How do the pros make or buy panels like this?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Chotu, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Chotu
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Florida

    Chotu Junior Member

    I'm doing an interior and I can't understand how big builders are able to produce these looks.

    Can anyone help?

    Are these premade panels I can buy? Laminate skins I glue up?

    With the pic of the black stairs, how are they able to get the perfectly square edges on what I assume to be cored panels for weight? Class has to be round to go around the core so what are they doing here?

    How can I get perfectly square edges on say, other cabinets I build?

    And what about the wall on the last pic and door and hardware?

    How do I get this stuff in the USA?

    Who knows the secrets to making these interiors?

    Thank you!
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  2. Chotu
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    Chotu Junior Member

    No one knows how to do this?

    Is there a name for this type of work so I can Google it or find a forum of professionals in this industry to ask about it?
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Its just plastic laminates.

    This might give you a few clues.
     
  4. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    What Watson is showing is using paper backed wood veneers and wood glue.
    What's in the pictures is plastic laminate or Formica. Usually contact cement is used with that.
    The dead even sheen and bland look in all the photos say plastic laminate to me. Some of it may be vinyl wallpaper.
    In the last photo it's a giveaway that the walls are wood veneer or plastic laminate as it's all face grain, even where it should be end grain.
    Square corners can be done with formica or actual wood caps.
    I wouldn't assume cored panels or lightweight in bigger boats. Maybe, maybe not.
    It might depend on where the boats are from, different countries have different materials available or offer different patterns for the same basic material.
    Some things are probably custom molded, probably in house or subcontracted.
    Fittings and hardware are usually 'marine' stuff from marine suppliers.
    You get formica at Home Depot etc. They have a few popular ones on display, and samples of maybe a hundred or more different patterns you can order.

    formica - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=formica
     
  5. Chotu
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    Chotu Junior Member

    Thank you.

    I guess it's just veneers, plastic or real. I have to get them onto pre installed sections of hull and cabinetry so it may be a little difficult.

    Thanks for explaining this to me.
     
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Resources | Wilsonart https://www.wilsonart.com/resources?category=Laminate&document_type=Fabrication
    The general idea is to apply pieces that are bigger than needed and trim them with a router.
    Using contact cement and plastic laminates takes practice because it sticks instantly, you can't trap air in it, a small piece of dirt or sawdust trapped underneath can be a big problem. You have to keep the area swept and cleaned, but as soon as you rout off an edge, the whole area is full of the exact type of small things you don't want to accidentally get trapped under the laminate.
    Fitting larger pieces to walls and things already in place can be difficult. A wall piece broke my toe when it stuck in the wrong position and made me kick it.
    You can't do any compound curves either.
    How much do you have to do?
     
  7. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    If it is formica (about 0.5 mm thick), it is glued with formica glue and the edges routed with a laminate trimmer. You can get end grain patterns for the edges or finish it off with stained wood. The plastic laminated version requires a hot press to make the heat sensitive glue stick and make the edges conform. The film is relatively thick. This is a method common in IKEA furnitures. The core is pressed wood chips. The commercially available ones that can handle compound curves fake printed patterns does not need hot press but requires some skill as the plastic is thin.
     
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Umm, not exactly a router - that's why I linked the video. When you say "router", I know you mean a Laminate Trimmer - which is a lot smaller and more manouverable than a Router. 3707FC-6.35mm (1/4') Laminate Trimmer https://www.makita.com.au/products/power-tools/categories/specialty-woodworking/3707fc-6-35mm-1-4-laminate-trimmer

    But even more importantly, you can buy smaller and more useful veneer trimmers (that work with wood OR Laminex trim) that are purely manual, and much more precise in tight corners
    IMG_8426_copy_590x.jpg

    Star M Ceramic Edge Trimmer https://www.japanesetools.com.au/products/edge-trimmer

    Its the edges and joins that make the big difference in quality
     
  9. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Looking at the panels of the pictures, it looks to me that most of the panels are commercially available high grade laminated panels. The grain is just too perfect. The dark brown panels appears to be good quality wood, stained. The grain does not seem to repeat and the joints have some imperfections.

    For the stairs, it appears to be overlaid wood veneer for durability.

    I guess the fabricator is mixing up natural grain panels, wood veneer overlay, and commercial laminated panels.

    It depends on how the client wishes how good the interior of the boat looks. When we were building high end yachts, the owner wanted teak finish on panels and furnitures. Teak veneer was epoxied to large flat marine plywoods. Trims and curved handrails were laminated veneers, sometimes up to 20 layers. Builders are craftsman, sitting on the bench, using utility knives, very fine back saw, and laminate trimmers, and lots of masking tapes. They (craftsman) are the vanishing kind.

    Finishing is non gloss lacquer/varnish, sometimes just teak oil.
     
  10. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The trimmers look handy, but I never had one and always used files, knives for finishing up.
    If doing laminate work in place, finishing the corners etc where the router/trimmer won't fit is hard to do with a good chance of screwing up the project.
    In a boat another problem is working space. the vast majority of the work in the OPs pics was done in a shop on benches etc and put in the boat as a finished product.

    Finish work is a specialty field. In land and boat construction, some do the rough work and others do the finish work. So to replicate a high end yacht finish, in place, without the tools and materials, experience and extra help, it is very hard to do.

    It would help to know what the Chotu is trying to do (photos help) and what grade of finish he wants.

    I know you don't want to hear this, but I would suggest re-evaluating the whole project. Going back to the original posting about epoxy, if you have life threatening reactions to epoxy, it doesn't seem wise to work in an epoxy boat or to even have one. And a doctor might be a better place to get advice about epoxy allergies rather than a boat design website. Getting offshore and then having emergency medical problems should be avoided. People unknowingly chance destroying their health working with all the unfamiliar boat building materials and chemicals they use with inadequate protection in closed, confined spaces. It's hard to do but sometimes it's best to cut your losses and move on while you can. Like I say, I've no idea what has to be done to finish this project or how big it is, but finishing is a time consuming, expensive part of the project and it's very easy to not get any 'return' on the money and effort invested.

    Otherwise, vinyl wallpapers and paint with solid wood trim and end caps can be used to advantage.
     
  11. Chotu
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Chotu Junior Member

    Thanks very much for all the information.

    I'm finally understanding how this is done.

    I have a foam/glass boat I'm doing the interior on. I'd like the interior to look as good as these boats. Currently it's just unfinished fiberglass.

    There are little things that aren't so obvious to me.

    When you make panels for steps for instance, you must round the corners to close off the foam core. This is the lightest way to make the step panel. It's also the only way to wrap glass onto both sides.

    From there I want it to look like the pictures. Square edges.

    Would I build it back up with a fairing compound then square it all up and put the laminate on? Seems heavy.

    Or is there a different process for stair treads like these where I leave the foam square?

    If I can figure this part out, the rest is pretty straightforward given all the helpful information in this thread.

    The rest is flat surfaces and cabinetry I can build square and laminate on top of.
     
  12. Chotu
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    Chotu Junior Member

    PS:. I'm not going near epoxy again. The boat itself is made from epoxy but as long as it's in its cured form the hardener doesn't leech out. It's the hardener that gets me.

    Anything I'm making now is polyester and adhesives. These laminates should cut down tremendously on staining and finishing products also. Straight to a glued on finish surface.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Curves on steps can be most easily done with resin impregnated with different coloring and texture agents. Often, you can apply resin and matt in the corner to be filled (with non stick protection) , use peel ply to get a rough larger curve, then take the cured strip off, and sand it into shape. You can then glue it back in place.
    A bit of black carbon powder always looks nice, producing a shiny black strip. White is also pretty easy on the eye, but scuffs up quicker.

    If you have a large number of similar profiles, you can mock up a simple mold from an aluminium section, and produce long lengths for sawing to length.

    I always preferred timber for the edges of cabinetry, but that's a matter of preference.
     
  14. Chotu
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    Chotu Junior Member

    Interesting! A craftsman such as this, I'm not. But a craftsman to a basic degree I'll have to become.

    Thanks for the ideas to get things rolling. I think there is hope of a beautiful interior this way.

    It looks like a router table will be a must in general.
     

  15. Chotu
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    Location: Florida

    Chotu Junior Member

    I'll take some pictures when things start getting somewhere.
     
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