garolite is a phenol formaldehyde resin impregnated into layer of fabric (cotton or linen) or layers of paper... garolite LE being a linen based version.
in the UK, australia, south africa and most of europe the equivalent product to LE is Tufnol Whale.... tufnol being the brand name of cotton / linen / paper versions.... paxolin being a paper only brand.... all originate in the victorian era.
the only real problem(s) are that, by specification, these products are NOT uniform in thickness and NOT specified as flat.... in fact I include the official "flatness" specifications
The below table is the maximum deviation from flat over a distance of 1000mm using a straight edge.
Sheet Thickness Variation
1.6mm to 3mm up to 18mm
3mm to 6mm up to 10mm
6mm to 8mm up to 8mm
over 8mm up to 6mm
this describes a sheet that naturally domes in the center.... thickness is "usually" fairly precise.
I like the idea of glueing the sheet to glass (glass is a phenomenal engineering material) and aluminium is a good idea....... thin composite sheet and thick very rigid sheet seems great.
composites machine easily and it is easy to "flat" the sheet to improve flatness and adhesion........ however, nylon extrudes best on a high temperature bed and preferably a hot enclosure... and hot phenol formaldehyde is an unpleasant smell (it improves after many uses) and it releases formaldehyde from the resin... formaldehyde is a nasty poison so well ventilate it.
I speak (of formaldehyde) from experience as I have bee seriously ill from phenol and formaldehyde poisoning for 30yrs... my equipment is in a fully enclosed polycarbonate case with recirculating fan passing through a carbon filter to remove the poisons (one day I'll post it on here)... it seems to work well
I pretty much came to the same setup. I bonded my thin Garolite sheet to a 1/4" thick sheet of precision Mic6 aluminum plate using contact cement. Then, to get it really flat, I machined it. It can be re-machined, as necessary, to freshen the build surface when it gets too potmarked and chipped under tough to remove sections of parts.
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