Inlayind Formica
#11
  
I need to inlay an odd-shaped piece of Formica, about 13” x 21” into a piece of 1/2” Baltic Birch.  This is the counter in my van, and will need to support as much as a gallon of milk or a full Instant Pot.  The back side is irrelevant.

I’m not concerned about my ability to create the crevice, but I question my ability to anticipate the exact depth of the crevice, given that neither the inlay nor the substrate could withstand any finish sanding afterward.  I’m also a bit squeamish about laying that large an inlay exactly right, even with dowels.  The ply is matched grain with another piece, so I have one chance to get it right.

Please critique my plan, better ideas welcome.

Plane some scrap ply to 1/4”, adhere the Formica, and trim to final dimension.  

Create the crevice, then carry it all the way through the ply—IOW, make a hole.  

Dry-fit the Formica piece into the hole.  Rabbet the back side of the hole with a rabbeting bit to the depth of the back side of the Formica piece.

Mount the Formica into the hole with TBIII, making sure the front side is exactly level.  Let this dry.  

Make a “back plate” that fits into the rabbetted crevice.  Glue into place.

Thanks in advance.
Carolyn

Trip Blog for Twelve Countries:   [url=http://www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com[/url]

"It's good to know, but it's better to understand."  Auze Jackson
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#12
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I always look for easy solutions first.  

Have you considered a tinted poured epoxy finish?  I see them in many tinted colors (you add the tint yourself).

Here are examples of what I am referring to:  https://www.google.com/search?q=river+in...41&bih=631
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#13
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
That stuff is really cool, but I cannot imagine getting it level with no surface sanding.

Also, Formica fits the 40’s-50’s vibe of the van. I even had to remove a gorgeous piece of figured maple because it looked out of place. And there are a couple other places where the same Formica will be the entire surface.
Carolyn

Trip Blog for Twelve Countries:   [url=http://www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com[/url]

"It's good to know, but it's better to understand."  Auze Jackson
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#14
  Re: RE: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (That stuff is really...)
(11-19-2019, 09:49 AM)MsNomer Wrote: That stuff is really cool, but I cannot imagine getting it level with no surface sanding.

Also, Formica fits the 40’s-50’s vibe of the van.  I even had to remove a gorgeous piece of figured maple because it looked out of place.  And there are a couple other places where the same Formica will be the entire surface.
I have never done it.  I don't know the process.  But it looks good and it is "bar top" durable.

If I were to inlay this, I would lay a sheet of paper over the inlay area and tape it is in place.  Then I would make a "rubbing" using the side of a pencil point to pick up the outline.  I would then rubber cement it to the formica and trim to fit.  A jewelers' saw would do a good job on this and only costs about $20.00. 

Some jewelers' files could be used to do the fine work. 

Rubbings are common at the Vietnam War Memorial.

No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#15
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I have no issue with creating the inlay and and its crevice. Phydeaux saved the method I presented here in 2012:

http://www.employees.org/~bstewart/pix/I...torial.pdf

My concern is with depth when I can sand neither the inlay nor the substrate.
Carolyn

Trip Blog for Twelve Countries:   [url=http://www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com[/url]

"It's good to know, but it's better to understand."  Auze Jackson
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#16
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I assume you are cutting the inlay with your router.  Make some test depth cuts to determine the exact depth.  Once the exact setting for the depth of cut is determined, lock down the router tight.  It should hold the depth for the duration of the cut.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#17
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I just looked at the link.  It shows a hand cut inlay.  I would just hand cut the outline and use the router for the balance.  That will allow uniform depth of cut.

It is traditional to use contact cement for Formica, but if you clamp or weight it down, Woodworkers II or III will work and with greater strength.  A sand bag will provide even weighting on the Formica.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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#18
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I've used the epoxy; this is not the place to use it.  I think your plan will work.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
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#19
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
Cooler, no glue joint is without some thickness, especially with this inlay too large to facilitate squeeze out from the middle. That is the essence of why I don’t think a traditional inlay will work.

I do intend to use a router after I have hand cut my margin.

Thanks, Bill.
Carolyn

Trip Blog for Twelve Countries:   [url=http://www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com[/url]

"It's good to know, but it's better to understand."  Auze Jackson
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#20
  Re: Inlayind Formica by MsNomer (I need to inlay an o...)
I’m a little confused by the later part of your plan, but I think your idea of gluing to another thinner piece of plywood and then in laying that is the way to go.
Sounds like you already have a plan to account for the thickness of the dried glue.
Can you do an inlay border if needed to clean up the profile?
Ray
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