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Thread: Do you think this would work?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you think this would work?

    Galley countertop is plastic lam over 3/4Ē plywood. The p-lam has delaminated in a couple of spots creating shallow bubbles on the surface. (Iím guessing this is because I tried using water based contact cement to avoid the solvent fumes, wonít make that mistake again.) Obviously the proper fix would be to strip it off and start over with new p-lam and better contact cement, however the color has been discontinued and it needs to match other tops in the area.

    My idea is to take the top to my shop, turn it upside down and with a stop collar on a brad point bit, measure VERY carefully and drill a few holes only through the plywood, into the void of the delamination, but not into the p-lam. Then inject epoxy into the void, turn it right side up, and weight and clamp down the ďbubblesĒ.

    If it doesnít work Iíve made a little more work to strip it off, grind it smooth and put a new color p-lam down. Worst case is I start over with new plywood and p-lam, not all that terrible a job, just have to live with a non-matching color.

    What do you think? Worth a try or waste of time?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Not sure if the poxy will stick to the glue contaminated surfaces.
    I would try steaming the p-lam off, carefully. Then if successful you can clean both surfaces and poxy the entire thing down. Some old-fashioned thin bladed table knives would help if you can get an edge to let go.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Ron I assume you may have already tried this, but maybe call around to places that carry the brand of laminate you are using and see if they have any old stock or off cuts of that color that might work?
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Donít know if epoxy would stick to the water based contact cement, but Iím pretty confident that it would not stick well to the solvent based stuff. ASk our favorite epoxy supplier.

    Other possibilities worth experimentation:
    If thereís a solvent that softens the water based stuff, inject as you suggested, press and wait.
    If the water based stuff softens at a temp that doesnít scorch the laminate, an iron might do the trick.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Nick: removing and replacing the same piece might work altho I worry about registration issues at edges and the sink cutout. But with care it might work. Is epoxy an acceptable way to bond p-lam? If so, maybe it would allow enough movement to register edges.

    Chris: I’m trying to find some existing stock, no luck so far. But it’s a somewhat common color so a near match from a different brand might be acceptable.

    Jim: interesting idea about the iron. I’ve done that a lot when veneering with Titebond, worth a try on this.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Nick: removing and replacing the same piece might work altho I worry about registration issues at edges and the sink cutout. But with care it might work. Is epoxy an acceptable way to bond p-lam? If so, maybe it would allow enough movement to register edges.

    Chris: I’m trying to find some existing stock, no luck so far. But it’s a somewhat common color so a near match from a different brand might be acceptable.

    Jim: interesting idea about the iron. I’ve done that a lot when veneering with Titebond, worth a try on this.
    If your p-lam is Formica, epoxy should stick OK.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Hi Ron. Two thoughts:

    1. A PVA glue will likely stick as well as epoxy and it's a lot easier to use and clean up afterward.

    2. Maybe you can force the p-lam off by drilling a hole through the ply, as you proposed, but make it only large enough for the tip of a compressed air nozzle. Then force an air blast into the void, thus pushing off the p-lam. Hey! It might work. If it does, then you get to clean off all the old contact cement and, as a bonus, you get to try to precisely reattach the p-lam to the ply in just the right spot.

    OK.. another thought. Remake the whole shebang. It will be easier and you'll get to have some new laminate.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Ron, I am going to mention something that will save you a lot of effort and frustration as well as add some beauty to your little ship. Rather than fussing with that delamitation and being disappointed with the results. Why not take a hint from those of us who have been there and done that. This is a once forever solution to your problem that will save you from frustration down the line. Make yourself a new counter top for your sink area of American Hard Rock Elm or of Teak. It will enhance the look of your galley and bleach out whiter with each scrubbing. Best of all it should last the life of your boat! This is the galley
    of Pardy's "Talisen"
    Jay

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    ^ Good shout. With the right sink set down below the surface drain channels can be routed in to the top as well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Good idea Jay, I would like it but I think it would be a hard sell to the chief cook and bottle washer.

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    If the water based stuff softens at a temp that doesn’t scorch the laminate, an iron might do the trick.
    This is what I'd try first. I did remove formica once with a heat gun. I don't know what glue was under it, however. Seemed like contact cement. I ripped it off in large pieces because it was going into the trash anyway, but with care I think I could have pulled it out in one piece. I started at a corner an warmed it enough so that I could slide a thin bladed scraper under it, and then just worked my way along.
    -Dave

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    This is probably overkill but I bet one these babies would make quick work of the lam.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/heated-blade-scrapers/

    Yeah, and water based contact cement is horrible.

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Run it through a planer face down, until all you’ve got left is the laminate.
    Proud but humble member of the LPBC

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    To get back to the original question, what do you have to lose by trying your first thought? If it works, you're done. If it doesn't work, then you can move onto to another plan
    Elect a clown expect a circus

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    To get back to the original question, what do you have to lose by trying your first thought? If it works, you're done. If it doesn't work, then you can move onto to another plan
    I think the best first option would be Jim's suggestion of an iron, which I will try later today. Much easier to do in place on the boat. My plan would require dismantling and the epoxy injection would preclude the iron solution. Only problem is if the iron sticks it down, we don't know for how long. But if it pops up again then more drastic measures might be called for.

    And now another factor; She says 'While you're at it, maybe I would like a new galley sink and faucet'.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Yevsky View Post
    This is probably overkill but I bet one these babies would make quick work of the lam.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/heated-blade-scrapers/
    Except I already have one of these babies.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Ron, I am going to mention something that will save you a lot of effort and frustration as well as add some beauty to your little ship. Rather than fussing with that delamitation and being disappointed with the results. Why not take a hint from those of us who have been there and done that. This is a once forever solution to your problem that will save you from frustration down the line. Make yourself a new counter top for your sink area of American Hard Rock Elm or of Teak. It will enhance the look of your galley and bleach out whiter with each scrubbing. Best of all it should last the life of your boat! This is the galley
    of Pardy's "Talisen"
    Jay
    Good timing on this post Jay, as I will be making my countertops in 3 or 4 months (if things go as planned) and I was considering a wood surface. I do not know if I can get hard rock elm around here (my normal two lumber yards do not have it), and the teak they carry is not always the best IMO. How would IPE work for this purpose?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Peb,
    Teak is a viable wood to use if you can't find the rock elm. Another wood is vertical grain Maple. It can be purchased as glued up counter top slab material and is made up of end grain blocks of maple. I have a chopping block in my kitchen at home that is made of VG maple and it is over a hundred years old! You can cut and chop to your hearts content and never scar up the end grain as it swells shut when scrubbed, if you use that for your top. Or just make sure you are using quarter sawn stock or close to it or you will suffer warping problems. The nice thing about a raw top like this is that it affords a bit of friction to plates and other items and keeps them from sliding off and stabbing your toes if it is a knife! Scrubbing the top from time to time with citric acid and a green 3M pad will keep it sanitary and white. The citric acid powder can be ordered from Amazon.com and comes in a five pound sack. I think I payed less than ten dollars for the last one I got. That sink in Larry and Linn Pardy's boat had no drain as the boat had no through hulls since it had no engine or head. All the waste water went into the cedar bucket and was tossed over the side at sea. You might find Rock Elm at a supplier that specializes in boat lumber. Eden Saw Lumber LTD in Port Townsend might have a source. Kiwi is your guy to ask as he owns the place.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 10-14-2020 at 04:26 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Thanks Jay, appreciate the response.

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Sorry to report that the iron technique did not work. The glue just didn’t seem to re-adhere in spite of getting it quite hot. The good news is that I’ve found another brand with a color that is a near match. That coupled with the request for a new sink and faucet means that the right way to do this is to start over with a new top. Fortunately it is not difficult to remove and reinstall. Frankly I think I am relieved to be doing it right instead of half-arsed.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Good decision Ron. Bear in mind that many glues can be used to adhere laminate to ply. You don't need to use stinky contact cement. The only real advantage to contact glues is the freedom from clamps that they offer.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Good decision Ron. Bear in mind that many glues can be used to adhere laminate to ply. You don't need to use stinky contact cement. The only real advantage to contact glues is the freedom from clamps that they offer.

    Jeff
    I would like to explore this more. My shop is attached to the house and fumes are a problem. As I’ve mentioned before, for wood veneering I’ve used Titebond II and a hot iron to good results. And from my experimenting yesterday it is obvious p-lam can stand a lot of heat without discoloring or warping. But I don’t want another failed experiment with the new top. What is a tried and true alternative to contact cement?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Your Titebond (Pva) will do a good job. The difficulty is obtaining enough pressure over the entire surface. A vacuum bag accomplishes this task very well but if you had one of those you'd not be asking. I'd do it in mine for you but getting together is difficult in these trying times. Perhaps loading the surface with sand bags will suffice. It sort of depends on how big the surface is.

    Otherwise, ironing it on is a viable method. I've never ironed on p-lam but have done a load of wood veneer. I'm sure you could google up a few youtubes to get you going. And some experiments, for sure. Buy an extra couple of square feet of the material and try it out. Epoxy will also work without the clamping pressure requirement.

    Jeff

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    If you use the counter top vertical grain maple you will have no glue stink in your sink!
    Bird

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Titebond III will glue p-lam as well as anything. A piece of ply on top of the p-lam and a grid of clamping cauls that crisscross the top will give you a permanent installation.

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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    I think it can work...

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Now that Iíve removed the top and brought it home, for several reasons I think the simplest and best solution is to just make a new top. Iíve found a p-lam color that is a pretty good match and the new sink and faucet are a bit different shape and location.

    So unless anyone here points out the errors of my ways, my plan is to use water resistant MDF and paying careful attention to temperature, apply two coats of old fashioned solvent based contact cement to each surface, wait the proper time and then put it together and thoroughly pressure roll it out. And to hell with the fumes, Iíll wear a mask and ventilate. Iíve done this several times before with good luck, I think my mistake on this particular top was using water based contact cement and applying it to the old plywood top.

    My only minor concern is using MDF on a high humidity boat. But Iíll use WR MDF, and Iíll carefully paint the back and all edges. I suppose I could even epoxy the back and edges as well.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Here is the new top with new faucet and sink. I still have to ‘fiddle’ with edge trim corners, but I’m glad I decided to build a new top. It might look a bit too modern for a 77 year old boat, but a good functioning galley is very important to Her. And considering the meals She puts out on this boat, a little sacrifice in traditional look is okay by me.

    12655475-8E7F-4A26-A772-EAC7B3925B9C.jpg

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Looks nice, and that's a huge expanse of countertop for any boat I've been aboard.
    -Dave

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Looks nice, and that's a huge expanse of countertop for any boat I've been aboard.
    Wide side decks means a deep counter I'm guessing...

    Looks great to me too Ron.
    - Chris

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    I too think it looks great. Clean & simple goes with anything.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Do you think this would work?

    Yes, a lot of that depth is under the carlins where the dishes are stacked.

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