Tight Heat-Bending Laminate

      Here's a short but informational conversation on applying heat to laminate in order to accomplish tight bends. July 26, 2010

I am trying to laminate around two 1-1/2" radii on the item below. It is approximately 27" that I have to bend. My problem is, even with two guys using heat guns, we are having trouble getting the laminate to the 325 temp in a short time. The postform laminate just isn't bending. I also think the wood may be acting as a heat sink. I'm using Wilsonart postforming laminate. Is there a better way to do this? Does someone make a heat lamp or is this not an option? Thanks for any advice. I have to make several of these units and have to remedy this problem.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor E:
We used to form laminate to as tight as a 3/8" radius (3/4" HPL doors). This was with postform grade. We used a quartz lamp. They are listed as "Electric Infrared Heaters" in Graingers. For your application, you would do best to have some "Tempilaque" so you can assess the precise time to remove the heat and bend the laminate. We would spray the sheet of laminate with spray grade contact cement, mark the dried contact cement at the area to bend with a matchstick sized dab of the temperature sensing paint, and apply heat with the quartz heater to the pattern side of the laminate. When the heat sensing paint turns clear you have a few seconds to perform the bend. We used a Betterley underscribe router to make a seam on the back side of the door.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Laminates and Solid Surfacing

  • KnowledgeBase: Laminates & Solid Surfacing: Fabrication Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article