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Stainless steel laminated to baltic birch8/19
I recently had a client request a counter top constructed of stainless steel laminated to a 1 1/2" Baltic birch substrate. The idea is to leave the plywood edge exposed for an industrial look. Has anyone had any experience with laminating metal to plywood? What would be the best adhesive to bond the stainless and plywood? I am also concerned about the installation. The client doesn't want a back splash, therefore I would have to scribe the top into the walls. How would I accomplish this with a metal veneered top? I'm afraid if I try to hog away the material with a belt-sander, the metal would heat up and discolor. Jig saw is obviously out of the question with the combination of wood and metal. Any input would be appreciated!
I think your best bet would be to scribe the plywood tops first, then leave them with your stainless supplier to fit to them prior to laminating.
Contact cement would work decently well for holding down the majority of the top, but I would also run a bead of gorilla glue around the perimeter. And keep in mind you need to clean the stainless as well as possible to ensure a good bond.
And with that said, I wouldn't offer any type of guarantee that it won't delaminate at some point.
In regards to scribing, I agree with the suggestion to scribe the substrate, and then let a sheet metal fabricator do the rest. They have the methods, tools, and skill set to do many things we cant.
Also. In terms of laying this up
Get the architect or customer to specify an adhesive schedule in writing. If they want you to do this they need to own some responsibility for it.
I would be willing to do this as per the clients specifications, and instruction, but that I would not be able to offer a warranty or guarantee on their choice of adhesive, and prescribed method of application,
If they are not able to do this, then you really need to find a pro metal fabricator who can do the layup, and guarantee it.
Thanks for the input guys. The client, who is a friend, said he would pay for the metal fabrication if I made the substrate. I don't think he has a clue of what the actual cost of this is going to be, or the logistical challenges involved. While I think it would be an awesome look if it is properly executed, I don't think it is going to be the cheap alternative to stone that he wants. That being said, I think I am going to try and talk him out of the concept and have him seriously look into stone/ solid surface alternatives. If anyone else wants to ring in with a good idea I would still be interested, as it would be a great product if I could make it work.
It would probably cost less to skip the lamination, and just have a metal shop make a commercial style stainless countertop, provided you can supply a template.
Have you considered metal laminate?
Thanks for the help guys. I wanted to follow up with some pictures of the final product. I ended up fabricating the baltic birch top and the metal fabricator took care of the rest. He apparently deals with this process regularly and took responsibility for the lamination. I don't know what adhesive he used, but the end result looked great. And the metal fab only cost $50 a lineal foot!