What to do about laminate edges?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Seungsoo Hwang, May 9, 2001.

  1. Seungsoo Hwang

    Seungsoo Hwang Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to be finishing my box real soon, and have decided on some laminate to cover it (probably going with Formica "sparkle black"). If I were to cover all sides with it, and just route it off flush, there would be unslightly edges showing, correct? How can one go about doing something about those, without a lot of wood/tool skills? (besides cutting circles, the router scares me hehe).
    thanks.
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Seungsoo, laminate your surfaces in the order that will show the least "edge", depending on how the cabinet will be viewed. Typically, speaker cabinets will be viewed from in front of the front baffle, so that tells you to laminate the baffle last, so that piece of laminate will cover the exposed edges of the two sides and top of the cabinet. The laminate I've worked with had substrate that was dark brown. There is a solid color laminate that won't show a contrasting edge, but it is expensive. Since you're going to use a black laminate, just run a black Magic Marker over the exposed edges. A router with a good laminate trimming bit is the best way to trim. Do a search and you'll see various threads discussing this. Best advice: practice on scrap. A healthy respect for your router is a good thing, but don't let it keep you from getting the full benefit of the tool.
     
  3. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    There are several grades of laminate. Standard or horizontal grade is 1/16" thk. Vertical or postform grade is 1/32" thk.
    You can use the thinner grades for speakers but the substrate must be flat or it will telegraph the inconsistencies thru to the surface.
    Pete
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  4. Seungsoo Hwang

    Seungsoo Hwang Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like I am going to have to have HD special order it, they only carry flat WilsonArt laminates. Ill be sure to get the vertical grade, thinner the better. Thanks for the magic marker tip, hadn't thought about that one.
     
  5. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Seungso,
    Making a nice corner edge where the two pieces of laminate come together, will be difficult to do if you have zero experience working with laminate.
    I would first trim the excess laminate off with a straight cut bit that uses an end Bering to hold it off. Then use a slightly beveled bit to get closer to the edge. (Correctly adjusting the bevel bit is critical! You must test your setting on some scraps.)
    Lastly you will need to smooth out the router marks with a file. You should go VERY slow with the file until you get the hang of it. One slip with the file can leave a very visible flaw.
    Covering a box with laminate is fast and easy with just a little experience, but for someone with no experience and no one there to show you "hands on", I would be a little worried.
     

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