Laminating Sheet Steel to Plywood

What kind of adhesive will hold 24-gauge steel to wood panels? May 16, 2008

We are quoting a job where the client wants 24 gauge (.025") steel over plywood, cut to various sizes, to be used to panel a room. Our plan is to glue the steel sheet metal to ACX fir plywood with solvent based contact adhesive. Using metal cutting tools in our CNC router, we will cut the metal. Then with a tool change to router bits, we will shape the wood. Has anyone else done something similar? Do you think we need a backer for the other side of the plywood?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor A:
We have used construction grade adhesive (liquid nails) in a trowel grade to do what you are talking about. I would need to know more about your installation before I could answer in confidence about the backer sheet. I would think if it's secured to wall thoroughly, I wouldn't use a backer sheet. That brings up another question - what is your plan for fastening the panels to the wall?

From contributor B:
In the past I have contacted 1/8 inch plywood skins to steel doors (exterior) and have not had any problems. I would go with a backer in your case to be on the safe side.

From contributor C:
Do you already have a router bit in mind? Is it stainless steel? Steel will not like the high RPMs that a typical router turns up to. Stainless likes to be cut with a high chip load and a low RPM to minimize both heat and work hardening.

From the original contributor:
Thanks for your replies. Construction adhesive is an alternative that hadn't occurred to me. The customer is taking care of mounting to the walls. Some of the panels will be pre-drilled for flat head screws. Others - who knows? We don't plan to use the router bits on the metal, only the wood. The metal is mild steel, not stainless, and will be cut with end mills designed for cutting metal.