotten to do this step on the first surface and ended up with the hills and valleys.

It is generally accepted by the pros that for MDF cores, one should seal the top and bottom in similar manners. Since I was laminating the top, I needed to laminate the bottom. The reason is to balance the moisture infiltration/escape between the two surfaces. This reduces the chance of warpage to moisture.

Edit: After re-reading your post, David, I add: The bottom surface should be sealed to the same degree as the top. It does not need to be the same material, but the bottom sealant needs to seal pretty much the same as the top sealant.

Cassandra

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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David,

The scraping is done before applying the adhesive to roughen up the surface and give the adhesive a better surface to adhere.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BigJimAK View Post
David,

The scraping is done before applying the adhesive to roughen up the surface and give the adhesive a better surface to adhere.
Hey, Jim:

The scraping that I was talking about was the one done after applying the contact cement, to remove the glops. Prior to applying the contact cement, I do a light sanding to rough up the surface so the contact cement can bond well.

Cassandra
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Hi David:

The steps I take are:
1. Make sure surfaces are greasefree, dirtfree, et cetera and mate prorperly.
2. Lightly sand the smooth surfaces (especially MDF.)
3. Vacuum and dry wipe the surfaces to remove the sanding dust.
4. Apply the contact cement.
5. Scrape the contact cement.
6. Mate the surfaces, using separators to help the mating and positioning.
7. Use a J-roller to press the laminate down.
8. Use hammer and block to try to flatten any hills. (Not that successfully.)
9. Using a trim bit in my router, trim the laminate.

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Old 04-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
Hey, Jim:

The scraping that I was talking about was the one done after applying the contact cement, to remove the glops. Prior to applying the contact cement, I do a light sanding to rough up the surface so the contact cement can bond well.

Cassandra
Ah yes.. glop patrol..
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:46 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Thank you ALL for the info. I now need to get off my lazy butt and build it. I've spent more time reading up on the matter than it will take to build!

Thanks also for the warm welcome.

David
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:00 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You're very welcome, David! Glad to be of help.

Cassandra
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:50 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustmaker View Post
Hi Cassandra,

I don't know about water based contact cements, but for my router table top I used the DAP gel based contact cement to glue my MDF pieces together as well as the Formica on top and bottom of the MDF. It worked very well. I used a 99 cent bristle brush to put it on and just threw it away when finished.
DAP at Lowe's: Quart Weldwood® Gel Formula Contact Cement

+ 1 on that suggestion.
But, I would recommend letting the first coat dry, then add a lighter coat over the first. The MDF seems to soak up too much of the first coat to allow a good bond without a 2nd application.
Just my opinion though, although it is based on past experience.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:39 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MinConst View Post
If you want good contact cement use the solvent based products. They havent perfected the water based stuff yet.
Hmmm. got details on them thar imperfections in water based contact what you mentioned to share with us?? In 15 years of using water base contact for countertops, the only failure I've had was attribuitable to now letting it dry thoroughly. and that was on vertical surface melamine which I hadn't roughened or removed any release agents on the surface....my fault. After all it was 2am.

The only other characteristic that I can think of is that the water content does seem to cause a tad of swelling of the substrate, which when it comes to the edging, means that the perfectly filed joint ain't so perfectly filed the next day when presumably the moisture has disapated, causing the edging to shrink back a tad.

In the shop I now use spray solvent based contact for edging, primarily for speed, water based for the large flat surfaces (whizzer rollers, don toss em out, just toss em back in the can awaiting the next job), oh and from the odd time contact is made when the laminate ain't properly positioned, let me tell ya that it takes a tad of gentle pulling and a sharp knife to free the errant piece. No worries about failure in my mind.

Water base contact is just fine. and less stinky.It works for me.

Eric
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