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  1. #1
    Stoked! tricklowe's Avatar
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    Default The Formica Challenge

    I know this isn't longboarding, but I was hoping for a little help and insight from the Silverfish community.

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    I've been pressing my Pivotboardsfor a few years, and have found a few problems that I think i understand, but I'm unsure about.

    As you can see from the picture here, our boards have formica facing on them. The formica is ont he top and the bottom, as it helps greatly with the board strength. The problem is, that using formic on both sides creates a membrane, that greatly slows down the drying process for Titebond III.

    We use maple plys in the construction of the boards.

    We take boards out of our press after 2 days of pressing, and still need to keep them under 1/2" steel plates to cure properly for 10 days. If we don't put them in the steel plates, they warp.

    We're also finding inconsistency in strength at times. I believe that the glue could be drying from the outside of the pressings, and then sealing off the glue on the interior of the wood, meaning it never truly cures.

    A friend of mine from Argentina has had success using epoxy, and fiberglass layers.

    Looking into epoxy, the epoxy seems to be really expensive in comparison to the titebond III.

    I'm hoping someone may have some experience of using glues with a catalyst, such as Ultra-Cat PPR Veneer glue, or two part glues using a catalyst.

    Any advice would be great. Trying to figure out what glue will either cure without air, or a better solution to my issue.


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  3. #2
    Concrete Kahuna Chainmaillekid's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    I use Formica on my boards, and Titebond 3.
    I basically do the same thing you are doing, press for two days ( or three, whatevs )

    Don't have steel plates, I just put them in the middle of a stack of other dried boards for about a month.


    I was thinking about just adding heating elements to my press.
    Not only would that let me press during the winter easier, but I'm hoping it'd be able to get everything I need out of just 2 days in the press.

    There is also UF glue.
    It needs to have temps above 70* to cure, so I'd want to add heat elements to my press for that in order to ensure I can get consistent results year round.
    If Titebond 3 with heat won't work, There should be a UF option that will.


    Also, a thread going over some glue options:
    https://www.silverfishlongboarding.c...aminating.html
    Last edited by Chainmaillekid; 11-03-2016 at 11:26 PM.
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  4. #3
    Longskateaholic tigerflaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    I googled..
    "In common use, the word Formica refers to the company's classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin."

    This what you guys use?
    Using epoxy sounds better then. Its expensive yes but you could press the maple core as usual, then vacuum bag the Formica sheets with epoxy?

    My questions are, is formica worth it? Wouldn't it be better to drop it? What properties does it have and why use it on a board?

  5. #4
    Concrete Kahuna Chainmaillekid's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerflaw View Post
    I googled..
    "In common use, the word Formica refers to the company's classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin."

    This what you guys use?
    Using epoxy sounds better then. Its expensive yes but you could press the maple core as usual, then vacuum bag the Formica sheets with epoxy?

    My questions are, is formica worth it? Wouldn't it be better to drop it? What properties does it have and why use it on a board?
    Formica is really tough, weather resistant, abrasion resistant, and it provides a great finish.
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  6. #5
    Concrete Kahuna Ted's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    Even with no plastic lam water from the glue has a hard time getting out of a board. The glue line itself is a water barrier that prevents moisture from dissipating top and bottom. (Between the layers) I think that water dissipates from a board at the edges and mostly through the end grain. I also think that the water can remain trapped in the board for a long long time. I don't think this why the pieces are warping.

    I cannot tell from your picture of the board you posted whether or not is has plastic laminate on the opposite side. If it does not this could be part of your problem. Their is a product sold by Formica that is meant for laminating on the opposite side. It is relatively cheap and without the melamine layer but reacts similar to the top laminate.

    The order of veneers should be the same top and bottom, reflected from the center sort of speak. Any other material added to the board should also be reflected. Unlike fibreglass or carbon fibre, plastic laminate does not have a lot of tensile strength so it does not lock in the veneers like high tensile materials do. I suspect this is why carbon builds do not move much when only laminated on one side of the board and to boot, usually the builder is using epoxy and not water based glues for laminating the stack of veneers.

    Alternate your veneers will also help when doing your layup with warping.

    Ted from Roarockit

    Just noticed you are putting laminate on the top.
    This will prevent water from dissipating out of the top and bottom surfaces to the glue line.
    Alternating the veneers is a big thing and should help.
    Could be also that when gluing, the amount of glue is not evenly spread or even too much glue is being applied.
    Laminating the plastic laminate a day or two after laminating the wood layers might also help.

    It would be interesting to weigh the glue used before building a board and then weigh the board after it has been coated and finished. After a month do another weight test and see if it has actually gotten much lighter. I bet not.
    Last edited by Ted; 11-04-2016 at 03:39 PM.
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  7. #6
    Stoked! tricklowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerflaw View Post
    I googled..
    "In common use, the word Formica refers to the company's classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin."

    This what you guys use?
    Using epoxy sounds better then. Its expensive yes but you could press the maple core as usual, then vacuum bag the Formica sheets with epoxy?

    My questions are, is formica worth it? Wouldn't it be better to drop it? What properties does it have and why use it on a board?
    The Formica adds a lot of strength if it's on both sides of the board. Having it on the top layer and the bottom, means they both create equal tension, and the center section of my board only has 6 plies. It's super strong, and still flexible. The footplates on either end, are only 5 plies. this enables me to make a stronger, lighter product.

    It's also an amazing slick, so slides are a lot nicer.

    I think pressing the entire board together with the formica helps with strength, too.

  8. #7
    Stoked! tricklowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Even with no plastic lam water from the glue has a hard time getting out of a board. The glue line itself is a water barrier that prevents moisture from dissipating top and bottom. (Between the layers) I think that water dissipates from a board at the edges and mostly through the end grain. I also think that the water can remain trapped in the board for a long long time. I don't think this why the pieces are warping.

    I cannot tell from your picture of the board you posted whether or not is has plastic laminate on the opposite side. If it does not this could be part of your problem. Their is a product sold by Formica that is meant for laminating on the opposite side. It is relatively cheap and without the melamine layer but reacts similar to the top laminate.

    The order of veneers should be the same top and bottom, reflected from the center sort of speak. Any other material added to the board should also be reflected. Unlike fibreglass or carbon fibre, plastic laminate does not have a lot of tensile strength so it does not lock in the veneers like high tensile materials do. I suspect this is why carbon builds do not move much when only laminated on one side of the board and to boot, usually the builder is using epoxy and not water based glues for laminating the stack of veneers.

    Alternate your veneers will also help when doing your layup with warping.

    Ted from Roarockit

    Just noticed you are putting laminate on the top.
    This will prevent water from dissipating out of the top and bottom surfaces to the glue line.
    Alternating the veneers is a big thing and should help.
    Could be also that when gluing, the amount of glue is not evenly spread or even too much glue is being applied.
    Laminating the plastic laminate a day or two after laminating the wood layers might also help.

    It would be interesting to weigh the glue used before building a board and then weigh the board after it has been coated and finished. After a month do another weight test and see if it has actually gotten much lighter. I bet not.
    Thanks Ted

    I do alternate the veneers, and everything is as you're advising in that department. I believe it is the formica trapping the moisture in the board. The boards used to dry a lot better before we added formica.

    We keep the boards pressed between heavy steel plates for curing, which has stopped the warping altogether.

    I'll look for the opposite side Formica, perhaps that's what I'm missing also.

    Thanks for the advice, it's great to hear from a legend in the industry (in my opinion).

    I guess we'll increase curing time, and also will look into UF glues.

    I will DEFINITELY weigh the board, and look for a change in weight. Would you be able to tell me the sort of drop in weight I should anticipate for full curing?

    Being above 70 degress is no problem, we're in SoCal, Murrieta to be precise, where temperatures below 70 are infrequent, even in winter.

    Thanks to everyone for all the help so far, I really appreciate this community.

  9. #8
    Concrete Kahuna Ted's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by tricklowe View Post
    Thanks Ted

    I do alternate the veneers, and everything is as you're advising in that department. I believe it is the formica trapping the moisture in the board. The boards used to dry a lot better before we added formica.

    We keep the boards pressed between heavy steel plates for curing, which has stopped the warping altogether.

    I'll look for the opposite side Formica, perhaps that's what I'm missing also.

    Thanks for the advice, it's great to hear from a legend in the industry (in my opinion).

    I guess we'll increase curing time, and also will look into UF glues.

    I will DEFINITELY weigh the board, and look for a change in weight. Would you be able to tell me the sort of drop in weight I should anticipate for full curing?

    Being above 70 degress is no problem, we're in SoCal, Murrieta to be precise, where temperatures below 70 are infrequent, even in winter.

    Thanks to everyone for all the help so far, I really appreciate this community.
    Thanks for the kind words. Appreciate it.

    You seem to be doing everything right so am not sure what else could be the problem. I am sure you know of but have you tried SK8 from Franklin. Although similar to Titebond lll I think it has a shorter drying time and works with UV.
    It should be cheaper than the Titebond in the States.
    SK8

    I will also do a weight test with the glue as I do not know how much of a change their would be.

    Over the life span of a board I suspect the moisture trapped in it is a good thing as I know when sheets of veneer sits for a long time in a dry environment they become brittle and when bent crack easily.

    Hmmmmm.....Another test would be to cut apart an older board in the middle or drill a couple of holes halfway through and do a moisture test with a meter.

    I will do this on a couple of different aged boards when I get time.

    Ted
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    Innovative Tools for Boardbuilding
    NEW 3 STEP DROP THROUGH TEMPLATE
    DOUBLE BEARING ROUTER BIT SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR ROUNDING SKATEBOARDS

    Check us out at Roarockit.ca in Canada - Roarockit.com in USA - Roarockit.eu in Europe
    - Roarockit.co.uk in the United Kingdom - Australianskateboardkits.com in Australia

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  10. #9
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    Default Re: The Formica Challenge

    This is a process/tooling issue, not a material issue

    If you have wet glue inside that means you are not getting proper squeeze out
    bad squeeze out most likely one of the following 5 possibilities

    Not enough pressure (titebond III requires 90+ psi for hardwoods, check the data sheets)
    Improper application of glue as Ted noted above
    Incorrect transitional geometry in your mold surfaces
    mismatched material thickness to mold transitional geometry
    Flex in press body under pressure

    the formica sandwich problem (top and bottom) is a different matter. that issue relates to the ever changing moisture content of the wood, not the adhesive.
    -glue moisture should be non-issue after proper pressing and proper post cure...
    -wood moisture however changes all the time and plys will swell & contract as they take in and release moisture with the weather & environment.
    -Formica does not swell & contract (noticeably) with these changes
    Therefore, moving parts (wood veneers) trapped between two stable/non-moving parts (Formica) causes stress failure but, it does not cause glue curing issues in general.

    you can figure this out, good hunting.


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