Camper Van Cabinets - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Post Camper Van Cabinets

I'm having a go at designing and then fabricating my own camper van cabinets. I haven't worked with laminate before and just ordered a new trim router and some bits. The laminating process seems easy enough with contact cement and I'm not too worried about that part.

My question is, what would you recommend in terms of procedure with the lamination and routing.

(a) Should I laminate my 5x5' sheets first and then route out each panel profile and details (dados & rabbits) ?

OR

Should I route first and then laminate and edge trim the sheets?

OR

Something else?

I was thinking of sending the 5x5' sheets to a CNC routing service to get shaped and there is a setup and hourly charge so I am trying to be wise with my approach so I don't have to pay setup fees multiple times.

I've included a couple of images so you can see howt my design is shaping up.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 10:06 AM
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I think if you laminate the full sheet first, you will get some chipout when you cut your pieces if you are using a saw. Also, smaller pieces would be easier to work with.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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MT,

what if I laminate and then route everything instead of using a saw?

I'm just not sure easy it would be to go back and flush trim the laminate to the edges on either side of a dado slot if I laminate after all fabrication and cuts are completed.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 10:44 AM
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Are you using 1/2 inch thick material for the cabinets? I ask because my flush trim bit has a 1/2 inch diameter cutter/bearing.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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MT,

I'm using Baltic Birch which comes from Europe, it is in metric sizing. What the supplier calls 1/2" nominal is 12mm so close enough.
The laminate is about 0.6mm thick nominally so I will net out at 13.2mm for a completed panel thickness.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 12:02 PM
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Topher, I would laminate the plywood before cutting it out. then the cnc operation will give you a finished product. All you have to add is the edge trims.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Herb,

so you are suggesting to laminate the entire board, flush trim the laminate to the edges and then go to CNC routing. Once the routing is complete I can add the laminate strips to the panel edges where needed.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 12:20 PM
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Yep, just a thought.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 01:14 PM
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Normally countertops with laminate on the edges have the edges done first, then trimmed flush with top and bottom edges of the top, then the laminate installed on the top and trimmed flush with the edges. This hides the edges and makes it less likely to hook the edge and rip it loose or break a chunk off. You commonly see this where two edges meet at a corner. Someone walks by and hooks their clothing on the corner and off comes a piece of laminate. Having the edge exposed at the top side will be even worse.

If you want to lam the top first then I strongly recommend that you glue a wooden edge on after instead.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Normally countertops with laminate on the edges have the edges done first, then trimmed flush with top and bottom edges of the top, then the laminate installed on the top and trimmed flush with the edges. This hides the edges and makes it less likely to hook the edge and rip it loose or break a chunk off. You commonly see this where two edges meet at a corner. Someone walks by and hooks their clothing on the corner and off comes a piece of laminate. Having the edge exposed at the top side will be even worse.

If you want to lam the top first then I strongly recommend that you glue a wooden edge on after instead.
I was thinking he wanted to laminate all of it , the faces of the cabinets and doors. But you are correct for the counter tops and the doors.
Also was thinking of wooden edges,for some reason.
Another thought is ,check with e CNC guy to see if it is OK to laminate first, as the glues for the laminate might mess up his bits. Just thinking.

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