You can make a laminate table top as a do-it-yourself project to save on costs. Although there are many laminate table tops available in the market today, the cost may be a bit pricey for the average person. In order to cut down on cost, it is best to laminate the table using materials available at the local supply store. When doing so, there are several things to consider to ensure you come up with the best results.
Do #1 - Use 1/16-inch Laminated Plastic
1/16-inch laminated plastic is thick enough to use as table top surfaces because it can withstand more pressure than the thinner 1/32-inch variety.
Do #2 - Prepare the Table Top Surface Carefully
Make sure to clean the surface of the table top entirely. The first step in the preparation is to sand the surfaces in order to provide a semi rough surface where the adhesive can bond the plastic with ease.
Do #3 - Use Proper Cutting Materials
You can use any type of saw to cut the laminating material. Some recommendations include a circular saw, a backsaw, a saber saw, and even a utility knife. Just make sure to use a saw with fine-tooth blades or a knife with razor-sharp edges in order to make clean cuts.
Do #4 - Use Contact Cement
In order to bond the laminate material onto the table top surface, make use of cement contact. Although epoxy adhesives can be used as well, contact cement is a better option.
Do #5 - Remove the Trapped Air
Use a roller to get the trapped air out; this will ensure that the lamination is flat and well done.
Don't #1 - Don't Cause Chipping When Cutting
When using saber saws or circular saws, never cut on the front part. Cut on the back side to prevent chipping. If a hand saw is to be used, do not cut on the back side. Cut on the front side, but make sure to cut on a low angle. When using a utility knife, make use of special laminate blades. Use a straight edge of a ruler, a T-square or any straight edge object in order to produce an even cut.
Don't #2 - Don't Follow Exact Table Top Dimensions
Always cut the laminating material slightly oversized to provide space for trimming afterward.
Don't #3 - Don't Bond Laminating Material on Top of Paints and Varnishes
If the surfaces are painted or varnished, make sure to remove them first using a sander. Afterward, wipe the surfaces with a rag or a cloth to remove the dust and other debris. Paint and varnish coats make the bonding effect less effective.
Don't #4 - Don't Bond the Materials Immediately
Wait for the recommended drying time before getting the two surfaces in contact. Always make sure to position the laminate plastic on top of the table top accurately before allowing them to make contact. Remember that the bonding strength of the adhesive is stronger at the first contact so don’t screw up.