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chuckg5 11-01-2006 07:22 PM

laminate cutting
Has anyone have experience cutting new laminate around curvy, small
places around the ports inside a sailboat. Of course, its not easy but I have damage from water rotting out plywood around the ports and I want to cover over the old wall using contact cement on the new laminate. thanks!

xort 11-01-2006 08:23 PM

Laminate is the biggest pain in the @ss!!!
It is difficult to cut but also difficult to apply.
I'd consider some other material if possible or hire out somebody who knows the tricks of the trade.

Ronbye 11-01-2006 08:28 PM

I am assuming that you are replacing the rotten plywood substrate. If so then you can apply the laminate then cut out the openings with a laminate trimmer, which you should be able to rent. Be careful though as like any high speed tool, it takes a bit of getting used to. I would suggest that you practice on a couple of scrap pieces first to get the feel of working with such a device. It should work out fine.

Faster 11-01-2006 08:43 PM

If, as Ronbye assumes, you are replacing the rotten ply, you can trim the assembled plywood/laminate before installation with a router or a laminate trimmer.

If you are trying to do this in place, there is often no room for the guide plate on a router. You can put a laminate trimming bit into a drywall hole cutter - small router-like tool for carving out electrical outlets in drywall. It has a smaller guide. Watch for the torque, it can spin out of control easily.

In the end, do what areas the router/trimmer can reach then you're pretty much stuck trimming by hand - cut as close as you can with a laminate knife - and slowly file the rest away for a clean edge.

A long, finicky job!!

hermw 11-01-2006 09:28 PM

clean up tight radii
There is always the dremel tool. It is smaller less torque than a trim router and it has a bazillion attachments – including small drum sander attachments. I replaced port Lites on my O’Day 27 this spring. Plywood substrate was in ok condition around the opening. I stiffened it with some west system and clamps. I then cleaned up the opening with the dremel and small drum sander attachment.
You don’t say how large an area you are replacing with laminate or how much substrate you need to replace.
As we all know working on the inside of your boat is like throwing every tool you own and all the material you believe you need or can afford into the trunk of a small car climbing inside, closing the lid and having at it.
Regarding port lites I can’t say enough great things about New Found Metals.

sailingdog 11-01-2006 09:33 PM

You can also use a drillsaw, which will cut the laminate and plywood, and can handle tight areas pretty well, so you may be able to use it in situ.

chuckg5 11-01-2006 11:30 PM

thanks for the replies. I've been trying to cut cardboard out as a template
but still can't get it right. Its a bigger project then I thought. Its gonna take more work. I do have a dremel, thou. I feel better knowing others have cursed this job.

eryka 11-02-2006 12:28 PM

I'd agree with the recommendations for laminate trimmer, router, or dremel for the cleanest edge.

one more trick with laminate -- after contact cementing in place, you want to weight it down all over while the cement thoroughly dries, like overnight. If you're glueing it together before installation, this should be fairly straightforward, using stacks of books or cans. If the piece is in place, you may need to get more creative with clamps, rods, etc.

(We had a kitchen design/remodel business which we sold for the $$ for our cruising kitty. And the carpentry skills are still pretty good for barter, now...)

sailingdog 11-02-2006 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by eryka
(We had a kitchen design/remodel business which we sold for the $$ for our cruising kitty. And the carpentry skills are still pretty good for barter, now...)

That's an understatement if I ever heard one. :D

eryka 11-02-2006 12:50 PM

of course, if we'd been *really* good (with pricing structure if not skills!), we'd have so much money by now that we wouldn't have to barter ;)

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