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Curlly Formica, how to flatten it?
Curlly Formica, how to flatten it?
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Old 6th July 2018, 01:14 AM   #31
ol mcdonald is offline ol mcdonald
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Nice post, I have decades of hands on experience in the industry also...currently Ops Mgr in a solid surface (DuPont Corian) shop....I have been to Temple, Texas to the Wilsonart plant and even took the tour of Ralph Wilsons (former) home....it is laden with plastic laminate, literally everywhere you can imagine. I have also been to Formica in Cincinnati, Ohio and saw their laminate production process. It is (was, may have evolved) so labor intensive you would not believe it. The layers of resin impregnated kraft paper was hand collated at multiple stations by pairs of ladies in white-suits, kraft, kraft, kraft...color layer, clear layer and a metal plate that imparts the finish, then a separator plate. After a specified amount of sheets have been "laid up" they go off to gigantic steam heated presses. After pressing and cooling they are inspected and cut to various sizes. The woodgrains and patterns are nothing but giant photographs.

I have built a little of everything from kitchen countertops to monitor speaker cabinets for Bobby Goldsboro with plans from JBL back in the day and covered them all in laminate. Face frames for rack installs, speakers, subs, blank panels, road cases are all perfect uses for laminate, cheap quick and attractive. Unless you want to go furniture quality and thats a whole nother page.

I love your idea about "field experience" for designers/architects. They love pretty, and trendy with no notion of how to execute. I know this is an old thread and sorry to go off topic but wanted to chat with a fellow craftsman when the opportunity presented itself!
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Old 6th July 2018, 04:05 PM   #32
puppet is offline puppet  United States
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Having an understanding of design and fabrication sure has its pluses. Having to think outside of the box drives our trade to do new things as well. Imagination shouldn't be bound by current fabrication techniques.
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Old 6th July 2018, 05:15 PM   #33
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Maine USA
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
....new processes and even material compositions developed in that approximate recent decade or so. ..., new “Nano” surfaces that claim far more wear resistance....
That bothered me. Reading WA's puffery, it seems to be a "recent innovation" to put Aluminum Oxide in the top coat. Moved up from the color coat? I sensed that they were getting AlOx inclusion from their outside printers, and only belatedly added sand-dust to their melamine vat. The pre-finished floor racket has been doing this for 20+ years. Even if they don't claim foot-resistance, this seems an obvious and low-tech low-cost improvement which should not now be "NEW!".

I once met a well-respected Architect who proposed hanging a lamp off-center from its cable. Don't get me started on "Designers".
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Old 8th July 2018, 11:01 PM   #34
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: victoria BC
Fenix by Arpa is one of the more interesting spec-wise
Fate - something that people make up to try to explain how things worked out
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