As part of a much larger project, I am being asked to provide a series of 1 3/4" thick x 36" wide x 130" tall foam core doors covered in plastic laminate. I have questions regarding the core and the laminate application.
My intent is to build a wood frame with at least two mid rails, rigid insulation as the fill-in, and a sheet of 1/8" MDF front and back to form the sandwhich. Is there another method that would be more capable of providing the flatness and stability that I need?
As for applying the laminate, to my knowledge there is no press in my area that will accommodate this length. My supplier that would normally press this for me has suggested contact cement. I am concerned about the potential for de-lamination as I am not a big fan of contact cement in general. I could build a screw press, or use a series of cauls to cold press it. If I use this method, what would be the recommended glue, both for the 1/8" MDF being applied to the wood frame and rigid insulation, and for the laminate to the MDF?
From contributor D:
One of the larger manufacturers in our neighborhood produces membrane press cabinet doors. These people also sponsor a race winning hydroplane that they built.
Several years ago, during a discussion of vacuum bag technology, one of the principals in this company told me that for epoxy work on the hydroplane they would make a temporary vacuum bag out of garden variety heavy duty visqueen. They didn't need an incredible amount of force, just even pressure. They went with a throw away material because the epoxy would ruin whatever it came into contact with.
You might experiment with something like this. If you started with a Formica deck that wouldn't breathe, all you would need to do after that would be to gasket the visqueen at the perimeter. I could be remembering this all wrong but it wouldn't take a big effort to test the concept.
As for the contact cement for the laminate, it's not a bad choice as long as you have a pinch roller you can run it through to get adequate pressure on it. If cost isn't an object use epoxy and vac bag it again. I can't speak for the plastic resin glue as I don't know for sure if it bonds to plastic laminate. If it does then that may be an option also.