Covering Wood with Laminate
Cutting and sizing
Plastic laminates can be bought cut to the size you want or, more cheaply, in standard sheets you cut to size yourself. Cut with a sharp, finely set backsaw at a low angle on the decorated side of the laminate. Cut pieces slightly oversize to allow for trimming after they are in place.
As an alternative, use a Stanley knife with a special laminate-cutting blade. With a straight-edge as a guide, score a line through the decorated surface and into the brown underlay. Hold a piece of wood alongside the cut, grip the free side of the laminate and lift to snap it.
Clean the back of the laminate and the surface to be covered with sandpaper. Pour contactdown the centre of the laminate and spread it with a notched piece of metal or a brush. Repeat this process on the table and leave for 15 mins to dry.
Once the glued surfaces touch they will stick, so position the laminate correctly first time: lay strips of wood on the table top and place the laminate in position on them. Stick one end down and then move the wooden strips back, pressing the laminate down as you go.
An alternative is to push drawing-pins into one corner of the table top as a guide. Put a piece of paper between the glued surfaces, and withdraw it as you press the laminate on to the table top. Smooth the laminate with a cork block, working from the centre towards the edges.
Allow the30 mins to dry before trimming the edges of the laminate with a flat fine-cut file or . Keep the tool vertical, in line with the side of the table top, and work straight along the edge. Do not file upwards or you will chip the edges of the laminate.
Use special thin edging strip for the sides of the table. With a stiff brush, applyto both the edge of the table and the laminate strip, and allow them 15 mins to dry. Stick the strip along the edge, with a slight overlap top and bottom to be trimmed off afterwards with a file or block plane.
Smooth the edges of the table with a cork block or piece of wood wrapped in cloth. Leave for 30 mins to dry before trimming. When you trim, keep the tool at an angle of about 45° to the table top so that you do not damage either the surface of the table or the edges.
Cut strips of laminate from a sheet if the edges are too wide for the special edging strip. Glue and stick the strip as you would a sheet. Cut strips slightly oversize and trim the waste from the ends with a, and from the edges with a block plane or file.