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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Laminate cutting

I am making an "L" shaped work surface using a rather expensive laminate. Should I cut it to the basic shape before gluing it down or glue it then trim out the unused portion? I'll need the remaining piece for shelves later.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 10:33 PM
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Every counter top pro I have ever known has rough cut the shape first. Makes it much easier to handle.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 08:53 AM
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Definitely pre-cut Ken then out with the trim router and file inside corners to square them.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 09:57 AM
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It depends on the amount of overhang and whether or not it will conflict with easy application.

If I'm applying it on a new surface out on a set of horses and there's no extreme overhang that could cause cupping and or prevent removal with the router I leave it complete. More often than not the remains provide more options than a number of cuttings.

If I'm in an enclosed/confined area I precut to minimize errors

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! This laminate is copper clad. Has anyone had any dealings with it? I'd really hate to screw it up. It cost about $10/sq ft. I tried to talk the customer out of it but it's what she wants.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 08:49 AM
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I'm not familiar with that type of laminate, however so long as there isn't too much overhang, I don't foresee any problems.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kthayer View Post
Thanks guys! This laminate is copper clad. Has anyone had any dealings with it? I'd really hate to screw it up. It cost about $10/sq ft. I tried to talk the customer out of it but it's what she wants.
Hi Ken:

Now, this one is new. Do you have a supplier's name pls? I also note that the electronics industry uses acid etching on copper so I hope she's not expecting to cook with lemons or use chlorine powders to clean the copper.

I would have some concern about the effectiveness of using a router bit, even carbide, on thin copper. I would recommend a small piece of experimental laminate be "sacrificed" for the good of the whole -- your hide is what I'm referring to. Copper will offer some temperature resistance but I'm thinking that maybe the bit temperature might be too high if the feed rate is too slow.

Now, don't take me literally. I'm overly cautious on stuff that I've had no experience with and even then I try to learn from others, just like you're doing. However, there must be some reason that professional kitchens don't use copper but stainless steel, instead. Even copper brewery kettles are lined with glass.

Are you using some sort of lacquer to coat the copper? I'd be prepared with some options in the near future. The first time she puts a hot pot on it, she'll be knocking at your door for an "instant fix" to the damage. You might consider it prudent to go out and buy some inexpensive (nay cheap) trivets and present them with the counter as your "thanks for her custom" gift.

My musings -- interesting predicament -- looking forward to hearing of your solution(s.)

Allthunbs
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 05:49 PM
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Hi Ken, the cabinet shop I worked in used the metal clad laminates occasionally.They are available in Brushed & polished copper brass stainless and a polished smoked chrome.
from what i can remember the copper and brass already have a lacquer coat on them. Work them the same as you do with the phenolic resin and Kraft paper laminates. Just use a carbide router bit to cut and trim. Long straight runs use a bench or panel saw to cut over size and then trim with the router once it is glued down.

regards
Harold
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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OK, here's my next question. Can I use a long straight bit with a bearing to trim my laminate or should I use a regular laminate bit? I have a more even surface 1 1/2" down and would like to use it for my bearing to ride on.
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