Best ways to laminate boards. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 13 Old 04-06-11, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Best ways to laminate boards.

So i have my ideas on how to do this, i'm looking for yours. I need to laminate 3 pieces of 3/4" MDF together, the size is large as it is for 4 -15" possibly 18" IB subs. The baffle will be roughly 20" X 80" so i'm looking for the best way to glue these up or other methods without having air pockets inbetween the panels, i've done this several times on much smaller Baffles using a few different methods without problems but with the size of this thing i'm not expecting it to go as smooth as all the others have. Any ideas would be of great use. Thanks in advance, Bambino.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-07-11, 12:57 AM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

With lots of weight on a flat surface.




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post #3 of 13 Old 04-07-11, 09:05 AM
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bambino wrote:
So i have my ideas on how to do this, i'm looking for yours. I need to laminate 3 pieces of 3/4" MDF together, the size is large as it is for 4 -15" possibly 18" IB subs. The baffle will be roughly 20" X 80" so i'm looking for the best way to glue these up or other methods without having air pockets inbetween the panels, i've done this several times on much smaller Baffles using a few different methods without problems but with the size of this thing i'm not expecting it to go as smooth as all the others have. Any ideas would be of great use. Thanks in advance, Bambino.
I have used suction bags with a lot if success, but not that large. Most of the application I have used them for is for laminating a finished veneer. It basically sucks all the air out so there cannot be any air pockets.

Something that large and thick it will be important to distribute the glue as evenly as possible over the entire surface and then when applying the pieces together doing so from one end to the other with strong uniform pressure so that no air will "suck" back in. If you do this and ooze the glue out you will not get any air pockets, but for this much surface area it will require a lot of pressure/weight applied at a uniform distribution. Most air pockets in this application will come from applying a lot of pressure at a point and then allowing that pressure to be reduced enough so that the pieces come apart and a vacuum is established and air is sucked back in.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-07-11, 01:54 PM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

Because of the fumes from contact cement, I would look at a Cold Press laminating adhesive. For pressure I would use large square concrete patio stones. You can also rent a laminate roller to help with bubble removal.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-07-11, 04:26 PM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

I'd stay away from contact adhesives for something this large. Do you have access to a vacuum press? They generate pressures of 1500+ pounds per square foot and work really well for laminating.

Have you tried polyurethane glue? It's messy but gives a long open time allowing you to work out any trapped air.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-08-11, 08:39 AM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

You may want to look at some "Versa Lam" products. IMO this would make an ideal baffle with a lot less work. Expense wise, I can't say. This stuff is rugged.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-08-11, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

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gwilliams20 wrote: View Post
You may want to look at some "Versa Lam" products. IMO this would make an ideal baffle with a lot less work. Expense wise, I can't say. This stuff is rugged.
I use to cut alot of Versa lam at a previous job i had but not sure if it comes as wide as i need. If it's the same product i'm thinking the work with the MDF would be worth the work as i can get a truck load for rather cheap.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-08-11, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

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I'd stay away from contact adhesives for something this large. Do you have access to a vacuum press? They generate pressures of 1500+ pounds per square foot and work really well for laminating.

Have you tried polyurethane glue? It's messy but gives a long open time allowing you to work out any trapped air.
I haven't a clue as to where i could find a vacuum machine in my area, that would be a nice way to go about it. I do think the ultimate idea is to use a glue with a good long open time to give me time to play with it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-09-11, 02:52 AM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

I second the polyurethane glue. I have used it to stick multiple layers of curved (stressed) ply together with no problems. Because the glue I used relied on moisture to cure I spread the glue on one sheet and very lightly misted the sheet that was being laminated to it.
I don't have any suggestions for clamping flat sheets while they cure.

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-09-11, 09:44 AM
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Re: Best ways to laminate boards.

I just thought of another idea for the a glue up. Try using "crowned" cauls accross the short axis. Place the high point of the crown downward on the piece to laminated. As you clamp either end, the caul should straighten out with pressure being applied in the center first.

I've used this method for laminating 24" x 36" plywood before with good results.

Oh, one other thing, if you have not worked with polyurethane glue before, it can be is very messy. Clean up is not easy as it is not water soluable. It's no a big deal so long as you know in advance and are prepared for the squeeze out. Probably would be a good idea to wear something like surgical gloves just to keep your hands from getting into the glue.

Also - Versa lam is available in up to a 24" width but the thickness is 3.5". Try here for info:

http://www.bc.com/wood/ewp/simpleFraming/versaLam.html

I hope this helps...
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