Laminated sheeting,decorative and easy to clean, is bonded on to a wooden surface with impact adhesive.The older types of such adhesives stuck fast immediately they touched a surface and did not permit any adjustment, so great care had to be taken to see that everything was properly aligned at first attempt. These adhesives have now been reformulated to give some opportunity of moving the sheeting this way and that, provided pressure is not brought to bear.
To ensure a correct fitting, either temporarily nail small battens of wood here and there to the edges of the working top so that they protrude slightly above it, or stick drawing pins around it with their heads coming above contact level. This will form a cradle into which the sheeting can be guided. The battens or pins can be removed afterwards.
There is another method of covering a table with laminated sheeting which is particularly suitable where the existing top has rounded edges and corners or where the surface is so rough that no amount of planing will make it level. The table will be slightly larger all round and stand a little higher when the job is done. If it is too high an adjustment can be made by sawing an equivalent amount off the bottom of the legs.
Cut a piece of plywood about 25 mm (1 in) longer and 25 mm (1 in) wider than the table top and glue and pin it to the edges of a butt-jointed framework of 12 x 18 mm (÷ x I in) battens. Now stick the plastic sheeting on top of the plywood. Hide the join between plywood and battens with edging.
This fitting will fit snugly over the existing old top and can be removed if you wish to use the table as a wallpaper pasting table or for standing on to reach the ceiling.
Don’t use wirewool or scouring powders for cleaning laminated plastic or scratching will result. Don’t apply polish either; just wipe the surface with a damp cloth. A little mild detergent solution may be employed occasionally.
In spite of the extreme hardness of the plastic sheets it is possible to score them with a knife, so always keep a chopping board handy for cutting bread and meat. Laminates will withstand boiling water but not a very hot iron or saucepan or cigarette ends. For this reason it is safer to have the working top adjoining the cooker of aluminium or stainless steel and not of plastic.