Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tops, tops, tops

I'm thinking about tops. The pressing table is easy: plywood, covered with wool and muslin/duck. But I'm worried about the other ones.

I hate melamine. Really, it annoys me to no end. In case you don't know, Melamine is what a lot of bookshelves are made of, the interiors of drawers, even lower quality office furniture. It's basically a white plasticy-paper glued onto some particle board. I don't like it because the top layer often ends up tearing off, the top is also easy to scratch, and the board often cracks (they even sell it a little larger than plywood b/c the edges are almost always messed up).

I did some research to see if there was a better quality melamine and here's what I found out:

  1. Melamine is the resin in the top layer, not the sheet of "wood product" itself.
  2. Laminate countertops often have melamine in them, just more, and thicker layers.
  3. In fact, laminate could be used for a lot of things: we laminate sheets of paper with plastic, melamine coated particle board is a laminate, as is laminate countertops. The difference is that the countertops are High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) as opposed to low-pressure. The best description I found is here:
So, I don't really want melamine. I would like something like laminate countertops, but I'm not sure if it's worth the extra expense.

I talked to a person at Home Depot last weekend, and to do my sewing table only, it would cost $170. While the top could also be made out of one sheet of nice plywood for about $40.

I think I'm leaning towards plywood and good finishing for the pressing table (it will be covered with a rotary cutting mat most of the time anyway) and still deciding about the sewing table.

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