good laminate for desktop?

Old 07-23-06, 08:34 AM
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good laminate for desktop?

Hi all,
I'm building a desk/shelf system under our stairs. I would like to do some sort of formica type laminate on the desktop so it's got some extra durability and is easily cleaned. I've never done anything like this before, but I'm assuming there are a number of laminate finishes I can apply. Can someone tell me some of their favorites? Are there special tricks? Where do i get the stuff? Can i make my desktop out of plywood and then apply the laminate?

Old 07-23-06, 12:04 PM
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High pressure laminate, Formica, Wilsonart, and such makes a durable surface for a desk. Usually one applies it with contact cement. There is a water-based version of contact cement. The substrate can be plywood, medium density fiberboard, particle board, and so forth. I like plywood because it is much lighter and hence easier to manipulate than MDF or particle board. Paint grade birch or maple plywood would have a smooth flat surface on which to mount the laminate.

After trimming the laminate to overlap the top by a half inch or so, apply contact cement to both the top of the desk and the underside of the laminate. Let dry as directed. Apply by either setting on top of dowels or similar to allow the laminate to be aligned and placed as the dowels are removed or using Kraft paper to pull from between as the surfaces mate. Be sure an use a J roller to press the laminate securely into position after contact. Trim with a laminate trimmer in a router. The install. If the laminate will be install on the top after it is in place, trim the laminate to an exact fit before cementing.

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