Gluing Up a Stack of Melamine

Issues of adhesion and drying ability limit the choices of adhesive for laminating melamine. January 14, 2008

I got a reasonable price on a sheet of1/2" melamine. I am making a rocking chair skid laminating jig. What glue should I use to glue up the stack of melamine? It will take 4 layers to make a 2" stack. The pieces are 1' x 4'.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor D:
Use Roo glue. You can also find melamine glue.

From contributor B:
With the font on my computer, I can't see if you're gluing 1x4 inch or 1x4 feet. If it's 1x4 feet, be warned that the Roo glue in the middle of the panel may take a long, long time to dry, if ever. I've tried laminating up some melamine for clamping jigs... 24+ hours later, the Roo glue past the first couple of inches from the edge is still liquid and has no adhesion whatsoever.

From the original questioner:
The pieces are 1 foot by 4 feet. So thanks for the heads up on Roo glue. I found Titebond Melamine Glue by Franklin. So I will take a shot with it.

From contributor M:
The Franklin glue works well, but it will also take a long time to cure in the center of your panels. If you can drill some holes in the middle of the panels (1/4" diameter are adequate), it will give the solvents somewhere to escape. I've done this with oak beadboard to melamine, being careful to put the holes where they won't show, and it really speeds up the cure time. A few well placed brads or screws will help to keep your panels aligned while they set up.

From the original questioner:
Well, the stack is glued up and in the clamps. Since this is a jig that I won't need for about a week, do you think that is long enough to cure? 1 foot x 4 feet.

From contributor R:
The problem with Roo glue and the Titebond melamine glue is that they will glue melamine to a porous surface. In other words, melamine to a raw edge, etc. These glues are watebased and the water needs somewhere to go. In a melamine to melamine bond, the water has nowhere to go. Since this is for a jig, why not screw it together?

From contributor J:
Why would you make a jig out of melamine? If I were going to make a stack of something for a jig, I would be gluing up MDF with yellow glue. If you need to have melamine on the outside, just get some one-sided 1/4" stuff and yellow glue the unfinished side to the outsides.

From contributor W:
I bought the melamine also for making some sliding jigs for my bandsaw and table saw. I knew I needed to make this jig, too. So... I am a one man chair shop, so big sheet goods are not used very often. I think there is a partial sheet of 1/4" ply behind the stack of 8/4 hardwoods, but... The leftover of this sheet will be given to a cabinetmaker for some drawers in a small bathroom cabinet he is making for us. Just using up so I don't have to store.

From contributor F:
What contributor R said. Melamine doesn't bond to melamine! In fact, an adhesive that seems to work on one brand immediately fails on the next. Scuff the melamine, use a hot melt or urethane? Tough assignment and some melamine brands don't stick satisfactorily at all.

From the original questioner:
I guess I have lucked out. Since I am a custom chair maker, my sense of time is different than a higher production situation. I used Titebond's melamine glue and left it clamped for 10+ days. It is holding together very well and the jig is to be completed tomorrow. The stack will be bandsawed with a 42" arc and then mounted to the base using screws. If I want to increase the arc radius slightly, I can take the stack off of the base, cut it, and remount. It is unlikely, as I have found the 42" radius works well for all adult sized rockers.