How To Glue Plastic Laminate on Countertops or Cabinets: Illustrated

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The most important rule of cutting with any tool is that the cutting instrument must be sharp. There are several different ways to cut plastic laminate into strips. The most accurate tool for cutting plastic laminate edges for cabinets or countertops is called a laminate slitter. Some people use table saws for making the thin edging pieces. At times a straight edge board in combination with a router is used for milling the plastic.

We often use paper cutters and also tin snips for cutting the plastic edging to length. This provides the most durability when you are working with the thin edges. Any time you cross-cut the grain of the sheets into thin edging, the small pieces are at risk of breaking during the gluing process.

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You must handle cross-cut laminate with care. The process of cutting plastic laminate for door edges or counters can be done best with a plastic laminate hand slitter. It works great for making cuts on countertop-edges, backslashes, or cabinet doors. There are two adjustments that can be made to accommodate the thickness of plastic laminate and the width you need to cut. The Formica cutting tool should be adjusted so that it just barely breaks through the surface of the plastic.

Then you should be able to gently twist the area that you cut with the slitter and the two pieces should separate rather easily.

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If you have never had a plastic laminate set of cupboards , they are very durable. The worst complaints through the years about Formica have been related to the workmanship not the material the kitchens were made out of. Well in any case, let me list for you some of the things that people have voiced they did not like about having this style of cupboard.

Particle Board Construction Prior to the early seventies most all cabinets were fabricated using either ply-wood, pine or a combination of both. There were in some instances the use of particle board. During the mid to late seventies the use of flake-board became much more popular in the construction of Formica cabinetry. Years later as swelling began to surface due to water absorption, Formica cupboards were labeled as being cheaply made. These sheets are homogeneous in nature, and besides offering a stain and chemical resistance that is far superior to any natural products, have the advantage that surface scratches and marks such as produced by knife cuts or cigarette burns can be sanded and polished out to leave no visible change in the colour or texture of the surface.

US4814220A - Countertop fabrication system - Google Patents

In the fabrication of countertops and like applications such as table tops and mantel pieces, it is usually desirable to provide an edge treatment that is very much thicker than the stock thickness of the sheet; typically it will be at least 1. To satisfy this requirement, the fabricator cuts the sheet material to the required size and shape for the product being made, and then cuts and glues to the edge of the sheet additional strips of sheet material in order to build up sufficient thickness or mass to permit the required edge detail to be formed.

Apart from the labour involved in cutting and gluing the edge strips, the process is complicated by the need to ensure that the edge strips do not shift out of position when clamp pressure is applied to maintain contact between the strips and the sheet while the glue is curing. In some procedures, temporary stop blocks are first glued to the underside of countertop to prevent the edge strips from shifting when the strips are being glued. Moreover the wet glue joint is susceptible to permanent discoloration if it becomes soiled, for example, by contact with dirty fingers when the fabricator attempts to verify or ensure proper alignment between the edge strip and the sheet.

If two or more layers of edge strip are required, such difficulties are multiplied.

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Fabrication is further delayed by the fact that some of the specialized adhesives require between two and eight hours to cure before any further layering or processing can be performed. The difficulties increase wherever corners are required. The demand for accuracy and extreme care in fitting edge strips to countertops means that skilled workers are required for the task, and accordingly the cost of the finished product reflects their high wages.

The aim of the invention is to provide an improved edge moulding element and a new fabrication system that will alleviate the difficulties described above.


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According to the invention an edge moulding element is provided for use in the fabrication of counter tops and the like, comprising: a straight elongate strip of substantially constant profile, said strip including at least one straight longitudinally extending flat surface and projecting rib means extending longitudinally on said flat surface. Preferably, the edge moulding element is essentially rectangular in cross-section and is fabricated in a solid homogeneous plastics material suitably of plyester or acrylic of the same composition as the sheet material. The rib is positioned on the surface of the element such that when it is engaged in a complementary groove on the underside of the flat sheet parallel to the edge of the sheet, then an adjacent surface of the moulding element is in a desired orientation, e.

Typically the edge moulding element may have a second rib on a surface opposite to the first surface, so that when the moulding element is turned so that this second rib is engaged in the groove, the fourth surface of the moulding element is positioned adjacent the edge of the sheet. The moulding element can be configured such that the surface presented adjacent the sheet edge is of any desired configuration, e.

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Alternatively, once the edge moulding element has been bonded to the sheet, a suitable edge profile or configuration can be formed in it by machining or the like. In some instances it may be desirable to buildup an edge detail from two or more moulding elements, and in this case the moulding element that is attached to the flat sheet may itself be formed with a groove to provide a location means for a second edge moulding element that is to be bonded to the first element.

The invention also provides the combination of an edge moulding element as described above with the flat sheet member formed with a groove parallel to its edge to receive the rib of the edge moulding element. From another aspect the invention provides a method of fabricating an edge moulding on a countertop or the like comprising: providing a flat sheet of material having a straight edge thereon and a groove on the underside of said sheet extending parallel to said edge at a predetermined distance therefrom; providing an edge moulding element of substantially constant profile, said element having a flat surface extending longitudinally thereof, projecting rib means extending longitudinally on said flat surface, and a nose surface adjacent to one side of said flat surface; positioning said edge moulding element with said flat surface in contact with the surface of the underside of the flat sheet and the rib means in engagement with said groove thereby to locate said nose surface at a desired location relative to said edge; and securing said edge moulding element thus positioned to said flat sheet.

Preferably the edge moulding element is secured to the flat sheet by adhesive bonding with the aid of clamp means. After bonding the built-up edge moulding can be further formed by machining to the desired profile. The invention will be further described, by way of example only, with reference to certain preferred embodiments that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:. The groove 11 may be formed at the time of manufacture of the sheet 10, or may be formed subsequently, e.

The groove may be of any desired shape, and as illustrated is of rounded form having a width of approximately 0. An edge moulding element 13 is of generally rectangular configuration having a constant profile throughout its length, and has one flat surface 14 on which is provided a longitudinally extending rib Adjacent one side of the surface 14 is moulding-element front surface 16 that is spaced from the rib 15 by the distance that is slightly less than d. The rib 15 is of a shape complementary to that of the groove 11 so that when the surface 14 of the edge moulding is brought into contact with the margin 17 of the underside of the sheet 10 with the rib 15 received in the groove 11, then the front surface 16 of the edge moulding element is registered with the front edge 12 of the sheet.

In practice the surface 16 is set back from the front edge 12 by a distance of about 0. In this way any minor imperfections present in the edge of the sheet stock such as nicks, dents, scratches and other blemishes are removed. The edge moulding element 13 has a second rib element 20 projecting from the surface 21 that is opposite and parallel to the surface 14 at the side thereof adjacent the surface The remaining surface 22 of the element 13 is parallel to the surface 16 and is formed with a large stepped recess The element 13 can be glued to the sheet 10 in an orientation inverted from that shown in FIG.

This configuration is illustrated in FIG. The moulding element 13 is made from the same material e. Solidex as the sheet 10 and can be fabricated by any desired means such as moulding, extrusion or machining from solid stock.

In the example illustrated in FIGS. Thus the thickness of the edge formation as shown in FIG. If a thicker edge formation is required, it can be achieved by providing a higher edge moulding element or by building up the edge using a plurality of glued-on elements. As before, the element 13a has two ribs 15a and 20a on opposite sides thereof, either of which may be engaged in the groove 11 in the sheet 10, the corresponding faces 14a, 21a being glued to the margin 17 to present a front face 16a or 22a in register with the edge A longitudinally extending groove 25 is formed in the recess 23a, this groove being of similar configuration to the groove After fabricating the joint by glueing, as described in relation to FIG.

Alternatively the edge of the sheet 10 and the lower portion of element 13 can be chamfered as shown at 28 in FIG. Instead of a chamfer, a radius may be formed on these edges as illustrated at 29 in FIG. After glueing, unwanted material as indicated by the broken lines 30 is machined away to provide the desired profile A wood or decorative inlay 32 is received in the recess 23a, and the top and bottom corners are radiussed as shown at The arrangement in FIG.

The inlay 25 can be formed of any suitable wood or decorative moulding material, and includes a rib 36 that is received in the groove 25 to assist in locating the inlay 35 at the desired position in the recess 23a. Specifically, an edge moulding element 13a is glued to the sheet 10, after which an edge moulding element 13 is glued to the element 13a in the orientation shown with the rib 15 received in the groove 25 within the recess 23a. In this case the excess material indicated by the broken lines 37 is machined away to provide a curved surface 38 having a large radius of curvature, as shown approximately 1.

From the foregoing description it will be understood that endless variations of countertop configurations can be devised using the basic edge mouldings disclosed. Typically the sheet stock 10 as produced at the casting factory will be manufactured with a single groove 11 close to one edge thereof.