Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Formica for Non-Dummies

I ran into a friend the other day. He's a small business owner and when he opened his chiropractor's office, he slid me the contract for some office build out, including building a custom receptionist's area.

I say area because it was a combination desk, credenza, and one one of those elevated counters where the patients sign in. I don't know what the heck the official name is for a piece of furniture like that is, but it was fun to design and build.

I framed up the solid part of it and covered it with gleaming white plastic laminate (I know, everyone calls it Formica generically, but that's really a brand name).

Buy This Laminate Book Now!It was my first major job building a Formica countertop, but it's an easier project than you might think.

The key is that you have to proceed carefully; contact cement is not forgiving. It has zero open time, unlike other types of woodworking glues.

Do you need a lot of woodworking tools? Nah. But, if it involves wood, Rockler has the tool! Basically, you just need a router, table saw (or circular saw), J-roller, and a flat wood file.

DIY Projects You Can Do with Formica

The number of projects is really only limited by your imagination. Check this out:
  • Refinishing kitchen counters
  • Updating bath vanities
  • A friend of mine in Miami did the inside of his boat's cabin
  • Covering a coffee table
  • Making a smooth work bench top for your wood shop or arts and crafts work area
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Go ahead; you know you want to!

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