Learning

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Even when you do it right the very first time, it’s amazing how much you learn about everything that can be wrong.

I noted last time that I laminated my new assembly table, something I’d never done before. Fortunately, there’s plenty of info out there, so everything went smoothly. But it was a true learning experience, including a lot of things that never popped up in my research.

For example, trying to get a good idea of how the laminate color will work when all you had to go on was a 2-inch color chip is a crapshoot. The color I got will work fine, but a slightly darker shade would have been better.

Laminate is really tough once installed, but boy is it brittle stuff until then. I broke off a corner while cutting it to size, although nothing that affected the final piece.

Doing large lamination, anything more than a couple square feet, absolutely requires a second person. It’s a lot floppier than you realize, especially when trying to maneuver it with cement on one side of it. (Fortunately, my wife was around to lend a hand.)

Laminate-trimming bits tend to gunk up on very large projects like my table. I found that adjusting the bit slightly for a fresh edge halfway through was a help. Also, this isn’t the kind of work for a cheap bit, either. Next time I’ll invest in a good one.

And perhaps most important, I learned that freshly trimmed laminate edges are sharp – probably sharper than many of my tools. Yeah, that’s gonna leave a scar.

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