You will only need basic tools for laminating:
- A score-and-snap knife,
- Selleys Kwik Grip contact glue,
- Brush and spreader for the adhesive,
- A file and plane for trimming.
Plastic laminate is laid in this order:
End edge strips first, then front edge strips, then the top last. This is the
most hygienic way, and helps to prevent edges from catching and being torn off.
Cut your pieces of laminate over-size to allow for alignment and trimming. Add
about 5mm all round for edges and 10mm all round for large tops. To cut use
firm, long strokes with the knife, hold one piece down firmly and snap the
laminate along the cut.
Apply the contact adhesive liberally to both the laminate and the edges of the
bench top. Paint the edges on scrap plywood to help prevent mess. You might need
two coats on absorbent edges such as MDF or particleboard.
Wait until the glue is just tacky when touched with the back of your fingers,
and then bring the laminate into contact with the edge. Line it up perfectly,
because once this glue touches there’s no turning back! Once it’s stuck on,
press it firmly with a block and hammer or a roller.
To trim the edge flush, you can use a flat file, hand plane, belt sander or a
router. Monte used a small router (Ryobi veneer trimmer) fitted with a
roller-guided flush cutter.
Finish all the edges, and then prepare the bench top by sanding to remove any
lumps and bumps. If your laminate has a join, take the time to make sure it’s a
perfectly tight joint. A plane makes this job easy. Then apply glue to the bench
top and laminate and wait until the glue is touch-dry. Lay thin strips of wood
(dowelling is good) across the bench top to help you to align the laminate. When
aligned, remove the strips one at a time and press the laminate down.
Then trim all the edges, finish edges with 280 wet-or-dry abrasive paper, then
clean up with turps and your bench top is ready to install.
- Monte’s tip: Don’t laminate over solid timber, as it expands and contracts too
Check out the Mitreplan for more information on laminating bench tops.