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Laminate Advice


Leo Sump:
I bought some laminate for my control panel.  I haven't cemented it on yet and I'm looking for some advice.

I have a circular saw, and a utility knife.  I will not be buying a router so which should I use?  I am leaning towards the utility knife to score and then snap off the laminate.

When should I drill my holes in the panel, before or after I laminate it?  

I was thinking I could drill the holes in the panel first, then laminate the top, then drill through the laminate using the existing holes.  I'd put a scrap board under the laminate so I wouldn't chip it.

Or should I laminate it first and drill through the laminate side?  I have no idea which method is appropriate.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

You can do it either way.  My suggestion would be to cut your panel then cut a piece of laminate for it slightly larger than the panel. (Like 1/8 of an inch or less if you can.)  Then take a rotary sander bit and smooth off the excess.  Now take your hole saw or whatever and carefully re-drill your holes from the laminate side, just to cut out the laminate.  You can put the lamiante on before cutting, but you might damage it while your working on the cp.  

:o Why are you drilling the laminate at all?  Ever see a real arcade cab with screw holes in the side?

Funny you should mention routers at Home Depot.  They had a Skil 1 3/4HP Plunge router on clearance for $70.  With that 40% off of the last clearance price deal going on I couldn't walk out of the store without one ($45 including tax).

A good trick for cuting laminate is to put your circular blade on backwards and cut it SLOW (this works for any plastics).  Scoring it with a knife never worked well for me.


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