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Old 24th Mar 2017, 23:04   #1
Vault-Tec
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Using wood laminate.

OK guys just wondered who of you out there has done this? I'm looking to build a pre amp, but I kinda like those uber expensive headphone amps with a mixture of polished alu and wood.

I've always had a thing for walnut burr, and have found some lovely bits on Ebay for a modest price. However, I am not sure what best way to tackle it. Basically the pre valve amp I want comes in kit form and you solder it/build it yourself. It then has a top and bottom made out of clear acrylic.

Ideally I would like to laminate the top and then laquer and polish it to within an inch of its life whilst keeping the valve tops exposed. Am I safe to assume a Stanley knife/exact-o is the best method of cutting it?

The only thing I am not sure of is what to glue it on with. Obviously gluing something like wood to plastic means I can't use wood glue. I am guessing I need to use contact adhesive? if so can you guys recommend one that is flexible and does not melt acrylic please?

Then when I glue it.. Is there a cheap press sort of thing I can buy? It won't be very big..

Thanks for any help
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 09:08   #2
13eightyfour
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I'm certainly no expert in veneers but I have used them a few times before, I've always used a sharp craft knife to cut veneers and never had any problems.

I'd be tempted to go for an epoxy to bond the veneer to the acrylic, I can't comment on a suitable one because I've never tried to glue a veneer to acrylic, Contact cement might work fine but I'm not sure how permanent it would end up being.

In the past I have made a make shift press using a bottle jack and my car with a piece of 18mm MDF on the floor, then the work piece, another piece of 18mm MDF on top to sit the jack on and just take the weight of the car. Not ideal and could potentially crack acrylic if you put too much force on the jack.
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 14:13   #3
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Yes on the exacto knife. Or a box cutter. Be patient with it and make sure your cutting. It's easy to get caught in a grain and split it off.

I think your gluing options depends on what sort of veneer you pick up. If you get raw, I think you're stuck with some sort of epoxy since you have to find something that won't soak into the wood but will stick to the acrylic and not damage it. That rules out wood glues, heat-lock, and contact cements. And you'll want to scratch up the acrylic so you get some bite.

But, if you've got some choice in the veneer, a paper backed veneer will let you add contact cement into the mix. And possibly other adhesives since you're just veneering a small, flat part. My thought would be a spray adhesive meant for car interiors? Maybe?

You're easiest option would be getting a veneer with a PSA backing. Basically backed with duck tape. Stick it, trim it, done.
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 14:28   #4
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Cheers guys. Still considering lots of options.
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