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This is probably elementary to most, but I've never done it. I'm putting down a 12' sheet of formica on my workbench.

I've watched videos, read instructions, etc... It seems pretty simple, they all say wait until both surfaces are dry to the touch (takes 15-20 minutes). place your sticks, rope, or whatever. Start in the middle and work your way out bonding the laminate to the substrate.

Is this is simple as it sounds, it should not stick to your fingers at all (or anything for that matter) before you bring both surfaces together?

It just seems very counter intuitive, but it is contact "cement", not glue, so I'll buy it. My dad has done this before, and we are in a debate... he tends to stick with what is very intuitive, so he puts the surfaces together while they are still sticky. It is kind of hard to debate though, because I've only read about it, and he has actually done it. :)

So, can someone elaborate on this simple process... also, is there a window of time in which it can be applied after it is "dry to the touch" before it will no longer be effective? If you DID wait too long, is there anyway to fix it, or do you just apply more contact cement?

Thanks.

  • Vinyl pool cover patches never stayed on forever until I started following the instructions to apply thin layers of the contact cement to both surfaces and allow to dry 2 minutes or until the "Shine" can no longer be seen, then apply the patch. Since I started following the instructions i've not had one come off. I used to use it like a tube of glue like you're implying but it doesn't work that way. – Tyson Nov 2 '16 at 16:01
  • @Tyson Thanks for the feeback. For now I'll stay with following instructions :) – slambeth Nov 2 '16 at 17:03
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So I'm narcissistically answering my own question... I waited a couple weeks and nobody bit, so, here it is.

The answer is, yes... wait 20 minutes until it is more or less dry to the touch. It might still have a little "grab" to it, but it should by no means be sticky. You have up to 2 hours to work with it, but i did mine as soon as I hit 20 minutes. It will only stick to itself at this point, and this is the benefit of "contact" cement. Coat both the substrate, and the laminate. Use wood strips, dowels, or something to separate the two pieces so you can position it. Start in the middle, and remove boards as you press the two materials together. Once this stuff bonds, sorry... game over, it is bonded so make sure you move out evenly. it is like applying an enormous sticker. I've heard you can reactivate the glue with heat though, like an iron, so maybe that can save you if you make a mistake. Mineral spirits is also supposed to work.

I bought a roller from lowes designed for laminate. I think this is a crucial tool in getting the 25 psi required to fully bond the two pieces together. I found mine right where they sell laminate for counter tops.

I waited a few hours to router mine, and it did router clean. The cement is fully hardened and cured in 7 days, but you can router it within a few hours (minimum 2, is my recommendation).

Bottom line, follow the instructions on the can. There are also MANY youtube videos on the process.

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