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View dawolv's profile

Laminating Question

by dawolv
posted 07-23-2017 03:39 PM

14 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


512 posts in 3760 days

#1 posted 07-23-2017 03:48 PM

Hard to see, could be glue squeeze out. Trim bits on laminate, in my experience, are very difficult to use. Any slight tipping of the router and you gouge the surface leaving the white underlayer visible. Not impossible, just very difficult.

View Luthierman's profile


222 posts in 1653 days

#2 posted 07-23-2017 03:49 PM

Happens every time regardless of method. Go get a rubber sponge, like the type you use to get buildup off of a sanding disc or belt and rub it on those edges. You will still need to file it a bit as well.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View Robert's profile


3571 posts in 2046 days

#3 posted 07-23-2017 04:09 PM

Its glue squeeze out. Unavoidable & probably going to be worse with gel cements. I don’t use them.

Excess contact cement will get on the bearing the bit won’t trim completely flush.

Read the label usually min spirits will clean it up. Do this [before] flush trimming.

After flush trimming, [carefully] touch up the sharp edges with a file. If you’re careful you’ll take most of it off then.

A quality laminate trimming bit is a good investment.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View clin's profile


1072 posts in 1562 days

#4 posted 07-23-2017 06:44 PM

Not directly related to the question, but since trim bits have been mentioned I thought I chime in.

When I laminated a counter recently, I tried two different trim bits. One with the bearing and the type that just looks like a round tipped, 1/4” shaft with a notch in it. The one with just the notch worked much better than the one with the bearing. I was very surprised by this.

The catch is to lubricate the edge laminate where the bit touches. I simply used Crisco shortening, lightly smeared along the edge. Doesn’t take much and easy to clean off.

You also need to keep moving, but it cut like butter compared to the bit with the bearing. Maybe nothing to do with the bearing and just the quality of the cutting edge.

Also, I would think with draw fronts, that a router table would make it easier to control and quicker.

I used the good old fashion contact cement which stinks to high heaven. But I used the chemical cartridges in my 3m respirator. I couldn’t smell a thing with that on. I thought, “Oh this stuff isn’t so bad”. When done, I took the respirator off, and was light headed before I reached the door of the shop. I was amazed how well the respirator worked.

-- Clin

View PPK's profile


1585 posts in 1375 days

#5 posted 07-23-2017 08:01 PM

Its the glue squeezing out and then the “dust” sticking to the glue, making clumps. We always used acetone to clean up if needed. Ditto to what rwe2156 said. Use a sharp file and make sure file to down & away form the finished side of the laminate so you don’t chip out the edges. Traditional laminate glue is really, really strong and IMO easy to use. Any reason you’re using gel glue??

-- Pete

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1465 days

#6 posted 07-23-2017 08:08 PM

Hi Guys,
I started to remake and reface the kitchen drawers.
I am using Wilsonart Asian Nights Laminate and contact gel cement.

When laminating the drawer faces I am doing the sides then the backs then the faces in that order
However I am getting this stuff along the edges, I thought it was just squeeze out so I was very careful and put a very thin layer of cement on it but it still appears, I am wondering if it is the trimming bit?

Any ideas?

Also any advice and gotchas for laminating appreciated :)


- dawolv

If it were me I would do the back first, then the 2 sides, then the top and bottom. front last.
This way you only are looking at one black line seam instead of 2

View dawolv's profile


10 posts in 3955 days

#7 posted 07-24-2017 01:11 PM

Thanks guys this is great stuff!
I cant wait to put these tips to use.

I am using Gel cement because that is the only resource I found there was regular cement the Gel seems easier to work with..stinks bad though.
I didnt know there was a laminate glue, I will have to check into that

View PPK's profile


1585 posts in 1375 days

#8 posted 07-24-2017 01:19 PM

This is the standard contact cement I’ve used many times.

If you really get into it, you can buy a canister of contact cement that has an attached sprayer that works excellent… but I doubt you’re in that deep ;-) (Most cabinet shops use this method)

-- Pete

View Nadia 's profile


7 posts in 568 days

#9 posted 05-24-2018 06:24 PM

I didn’t buy the same laminate as you, mine was a high pressure laminate by Formica, and on theuir website, they really explain well what to use for their material.

I think it is the same kind of surfaces. Dis your supplier has any detail on it’s website?

-- Nadia, Montreal,

View MrRon's profile


5787 posts in 3809 days

#10 posted 05-25-2018 12:23 AM

I would question the use of a contact “gel” cement. The standard contact cement used is made by weldwood and is a solvent type cement.; very strong odor, but better than the water base stuff. It will hold forever.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


619 posts in 2503 days

#11 posted 05-25-2018 04:15 AM

That pix you show is par for the application….it’s not glue squeeze out at all, it’s mostly cause the flush trimming bit gets hot, remelts the glue on the overhang, and it deposits on the surface…..

Why, because any prudent manufacturer of flush trimming router bits wwouldn’t WANT to be dialed in to 0001” tolerance, because the slghtest slip would dig into the surface, sending you back to square one same as if yer saw cut on the edge is less than 90 and that is why most professional laminate installers use draw-filing to make it flush. The true test is that if you crag yer fingernails over that joint and they snag, it ain’t flush yet. why does that snag matter, if someone wipes it too agressively, the overhanging piece may tear off or chip, and fixing it in a call-back is totally expensive For edges, I use a belt sander to level them square to the surface- not to aggressively

Me I like seeing that glue smear on the corner cause it makes filing flush much easier. as you genltly ldraw-filw the corners, u will see that glue smear diisappear right at the edge and then you know yer a getlle one or two file strokes from achiving total flushness, which you should test with the fingernail method mentioned earlie-which I believe is the true test of quality.

And as an after thought. I’d thought I’d mention wiping down the edge where the bearing rides with a thin wipe of vaseline before you slatether glue on the top. Two reasons for this….firstly any over-edge drips won’t stick, and two if heaven forbid your router bearing jams up with an accmulation of excess glue, it won’t heat up and burn your edge. DAMHIK, but a small tub of vaseline will ast me for years and prevent heartache, I also wipe down the router bit with the vaseline

Thems my thoughts, and just a tad different from what others suggested, but it comes from years of replacing and fabricating kitchen and cretail pace laminate countertops

Warning…if yer using water based cement, you are introducing moisture into the wood, which we all know causes it to swelll, so even if it passes the fingernail test today, it may not tomorrow as the moisture dries out!

Old flush cutting bits lose diameter and leave heavier overhang-requiring more filing. The key to using water based contact cement is to let it dry completely-don’t rush it, and do use a roller to roll it down.

There ain’t no avoiding it, it does require a bit of handwork to do an excellent job


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View realcowtown_eric's profile


619 posts in 2503 days

#12 posted 09-03-2018 05:39 AM

WAS that post helpful? or not?

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View dawolv's profile


10 posts in 3955 days

#13 posted 09-03-2018 12:41 PM

Yes everything has been helpful so far :)

View mtnwalton's profile


62 posts in 1592 days

#14 posted 09-05-2018 05:33 PM

Helpful to me and I’m not even currently doing any laminating. The few times I have I’ve had success, but I learned a few things here. Thank you.

WAS that post helpful? or not?

- realcowtown_eric

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