First Hand Look: Solid Surface Gems at Avonite Fabrication Seminars

Ever wondered what it’s like to work with Avonite Solid Surface? Susan Rayer, Territory Business Manager – Canada for Aristech Surfaces LLC, tells her account of two Avonite Fabrication Seminars she attended that were held by our Upper Canada Calgary and Edmonton locations.

Aristech’s two surface materials, Avonite Acrylic Solid Surface and the STUDIO Collection, work like wood and look like ‘WOW’! This makes this incomparable material a dream to work with for carpenters and millworkers alike. All you need is some basic training and a guidebook together with the fundamentals of carpentry and woodworking tooling.

I have attended and participated in dozens of educational Fabrication Seminars over the last twenty years within the construction industry, and it is fantastic to witness how easy it is to carry, cut, glue and finish this material turning it into a gorgeous, functioning item. The seminars are very insightful, but a little like watching a golf tournament - seeing pro’s make smooth, fluid motions that make it look effortless. Aaron Davis is one of those professionals. His one-day seminar provides you with the opportunity to watch and learn from a Master Tradesman in action. Just like the golf pros he makes it look really easy, and it actually is. However, like all trades and art forms, it requires some practice, knowledge and skill.

The last seminars were hosted by Upper Canada Calgary and Upper Canada Edmonton at offsite locations where guests were also treated to a delicious lunch and an Aristech Fabrication Manual for their future projects. Aaron’s loud voice and tall figure helped to reveal the methodical steps needed to successfully work with Aristech’s surfaces: mostly focusing on the STUDIO Collection. He walked the participants through the basics of the materials and adhesive, and utilized a small prototype shape to highlight the ABC’s of a successful corner deck seam and edges. Aaron covered many other items including wall cladding, a breeze with our 3’, 4’ and 5’ extra-wide ¼” panels. Even the incredible depth of the high gloss finish he achieved on the STUDIO Collection material was spectacular - the translucency made it look almost gemlike.

Most solid surfaces recommend a satin finish, but with the STUDIO Collection design material, there are several colours that look and perform brilliantly with a high sheen. Depending on the material, colour and shine level, the appearance can morph to look like quartz, granite or marble. Additionally, it can be easily fabricated within your millwork facility and its light weight makes it a breeze to install, especially compared to natural and engineered stone. Aristech’s design surfaces are a great value-added product if you are looking to increase margins. Most of the seminar participants had not seen all of Aaron’s specialized techniques and many spectators had the ability to get hands on and get a little dusty.

The real jewel or the ‘piece de resistance’ of the seminar was simply, the repair. Aristech’s materials biggest plus is the fact that any damaged sections can be renewed or easily repaired, allowing the surface to look as it did originally. To the awe of many watching, Aaron removed a large pizza slice shape of solid surface from the top and then reinserted another. The acrylic adhesive used to attach the new insert piece allowed the repair to look inconspicuous. The class struggled to find the repair seam. Aaron’s tips and skills are finely tuned after working as an Avonite Technical Specialist for almost twenty years.

After attending this seminar for years, I always walk away with a new morsel of information. It never fails to amaze me how the participants appreciate and learn something particularly useful to them. They may walk away learning the basics or a just a few niche money saving and/or time saving gems. Either way, it’s a highly recommended program for the beginner and veteran alike.

To learn more about Avonite visit our Solid Surface category on our website or go to www.avonite.com. Contact your local Upper Canada Forest Products Sales Consultant for the next seminar in your area.

First Hand Look: Solid Surface Gems at Avonite Fabrication Seminars

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