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"Best" formica currently available for dob use?

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16 replies to this topic

#1 starcanoe

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 03:40 PM

Hi all.

 

Long story short...somebody "helped me" by throwing away my formica stash...which included a nice bit  of ebony star even...grrrrr....and we won't even mention the chipped 8 inch optical glass blank...the 100 foot heavy duty electrical cord...the sailboat parts...the expensive kayak paddle...and gawd knows what else....

 

Anyways...probably going into local lock down here shortly and intend to go get some new formica for some builds I might actually now have time to finish if I don't actually get the cooties and die....

 

So, what is the skinny on the "best" formica for dob bearing use these days? Purchase will most likely be at Lowes....but can hit Home Despot if they happen to be the ones that carry the golden formica.

 

Decades of ATM hoarding have finally paid off ! (well at least till we loose the house and or die....)

 

Thanks all !


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#2 Pinbout

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 04:40 PM

 

my formica stash...which included a nice bit  of ebony star even...grrrrr..

URGGGGH!  lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

formica never had ebony star... they have 909-42 crystal finsh, I like that alot. 909 - ebony color -42 is finish - crystal finish.

 

Wilsonart  had ebony star.


Edited by Pinbout, 23 March 2020 - 05:05 PM.


#3 kfiscus

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:29 PM

I have switched from laminates to Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP), the bumpy stuff used in commercial kitchens.  It is much more affordable and easily cut/shaped.  A 4x8 sheet costs about $23 at Home Depot.  I've been able to get rid of extra pieces here on the classifieds.  To attach it, just sand the back to rough it up and then use contact cement.

 

FRP is bumpier and to compensate for this, just use 50% larger Teflon blocks with 45-degree bevels on the blocks' edges.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by kfiscus, 23 March 2020 - 06:32 PM.

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#4 Beeham

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 08:57 PM

I second the use of FRP.  It's inexpensive, readily available, cuts easily with tablesaw and router, and seems to work just fine.

 

Just my $0.02.  I hope this is helpful.

 

Cheers!


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#5 Other_Mike

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 08:57 AM

I ran into the same problem finishing my 16" build a few months ago (I didn't have a stash to lose, but was disappointed to find out about the fate of Ebony Star), and an old thread about FRP on here really came to my rescue. Mine was a little more expensive at Home Depot ($34), but I was able to split it with a fellow local ATMer to lower my out-of-pocket.

 

It's worked great for me, and I think I like it even better than the Ebony Star on my commercially-made 12". I used K&B's guidelines for Teflon surface area and haven't had any problems. and didn't even need to bevel the edges any extra.

 

I just wish I'd known that bit about sanding it before cementing it . . .

 

My only disagreement with Kfiscus is about it being easy to cut. It makes a godawful mess if you're using power tools, and if you're using hand tools, be prepared for a sore wrist. I had my best results scoring it repeatedly with a utility knife and cracking it. It does clean up easily with a router, but be sure to wear a mask and eye protection, and have the shop vac at the ready.



#6 kfiscus

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:13 PM

Thank you, Other Mike, for your comments.  Let me clarify:  FRP cuts like a dream on a band saw- the only way I've cut it.  I then bevel the FRP disk's edge with a belt sander.


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#7 Pinbout

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 10:26 AM

https://www.youtube....W8rBwA&index=46

 

 

this is how I trim my laminate. a lot of shops will trim with a metal working file


Edited by Pinbout, 27 March 2020 - 10:30 AM.


#8 drneilmb

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 10:46 AM

This is just the thread that I needed to see this morning. I just finished a re-design on a rocker box and I need to pick a bearing material for the bottom of the box.

 

Anyone interested in sharing a square section of their sheet of FRP? I doubt that anytime soon I'll be driving 90 mins. to the nearest Lowes/Home Depot/Menards to pick up a full 4x8 sheet when all I need is a 19-inch square.

 

I bet you could slap a mailing label on the back and leave it by your mail box. I promise to wipe it well when it arrives here. Happy to pay for the shipping costs. ;)


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#9 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 11:39 AM

https://www.youtube....W8rBwA&index=46

 

 

this is how I trim my laminate. a lot of shops will trim with a metal working file

 

That's hacker work.

It was obviously done with thinner, vertical application laminate.

No professional or amateur with a bit of pride works in that fashion.

It's not that hard to do laminate work properly.

 

dan k.



#10 Pinbout

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 11:43 AM

That's hacker work.

It was obviously done with thinner, vertical application laminate.

No professional or amateur with a bit of pride works in that fashion.

It's not that hard to do laminate work properly.

 

dan k.

excuse me but .... your talkig out of the wrong end


Edited by Pinbout, 27 March 2020 - 11:48 AM.


#11 kfiscus

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 11:53 AM

Hoping to ease the building tensions here...

Pinbout is an amazing builder with lots of pride in his work as evidenced by his beautiful scopes;  however, his video of rough shaping laminate IS shocking in its violence.

 

With the regular Formica/Wilsonart/etc. laminates that I've used, the edges are cruelly sharp and looking to cut you.  I could clean a deer with a piece of broken laminate... 


Edited by kfiscus, 27 March 2020 - 11:54 AM.


#12 dave brock

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 03:40 PM

I work in a Joinery factory making laminate benchtops and while it's not normal practice pinbouts method works better than it looks. Once the excess laminate is filed down it actually comes up reasonably well. Make sure the laminate is well glued though. Using the file in a guillotine manner makes for a smoother edge before filing.
Of course if you have a trimmer, use it.

#13 Other_Mike

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 03:42 PM

Anyone interested in sharing a square section of their sheet of FRP? I doubt that anytime soon I'll be driving 90 mins. to the nearest Lowes/Home Depot/Menards to pick up a full 4x8 sheet when all I need is a 19-inch square.

I wish I could help, but I donated / sold my surplus precisely because I didn't need the full 32 square feet. And now the donated portion is locked up at our telescope workshop we probably won't be able to access for months . . . bawling.gif



#14 MitchAlsup

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:16 PM

I actually used Pinbot's method on my 20" F/4 some 20-odd years ago.



#15 drneilmb

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:35 PM

I wish I could help, but I donated / sold my surplus precisely because I didn't need the full 32 square feet. And now the donated portion is locked up at our telescope workshop we probably won't be able to access for months . . . bawling.gif


Much appreciated. I found someone here who is willing to ship me a square. I figure he could probably just slap a label on it and it would survive. Should take disinfecting really well too. ;)

-Neil

#16 Brianfromsyr

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 11:46 AM

I used FRP for my 8" stand 

I can't wait to get my 10" stand.

It's been over a year waiting for it after I paid.



#17 kfiscus

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 04:46 PM

^^^Guilty as charged.^^^




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