I'm going to start work on the right End Piece. Use the workbench vise to hold the End Piece.
I'll put laminate on the edge first. Prep the surface by sanding with 80 grit sandpaper. Wipe off the surface after sanding.
Earlier in the project when I was gluing the foam to the fiberboard I accidentally bought this can of Original Formula Contact Cement (the flammable kind). I can't use it with the foam but it will be perfect for Formica.
Here is the back side of the edge strip before I start applying the contact cement.
Brush on the contact cement and allow it to dry. This is how it appears after it dries. It has a glossy look and will be tacky.
Apply contact cement to the edge of the End Piece.
Edge pieces require extra adhesion so after the first coat dries add a second.
I don't take any pictures since my hands were full but after everything had reached the proper level of tacky I placed the laminate strip over the end piece and set it down. I started near the center and worked out from there. Once the strip touches the treated wood it will stick but good. You won't get a second chance so you might want to practice how you're going to handle the strip before you start applying the glue.
For the next step I'll be needing a new tool. This is a J-Roller. The contact cement directions advise using 25 pounds per square inch to completely join the laminate to the wood surface.
Use the J-Roller to apply that force to top of the laminate. Start from the center and roll to the edges. Since the J-Roller has a 3 inch wide roller you need to really press down to apply the recommended PSI.
After I was finished with the roller I let the laminate set a couple hours before I started the trimming.
I'll use a router to trim the edge of the laminate. I already have a couple of heavy duty routers but they would be a bit unwieldy for this work. I bought this small router from Harbor Freight. It cost $24.99. In case you're not familiar with Harbor Freight they sell inexpensive foreign made tools (mostly China). Since I won't be doing a lot of trim work the router will only have limited use. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it.
There is a lot of plastic bits. Hopefully I don't break it before I'm done with it.
To trim the Formica I'll be using a flush trim(or cut) router bit. Here's a good description from rockler.com.
"Flush trim router bits are guided by a pilot bearing that is the same size as the bit's cutting radius. They're used to trim the edge of one material flush with the edge of another material. Trimming a veneered surface flush with a substrate, or using a pattern to create multiple identical shapes are examples. The pilot bearing may be on the top of the bit, at the base of the cutting edge, or both."
As you can see the pilot bearing is at the bottom of this bit.
The router will produce a lot of shavings so I moved operations to the garage area.
In lieu of the workbench vise I'm using the edge of the table saw, a clamp and the ubiquitous cat litter bucket to hold the End Piece in position.
Here is a before and after look of what the trim router does.
Here's the router in action.
I have the router bit extended too far below the edge of the laminate. The bit should just clear the lower edge of the laminate. I corrected this after I figured it out.
If you were to look at this edging strip from above you'd see that in relation to the End Piece I'm moving the router in a clockwise rotation. THIS IS WRONG.
I should be moving the router in a Counterclockwise
direction. I found that if you move the router in a clockwise direction the bit will take a more aggressive cut of the laminate (bad) and it wants to move away (outward) from the edge you're trimming. I don't want a aggressive cut because if it takes away too much I've ruined the laminate. I want it to be less aggressive because I can always sand it down if it leaves some laminate behind .
Did I mention the router makes a lot of shavings?
After finishing with the router I used 100 grit sandpaper along the edge of the laminate for a final smoothing.
My first ever Formica edge. Looks really nice.
Unfortunately I'll end up ruining it. But that's tomorrow.