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need help w/ solid surface questions….1/17
I have a job building a concierge desk that I'm just getting started on some shop drawings for. Initially the idea was to use laminate for the tops but now the trustees are talking about something more like solid surface. This presents a challenge as there's a monitor well involving a compound curve. Not a problem for laminate, but I haven't worked with solid surface before.
So I know you can heat and bend solid surface, but how hot does it need to be to bend the 1/4" material around a medium compound curve, I haven't worked out the exact dimensions yet…..but say maybe a 16' radius or so. How difficult is it to fit it to a form? What type of glue would I use to glue it to the form once cooled?
Also I remember being told years ago that one needed to get certified to be able to buy at least some of the brands of solid surface. Is that still the case? If so can you tell me what's involved with getting certified?
I just need to have a firm grasp on what's going to be involved so I can adjust the quote as well as find a sub to do the work if I cannot do it in house.
I don't understand "compound curve" I'd guess there is a curve in only one direction which is easy with SS. The issue with heat is you need to heat the WHOLE piece and not just the part being bent. It will take an oven large enough to get the part into. I use 300 degrees but don't think the part gets that hot before I pull it out. If you try and spot heat only the bent area it will expand while hot and shrink when cooling and crack.
Half inch thick material would be the most common and is not hard glued to the substrate, use dime sized spots of silicone. SS expands and contracts with changes in temperature and not humidity like a wood substrate.
I call it a compound curve, but maybe that's not the correct terminology? The way I'd visualize it would be wrapping around 1/2 of a column would be a simple curved piece. Wrapping around 1/2 of a cone would be a compound curve.
I'm thinking of 1/4" material as I'm thinking it will be easier to bend. Should also be easier to heat through. I'm not sure yet how I'll heat as it will be a decent sized piece…..maybe a 12" strip x 7' long or so. Though with the compound included it will need a wider "oven". Also this is not a real wear area as the rest of the top will be so doesn't necessarily need to be 1/2".
The piece below is just bent in a simple curve.
It in no way makes it easy or answers any of your questions but there are a lot of videos on Youtube about thermoforming solid surface.
I am not fully aware but a bending for such kind of finish does need assistance from a professional laminate expert as they could give a better finish in this aspect.