Forming Metal Laminate to a Tight Radius

Vacuum bag turns out to work. June 22, 2012

Has anyone successfully bent a metal laminate around a 2" radius? Any tips? I've been thinking of prebending in a vacuum bag, but would love to hear other ideas.

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor B:
I haven't done this, but I think there are some post-formable metal laminates. This would be my first choice. How wide a piece of laminate do you want to bend - a few inches (like a table corner) or a bigger distance (like a countertop edge)?

From the original questioner:
It's a rounded corner on a conference table base. 28.5" high.

From contributor P:
I think this is going to be tough. You might try the post-formable, but you would have to have a heat bar. In these situations I have a sheet metal shop use regular sheet metal and bend it as needed and slip it over the wood with some liquid nails.

From the original questioner:
So we tried putting the laminate in a vacuum bag, flat, with the MDF form underneath. Turn on vacuum, and presto - perfect curve. Our metal laminate did not have a HPL backer, i.e. it's just a piece of metal.

From contributor P:
What adhesive?

From the original questioner:
Contact cement.

From contributor P:
Not a good idea. If you are going to use the vacuum bag with a liquid glue, I suggest you use material with a peel coat, as the vacuum will tend to draw the glue onto the face of the material.