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Inlay in Formica?

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  • Inlay in Formica?

    I am curious if anyone has ever done any inlay work in Formica. If so can you use one of the Inlay Bushing and Bit with Removable Collar
    like Rockler or Woodcraft offer? I understand that getting the depth correct would be critical to achieving a smooth finish because it would be near impossible to surface to the same height as the surrounding Formica as the finish would be damaged and its beauty (if you want to call it that) is only skin deep so to speak.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
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    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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  • #2
    Re: Inlay in Formica?

    It'd be tricky, that's for sure! One thing to try would be to do the cutting with the formica taped to the substrate. Let the bit go into the substrate so you'll have something to glue the secondary material into. Take some of the scrap formica and use as a height guide when finalizing the height of the inlay. Then you can glue your formica sheet down around the inlay.

    Since you wouldn't be able to sand around the inlay with the formica sheet there, this would solve that problem. You might even want to sand the inlay down a tiny bit lower so (if it's wood) you could put some protective finish on it.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: Inlay in Formica?

      It works great or at lest when I used one it was great,

      you make a template and rout out the Formica base to what you want, (right now I don't remember if you add or remove the bushing but it sets the distance to cut the inlay, using the same template that you used before, and then you cut the Formica to place in the cut out,

      glue up the Formica and the base, and then glue on as if it was one piece, then add the inlay formica in to the opening,

      I used on making some desks for the local credit union, it was a granite like Formica on the center to look like stone, and then the edges were a oak look to match the counter I had made them with a granite stone money window,

      the basic pattern was a lot like a butterfly wings on the desk, when done you could on not feel the joint of the Formicas,

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      It is not for cutting all ready glued down formicas, it is to cut the formica before it is glued,
      Last edited by BHD; 06-09-2007, 08:12 PM.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        Re: Inlay in Formica?

        Thanks for the responses. My problem (at least it now seems so) is that the surface I want to put the inlay in is already glued down. It's a vast canvas of white that the wife would like to have some decoration in. So I thought about doing inlays using various designs as can be done in wood and use a contrasting or complementary colors of Formica. I like the wood idea, but that would need a substrate as you said VA Sandy otherwise the fill piece would be only as thick as the Formica, and probably pretty fragile.

        It certainly sounds like it is possible, even if difficult for the conditions I have to work with (the field having already been glued down). I will have to experiment and see how well I can do at making it smooth and as near seamless as possible.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Inlay in Formica?

          It might be time for a painted stencil. Family Circle has a nice forum.

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          • #6
            Re: Inlay in Formica?

            Originally posted by Hector B View Post
            It might be time for a painted stencil. Family Circle has a nice forum.
            Ouch! That hurt.
            Poplar Branch Wood Crafts

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            • #7
              Re: Inlay in Formica?

              Wasn't intended to hurt. I hope you didn't take it that way Bob D. Just a bit of fun. Seriously though, not being much of a router person if any at all, I would venture to guess that formica/laminate would chip out badly running a straight bit through the field. It just wouldn't be like trimming an edge. I wonder if prescoring the intended path of the inlay with one of those pointy V tipped bits would reduce or eliminate the chip out before you ran one of those flat bottomed straight bits along the path ?? A test on some scrap laminated material might be in order.

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