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Old Nov 15, 2010, 01:11 PM
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Mr. Combat Certain's Avatar
United States, CA, San Clemente
Joined Feb 2008
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Help!
Warped Formica, warped templates. Any ideas on how to fix this?!?!

Well so far my foam cutter has worked very well, especially when I made a straighter jig and gave it a protective coat in case of moisture. However, while trying to fix a template, the bandsaw I use 'caught' the template and ripped it in half . I had some spare Formica, so I went ahead and tried to make a new one. When it was finished, it was badly warped, it was literally shaped like this ( and it made it hard to straighten it out and I'm a little worried that it won't be consistent. I've got some straighter Formica, but I'd like to avoid making a whole new one (it's a pain in the ). Does anyone know what causes warped Formica and how to cure it? Or is it just best if I cut a new one out of the straighter board?

Jordan
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 01:21 PM
Just fly it!
wyowindworks's Avatar
Cody, WY
Joined Nov 2007
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Jordon, do you have a router? If so, then shape your template out of 1/4" ply (much easier). Then Super 77 the ply to a piece of formica and use a top bearing pattern bit in your router to replicate the shape. Once the 1/4" ply template is made you can make a formica one in two minutes. Keep the 1/4" ply one to quickly make new formica ones if they get damaged.

You might try heating your existing template with a heat gun and weighting it flat until it full cools. Formica is made with phonelic resin, so if you heat it up it should be reformable until it's heated again.

Here is video showing how template routing works. The video isn't showing formica but the process is the same.

Root Rib Template Routing (0 min 46 sec)
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 01:22 PM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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I use ally so dont have that problem still you could soak it in water for and hour then sit it in the sun under weight on a flat surface and wait till it dries out ,may work even better if you mixed in 50/50 water and ammonia . works on straightening most timbers not sure about the formica though ,but what do you have to loose. some say the ally cools the wire and doesn't cut a consistant foil , guess no one told the foam a mate of mine in NZ uses the same system FWIW
foam cutting sawtooth.mpg (4 min 44 sec)


SteveW
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Mr. Combat Certain's Avatar
United States, CA, San Clemente
Joined Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyowindworks View Post
Jordon, do you have a router? If so, then shape your template out of 1/4" ply (much easier). Then Super 77 the ply to a piece of formica and use a top bearing pattern bit in your router to replicate the shape. Once the 1/4" ply template is made you can make a formica one in two minutes. Keep the 1/4" ply one to quickly make new formica ones if they get damaged.

You might try heating your existing template with a heat gun and weighting it flat until it full cools. Formica is made with phonelic resin, so if you heat it up it should be reformable until it's heated again.

Here is video showing how template routing works. The video isn't showing formica but the process is the same.

http://vimeo.com/1636764
Wow! You whipped out those templates in no time! Very interesting method.

Too bad I don't have a router . I've heard of routers being used on templates and it sounds much, muchg easier. I have to use my bandsaw and cut right up to the line, then hand-sand down to the fianl point. Takes anywhere from 30min. to an hour per template, and if ya mess up, start over .

My only question with that methos is, how come the router doesn't eat away at the plywood? Are you not actually brushing the router against the wood?
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Mr. Combat Certain's Avatar
United States, CA, San Clemente
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve wenban View Post
I use ally so dont have that problem still you could soak it in water for and hour then sit it in the sun under weight on a flat surface and wait till it dries out ,may work even better if you mixed in 50/50 water and ammonia . works on straightening most timbers not sure about the formica though ,but what do you have to loose. some say the ally cools the wire and doesn't cut a consistant foil , guess no one told the foam a mate of mine in NZ uses the same system FWIW
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFlzI...layer_embedded

SteveW

That double-sided template is a good idea! It's amazing how many ways there are to cut a wing from a block of foam . Thanks for the tip on soaking them in water. Would it help to spray a coat of sealant over the templates so they too are protected from moisture?
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 03:01 PM
Just fly it!
wyowindworks's Avatar
Cody, WY
Joined Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orni-freak View Post
Wow! You whipped out those templates in no time! Very interesting method.

Too bad I don't have a router . I've heard of routers being used on templates and it sounds much, muchg easier. I have to use my bandsaw and cut right up to the line, then hand-sand down to the fianl point. Takes anywhere from 30min. to an hour per template, and if ya mess up, start over .

My only question with that methos is, how come the router doesn't eat away at the plywood? Are you not actually brushing the router against the wood?
The router bit has a bearing that rides against the template. The flutes then trim the laminate flush with pattern/template.

The bit looks like this.

I cut most of ply and balsa production parts this way.

BTW, Formica is impervious to water.

Adam
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 03:28 PM
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Sensiblenick's Avatar
Sweden: Ystad
Joined Oct 2004
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Incase you were still looking for an answer...

Formica is essentially a thermoformed plastic. The most effective way to straighten it will be to heat it up in an oven, and then flatten it under a large mass while it cools.

Experiment with a scrap bit... but I'd guess that it'll need to be seriously hot - on the edge of discolouration.

Have fun!
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 05:35 PM
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Alway's good seeing how other people do thing's, you alway's learn something. Thank's Steve.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 05:47 PM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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As to straightening the template just cut a new one it would be faster.
formica over here I believe we call Laminex and it has a timber veneer to help it bound to other surfaces I wasn't sure of the formica though.
The other thing I like about that method Of cutting is you can only cut away from the core not into it so even if you screw up most imes you can save the core
SteveW
P.S No need to thank me, my mate Dave over in New Zealand was the one that decided to put it to video
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Old Nov 19, 2010, 12:28 AM
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Joined Jun 2004
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If you can't get your hands on a Router how about an inexpensive Dremel type tool?
They have some that come with an adjustable base and collar for the bits.

Just keep yer fingers outta the "bitey parts" and secure your templates as suggested with the adhesive.
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