formica for speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by eric nyhof, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. eric nyhof

    eric nyhof Stunt Coordinator

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    I am planning on building some speakers this summer when I start working. I was wonderding if anybody has used formica on their speakers. I think it is a little easier to work with that veneer, and there is a whole slew of colors. Soem gloss black marble would look pretty sweet. If naybody has used it before and has had good results, let me know. I will be using mdf for the speakers, if that matters for adhesive or not. I also have access to mast any wood working tool you can think of, so that won't be a problem.
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Laminate is a hell of a lot easier to work with than veneer. Formica is a brand name, like WilsonArt. Use contact cement, either traditional solvent-based, or the newer, more expensive water-based and follow the directions on the can. Use a sharp laminate trimming bit in your router. You're in business. I haven't used the super gloss finish laminates. I assume they have a scratch-prevention plastic film on them that you pull off after your application is finished. Comments from anyone who has used high-gloss laminate?
     
  3. JonWB

    JonWB Agent

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    I remember reading in a previous thread somewhere that its a good idea to put some vaseline on the bearing of your trim bit. I haven't tried it, but its supposed to keep you from marking up the laminate your bearing is "rolling" across. Can't hurt i suppose. I've seen pictures of a couple gloss black subs done w/ laminate that looked pretty darn good, and I imagine that it was ALOT easier that trying to pull off that look w/ paint.

    Good luck,

    Jon
     
  4. kevin_u

    kevin_u Agent

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    Eric,

    I've cover a few MDF boxes with high gloss black laminate.

    Locally I found Formica brand laminate. It's quite a bit thinner than regular laminate, less than 1/16th.

    I first did a trial run on a small mdf box. I will caution you about are three things.

    Even though the laminate is covered with a plastic protector, the bearing of the flush-trim bit left small marks. To solve this I placed masking tape were the bearing made contact, then follow-up with a mill file to slightly chamfer the edges, filing toward the cabinet not away.

    Since the laminate is much thinner it breaks/cracks alot easier when using a "J" roller towards the edges. I usually cut laminate about 1 inch larger all around, I cracked one of the edges when J-rolling it out. To solve this I cut the laminate about 1/4 larger, then was careful laying it down.

    High gloss will show thru any dust or bump from below. Usually I spread contact cement with a scrap piece of laminate. I bought a contact cement roller which spread the cement very evenly. Make sure the box is smooth and clean. I put two coats of cement on both surfaces.

    My cabinets turned out great. I'm glad I did the trial run first, it would have been a drag to mess up a box I spent alot of time building.

    Hope this helps,

    Kevin
     
  5. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Hi Eric,
    I used gloss black laminate on a sub which I detailed in this thread. The others have given great advice, and Kevin details a number of things that I learned the hard way. I'd certainly do it again, though, the results are almost guaranteed if done properly (I guess that applies to anything. [​IMG] )
    One thing I'll add: The thinner the grade, the less noticeable the edges will be, but the more noticeable any imperfections will be. I used a thin "vertical/postforming" grade, but will probably go up a thickness one next time.
     

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