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Old 08-19-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Building Laminate Countertop...


Hi all,

So I'm building a kitchen island with a laminate countertop. I picked up a nice piece of particleboard, making sure it was perfectly flat and square and had it cut to size. While building up the edges, I noticed that they were a couple of degrees shy of being perfectly perpendicular to the top and bottom surfaces (see pic below)...

While the defect is one of those things that's so small no one would probably notice, I'm more concerned with the effect this will have on trimming the laminate. I had a couple of thoughts on how to deal with this (and please note that I do not have a table saw at my disposal!)... One option is, when trimming, to place the bearing of the router bit just below the laminate so the effect of the angle would be minimal. Another option is to try to trim the edge with a circular saw (clamping on a straight-edge to best ensure a straight cut. (Another option, of course, is to scrap everything and have it done professionally; it's just that I was hoping to save a couple of bucks and do it myself!)

Perhaps there are other good options for dealing with this as well... What do you guys think?

Thanks!


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Old 08-19-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Building Laminate Countertop...


I use a belt sander to straighten them out and make them flat. Then sanding block.

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Old 08-19-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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Building Laminate Countertop...


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey48 View Post
I use a belt sander to straighten them out and make them flat. Then sanding block.
Yeah? A belt sander? I guess I thought it would be difficult to get a perfectly flat and square edge all the way around with a belt sander... (But perhaps that's what separates the pros from the amateurs... )

What do you think of the circular saw idea? Would that work and would it be more idiot-proof?
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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Building Laminate Countertop...


I'm not really sure what you are trying to do or what you are showing in the picture.. If you are trying to trim the ends evenly and accurately I would use a router with a flush cutting bit and a straight edge.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Building Laminate Countertop...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme
I'm not really sure what you are trying to do or what you are showing in the picture.. If you are trying to trim the ends evenly and accurately I would use a router with a flush cutting bit and a straight edge.
Thanks for that suggestion... Makes sense...
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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Building Laminate Countertop...


My dad made lots and lots of laminate tops and he always had me dress the edges with the belt sander, and i was only 12, so it aint that hard. If i was to use a router I would use a non bearing straight bit and a 1X3 or 4 wooden fence trued to the edge and screwed to the top. Be careful not all circular router bases are true circles, you got one with a flat on one side? Skil-saw? Every thing better be trued and square. And you gotta do that fence the same as for a router. Tell the truth that angle may not show., keep your bearing up high ("just below the laminate so the effect of the angle would be minimal.") When you trim the top and after you file and sand that edge pro'lly no one but you will know, but you will know it forever and it will wake you up late on winter nights. BTW when you were talking about trimming the laminate you are going to edge band and sand B4 gluing down the top, right? if you can sand that top edge flush, flat and square, I bet you can belt sand that edge square enuff so's you can sleep nights.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #7
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Building Laminate Countertop...


Quote:
Originally Posted by notmrjohn
My dad made lots and lots of laminate tops and he always had me dress the edges with the belt sander, and i was only 12, so it aint that hard. If i was to use a router I would use a non bearing straight bit and a 1X3 or 4 wooden fence trued to the edge and screwed to the top. Be careful not all circular router bases are true circles, you got one with a flat on one side? Skil-saw? Every thing better be trued and square. And you gotta do that fence the same as for a router. Tell the truth that angle may not show., keep your bearing up high ("just below the laminate so the effect of the angle would be minimal.") When you trim the top and after you file and sand that edge pro'lly no one but you will know, but you will know it forever and it will wake you up late on winter nights. BTW when you were talking about trimming the laminate you are going to edge band and sand B4 gluing down the top, right? if you can sand that top edge flush, flat and square, I bet you can belt sand that edge square enuff so's you can sleep nights.
Thanks for the detailed response... Perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the belt sander and give it a try... I suppose if I screw it up, I can saw off a 3/4" strip and attach a 3/4" x 1.5" piece of lumber to the edge...
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Building Laminate Countertop...


Most any tool that will cut the full depth and can use a (good) straight edge should do. The straight edge is the important part here. A circular saw should have a sharp fine tooth blade to minimize cut marks. router works more like a planer on edge. Higher speed makes a smoother surface. You could try anchoring the sander to the side of a bench and moving the top past it, using it like a disk sander. you wouldn't have to try balancing it then,

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