Best Way To Remove Gold Crown Formica?

JZMechanix

www.billiardmechanix.net
Silver Member
I got the formica from Jerimy Chambers. Not sure how much of it he had left though.
 

Tablemaker

Registered
Power planing is the best way to do it without wrecking the wood. I have done a fair amount of re-laminating of GC rails. I typically belt sand with a 50 grit belt to take off the wood grain print base color take it down to just where it hits the phenolic substrate. I find leaving the base of the HPL provides extra resistance to future ball dents in the new laminate, especially if you plan on using a wood veneer.
 

GoldCrown

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It isn't easy. I did it to a GC1. I started with a heat gun but that didn't work too well so I used a power hand planer and just slowly shaved it off. Makes a helluva mess! Might be better off just glueing the veneer right to the formica if it is thin enough?

Art work. Nicely done. You set the standard for excellence.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
Power planing is the best way to do it without wrecking the wood. I have done a fair amount of re-laminating of GC rails. I typically belt sand with a 50 grit belt to take off the wood grain print base color take it down to just where it hits the phenolic substrate. I find leaving the base of the HPL provides extra resistance to future ball dents in the new laminate, especially if you plan on using a wood veneer.
How do you keep the curve in the rail?? Planers are pretty much made to level a surface, correct? Do you go the short way across the rail maybe?? It seems even at that it would require some practiced technique to keep everything nice and smooth. Of course because I work with metal I am looking at this like the care that has to be taken when replacing small sections of sheet metal, maybe there is a little more tolerance with wood?
 

Tablemaker

Registered
How do you keep the curve in the rail?? Planers are pretty much made to level a surface, correct? Do you go the short way across the rail maybe?? It seems even at that it would require some practiced technique to keep everything nice and smooth. Of course because I work with metal I am looking at this like the care that has to be taken when replacing small sections of sheet metal, maybe there is a little more tolerance with wood?
With a power plane, keep the cuts shallow and gently follow the curve as you plane the length of the rail if you need to take the laminate completely off. Otherwise, my method of choice is belt sanding just enough to provide a good mechanical bond for the contact cement.
 

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Tablemaker

Registered
New black sparkle finish Formica on rails, charcoal hammer finish trim, gloss black body/legs
 

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fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
With a power plane, keep the cuts shallow and gently follow the curve as you plane the length of the rail if you need to take the laminate completely off. Otherwise, my method of choice is belt sanding just enough to provide a good mechanical bond for the contact cement.
I dont want to waste your time with my questions and as you can obviously see I know very little about this process but dont you have to remove enough old laminate so it matches the thickness of the new laminate you are installing so the rails dont end up taller?
 

Tablemaker

Registered
I dont want to waste your time with my questions and as you can obviously see I know very little about this process but dont you have to remove enough old laminate so it matches the thickness of the new laminate you are installing so the rails dont end up taller?
New HPL is roughly .032" thick, .050" for horizontal grade. The original laminate on GC rails is much thicker than that, so fully stripped off and installing new laminate you will end up with a rail that is actually thinner by a few thousandths. ...you mentioned using real wood laminate, do you know the thickness you will be using? ...common are 10, 20 mil paper back, or 2 ply all wood.
Older GC rails- the castings are well above the height of the rail, so the minor added thickness isn't an issue as it does not affect play. Both tables shown above leave the old laminate on. It flushes up the edge trim nicely, and is still below the casting height.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
New HPL is roughly .032" thick, .050" for horizontal grade. The original laminate on GC rails is much thicker than that, so fully stripped off and installing new laminate you will end up with a rail that is actually thinner by a few thousandths. ...you mentioned using real wood laminate, do you know the thickness you will be using? ...common are 10, 20 mil paper back, or 2 ply all wood.
Older GC rails- the castings are well above the height of the rail, so the minor added thickness isn't an issue as it does not affect play. Both tables shown above leave the old laminate on. It flushes up the edge trim nicely, and is still below the casting height.
I am not replacing the laminate on my Gold Crown, I was very fortunate and found a very slightly used GC that was privately owned for its entire existence. I was just curious how you went about about replacing the laminate, it seems like a massive amount of work, especially if you take it all the way to the wood underlayment. I would probably look into putting a GCV top on before undertaking a project like that. Thank you for the time answering my questions, have a good one!
 

gazman100

Brunswick Gold Crowns - Qld Australia
Silver Member
I found it pretty easy using a heat gun and a thin spatula until it gradually peeled off.
I had to do this on a GC3 because the previous owner painted over the laminate and did such a crap job and I was unable to remove the paint so the easiest solution was to start over.
 

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Last edited:

Tablemaker

Registered
I found it easy using a heat gun and peeled it off.
I had to do this on a GC3 because the previous owner painted over the laminate and did such a crap job and I was unable to remove the paint so the easiest solution was to start over.
1st set of rails I ever re-laminated came off that easy, hasn't happened since. :(
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
I found it pretty easy using a heat gun and a thin spatula until it gradually peeled off.
I had to do this on a GC3 because the previous owner painted over the laminate and did such a crap job and I was unable to remove the paint so the easiest solution was to start over.
Looks great.
 

gazman100

Brunswick Gold Crowns - Qld Australia
Silver Member
It isn't easy. I did it to a GC1. I started with a heat gun but that didn't work too well so I used a power hand planer and just slowly shaved it off. Makes a helluva mess! Might be better off just glueing the veneer right to the formica if it is thin enough?

Superb !!!!!!!!!!!
 
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