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Old 01-09-2010, 07:14 AM  
cablechick
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Default needed: removal method for old laminate

Hey guys,

I wasn't sure where to post this, but in my scavenging I picked up an antique solid wood dresser. it looks like it was a beautiful piece at one time but some moron decided to put 1970's (i think) speckled laminate on the top and the drawer fronts. reminds me of the bathroom in the hse i grew up in... anyhow i removed the stuff from one of the drawer fronts and it took forever with a little love and a lot of gentle scraping and sanding with my mouse but surprisingly i didn't find anything worth hiding. Is there a glue remover for this stuff? or would taking a hairdryer or heat gun help? i didn't want to start throwing chemicals on it and make a bigger mess...
Thanks for any advise, even if i have to keep going with the above method i have a feeling it will be well worth the efforts...it just may be an eternity before it's done. i will try to get some pics and post...the cord to my camera is mia right now


Steph



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Old 01-09-2010, 08:59 AM  
Bud Cline
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A heat gun is the way to go but you need the larger professional type. Years ago I worked for a short time as a carpenter for a large hotel in Dallas and we were forever removing dinged and damaged laminate from doors to replace it. We would turn the door upside down on a pair of saw horses and place a radiant heater below the door for an hour or so. The heat would heat the entire big area and the laminate would then peel off with a couple of 6" drywall knives.



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Old 01-09-2010, 05:19 PM  
Nestor_Kelebay
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Cablechick:

I've removed the plastic laminate off of 20 square edge counter tops so far, and I just pry it off. I HAVE HAD some of the substrate plywood come up with the laminate, tho, but I expect this is much less likely to happen if you're removing the laminate from a hardwood (which is much stronger than fir plywood).

Toluene dissolves old solvent based contact cement, and would most likely dissolve any old finish on your cabinet as well.

If you can't find toluene for sale anywhere, use lacquer thinner, which is typically 70 to 80 percent toluene. Both toluene and laquer thinner are very flammable and volatile, so provide plenty of ventilation when working with them. Also, both will evaporate completely without leaving any residue.

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Old 01-10-2010, 08:01 AM  
cablechick
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Nestor,

Thanks for the advice. I wish the stuff would just pry off. I will try the sovlent and see if it helps. It would be nice to know what they used to attach the laminate... at least it wasn't liquid nails! Which seems to be the ex's adhesive of choice for EVERYTHING in this house.
May be a project for the spring so I can take it outside.
Not to mention i think the hubby would strangle me if I don't get his shower put back together soon....

Steph

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Old 01-10-2010, 09:51 AM  
Rich P
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It should be contact cement that is used on the counter top. As posted before, a heat gun is the best way to remove laminate. Heat will soften the existing glue, and then a stiff putty knife and a flat pry bar are all you nee. If the counter is high density particle board, you should be able to get it off with very little problem If the substrate is plywood you stand a good chance of de-laminating the ply wood. If the damage is not too bad, it can be repaired with a floor leveling compound,(plaster based preferred in this application). If the plywood totally comes apart, I always rebuild the entire top. I have however run into some tops where the previous install was done poorly, and the laminate lifts off really easy with out hardly any heat, or it was glued good only for about 3 or 4 inches in from the edge. You can hope for the best.

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Old 01-10-2010, 04:22 PM  
inspectorD
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Heat gun...the easiest, cleanest method...done.
And wear good gloves, laminate is very sharp if it breaks off.

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:10 PM  
Bud Cline
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Those high-powered solvents are both dangerous and unnecessary. They are highly flammable and dangerous to your respiratory system. That process wouldn't be recommended. The solvent could also destroy the adhesives used to manufacture the substrate material.

You can also use an everyday laundry iron to heat the laminate. Iron the surface as you would your shirts and the laminate will hold the heat and loosen the adhesive.



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