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Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
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Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Hi all!

I'm doing a commercial kitchen renovation. The architectural plans call to make some large built-in cabinets out of dimensional lumber, 3/4" CDX sheeting for strength, and to cover the plywood with stainless steel sheets for sanitation and style.

The drawings are very conceptual though. They just state "#2 brushed 304 stainless steel applied over 3/4" plywood".

What do you feel is the best way to go about doing this? The client produced some sample chips from Chemetal (a formica-like product line that has some beautiful metal finishes) but I'm very hesitant to start applying contact cement to a built in... I'd rather build the units in the shop and combine them in the field. Here that won't really be possible.

The laminate product is also 2 times more expensive than just buying sheets of stainless, which is counter intuitive but i've confirmed from a few suppliers.

So what techniques would you start off with? Is bonding a laminate to a built in a risky endeavor? Am I asking for a heartache? And is CDX really the best substrate for this?

Thanks for any help,

Keith C.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Why is the stainless steel going over wood? Just curious. Most kitchens in commercial buildings are nothing but stainless steel.

I would find a fabricator who has experience building stainless steel sinks in restaurants. Start calling around, there are companies that specialize in this. You might try calling some restaurants and talk to the owner, ask who fabricates their stainless steel in the kitchen.

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Old 07-02-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


IMO, check with your AHJ to see what they will accept.

Commercial kitchens I have done we purchased manufactured SS tables, shelving, sinks etc that were NSF certified. Also spec'd out this way.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:18 AM   #4
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


I would call the Architect (I am hesitating to call him an idiot, though I would like to) and ask how he intends for the s/s to be applied.
I have built custom s/s counter tops for commercial kitchens (many) and have on occasion skinned plywood with 26 ga. & 24 ga. s/s but never the twain should meet.
A s/s counter-top should be about 16 ga. (maybe 18 if small enough) or thicker with no substrate, for a commercial kitchen.
Maybe the Architect is a Newtonian genius and he has developed a fantastic new system (doubtful). Ask him.

Andy.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


When u say dimensional lumber does that mean your building a built in with 2x?? That would be ugly and.bulky.

Also cdx is the work ply to use for that. If anything you need a SYP BC SANDED or a cabinet grade ply.

Also would contact adheasive stick well to SS? never tried
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


sorry, but thats not gona work brother.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


the plans call for 304 s/s nuf said, 3/4 cdx or 3/4 sanded ply?, these are storage cabs not for food prep, architect may have speced cdx bcause of water when cleaning prep area`s, this guys plan, cheap cabs skin em up in s/s looks clean classy and expensive
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


what is the advantage of you being a cheap contractor?
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


it can be done, or, they sell stainless veneered ply at the supply...
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


this have to do with the moma job?
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Find someone in your area like this.

http://www.ussheetmetalinc.com/

Maybe they can talk some sense into the Architect, or at least help him realize his vision.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #12
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Using dimensional lumber is only going to cost you in the end. Use only kiln dried and lower cost cabinet grade lumbers to do the frame assembly.

I would just do stainless minus the wood.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Hey everyone, thanks for the awesome replies and energy. Let me flesh the situation out a little... (I'll attach some photos from my phone)


This is, as another poster pointed out, a job that we're doing in the Museum of Modern Art here in NYC. As I mentioned, the architectural plans, while fairly specific in a lot of ways, are frustratingly vague in others. I've also received a lot of changes to the work as we've gone along, both in increases in scope and changes from the original design. I'm not too bothered by all that - I've gotten used to it with these artsy types and do most everything on a cost-plus basis. But the business end aside, I do sometimes get some really creative problem solving dropped in my lap, and this is one of those times where I'm just not that confident in what I'm being asked to do.

This is an open kitchen, and it's one of two. This kitchen will be used mostly to finish and plate dishes for the customers; there's a more traditional prep kitchen in the basement that is 99% off-the-shelf stainless steel products (tables, sinks, walk in fridges, etc) and where the majority of actual cooking will take place.

The plans did call for dimensional lumber to be used, and I did recognize that a 2x installation would be sloppy as all hell, so I hired out a framing crew for a week to install 16 gage, 2 5/8" metal stud to construct the entirety of the cabinetry. They did a phenomenal job, and by the time they were done, we were jumping up and down on the shelves and they're as rugged and true as you could ask for. We're dealing with 13' high ceilings here, and I'm happy with the install for a good number of reasons. The free standing bar and island are also made out of 16 ga metal framing, with cement countertops.

Anyway, back to skinning the job, most of the surfaces are not going to be used for food at all - they'll be used for storage. The obvious places are sanitary... The dish pit is all actual stainless enclosures, the bar sink, the areas behind the oven and skillet are subway tile. So the sanitary aspects are covered. Mostly everything else is being asked to have the "look" of stainless (remember the artsy folks here love to have things a certain way). The front of the bar is going to be looked at by the general public for a long time, so I got in touch with a diner manufacturer who's going to press some beautiful panels that have designs in them to affix to the fronts. Everything else will be plain sheeting.

So I'm at a point where I need to start getting the skin up, and I've kind of been procrastinating on this point. I've asked a lot of people, and everyone's been kind of hesitant to give me a solid answer. I can appreciate why. If the installation fails, it's a big nut to deal with.

I remember when I was younger, I did some repair work in a 1954 diner on long island. The trailer was constructed in a fairly simple way: it was studded out with 2x3 dimensional (no sheeting) and the stainless was nailed to the studs, with t-moldings to cover the fasteners. Simple as that.

So this is what I'm thinking:

- I'll pick up 22 ga stainless steel sheet stock, cut it to size (-1/8") and use notched trowels to apply PL premium construction adhesive to the plywood;
- Pick up low profile metal edging (angle iron) and flat molding to cover the seams and joints. On the pieces that are on the underside of the shelving, we'll use SS round head pins to reinforce the panels.

Sound crazy? Ugly? Hideous? Amateur? The actual work should go smoothly - I'll get some local 28 guys in here in no time to push it out. I just need to have confidence that the installation will hold up.

What kind of edgings would you use? What moldings? Would you say we should be folding the metal? Again, I love hearing from everyone, your input is so valuable and as always I hope I can return the favors by adding my own expertise to your conversations in the future.

Thanks so much
Keith
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Some pics of the job (in various states of progress)
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Best way to skin stainless steel over plywood-forumrunner_20120705_110328.jpg   Best way to skin stainless steel over plywood-forumrunner_20120705_110353.jpg   Best way to skin stainless steel over plywood-forumrunner_20120705_110436.jpg  
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #15
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Looks good

In the last picture. What is the dispenser on the wall to the left of the first aid kit ? Earplugs?
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #16
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich D. View Post
Looks good

In the last picture. What is the dispenser on the wall to the left of the first aid kit ? Earplugs?
Of course! Doesn't every work site have them?
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgmz View Post
Find someone in your area like this.

http://www.ussheetmetalinc.com/

Maybe they can talk some sense into the Architect, or at least help him realize his vision.
These guys are local and they have "skinned" plywood tops for us many times.
Just 3/4' ply decks with 3/4" x 1 1/2" ply selfedge, they come out and cover them with stainleess .... works well.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #18
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


Quote:
Originally Posted by UALocal1Plumber

Of course! Doesn't every work site have them?
Yea but in crushed in the bottom of the gang box. Then people think your an idiot of wanting them. I'll laugh at them when there deaf!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #19
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


I have used the laminate stainless over 1/4 luon for refrigerator panels before. It was applied just like a laminate top and still looks great today in my Dad's house. The material was pricey though I think about $100 a sheet.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #20
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Re: Best Way To Skin Stainless Steel Over Plywood


http://www.chemetal.com/docs/Chemeta...-Data-2011.pdf

Pages 7-9

I would use the solvent-based contact cement by Weld-wood. I've done this once and it worked fine. IIRC the Weld-wood warranty is only valid if you use IPB or MDF as a substrate though.
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Last edited by basswood; 07-06-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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