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Old 05-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


First, I didn't know what section this fell into so my apologies if it's in the wrong section.

We are redoing out kitchen right now, new cabinets and just ordered our "high resolution" counter tops. We have an unusual layout on one wall, I will try and post a picture below but it's an "L" shaped wall with an outside corner. We ordered our countertops from menards and they told us that it would take a week just to get a special estimate and that it would be pretty expensive to do what we wanted. Also the rounded edge wouldn't even have the same profile as the rest of the counter. So we just ordered a standard miter cut and I'm going to do one of two things myself depending on the answers I get here.



I want to either round the corner of the countertop, similar to how the shelf below it is. Or cut the corner off at a 45 degree angle, hopefully that makes sense.


I'm guessing the straight line would be the easiest. Clamp a straight edge in place and run a circular saw across it? If we decide to do the radius I was thinking of using a router to make the cut. I have a porter cable with the porter cable circle jig, http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-4...ble+circle+jig. I was thinking to hot glue a piece of 1/2" plywood on the countertop to be able to drill the pilot hole for the circle jig without ruining the new counters. Then adding a 1/2" to the base of the router so it sits even. Hopefully this makes sense, I'm not the best at explaining what's in my head! I know I will need an extremely precise cut in order for the strip of laminate to be glued on and look good. Especially since The side is going to be applied after the top so the edge will be more visible, usually you do the sides first and trim them and then the top will sit over the sides to cover them.

Then I need to glue a strip of laminate on the straight or rounded edge. That is the easy part. But then I need to trim it. I do have a porter cable laminate router kit I bought used a while back, http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-9...cable+laminate. So trimming the top is no problem but trimming the edges where the strip will meet the rounded edge of the countertop. I'm not sure how to do this? Also this strip I need to glue on will be attached to two pieces of countertops since there is a miter joint in the middle. Is there any problems with that as long as the two separate pieces of countertops are fastened together good? I would install the tops like normal and use the bolt kits to snug the miter up tight. Then make my cut and glue the edge strip on.

I've done some flat and square laminate before but I'm not sure how to go about this one! I've got two weeks to figure it out before our counters get here. I almost wish we would have had them do it but we didn't want to wait an extra week and also they said it would be pretty expensive. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


Cut a free standing circle of plywood with the radius you want. This will be your router template.
Place the circle on the countertop.... If it's too big, just whack off some of the back side with a skill saw till it wil fit in there.
Clamp... or screw it in place, if clamps get in the way. Use long wood clamps if you can't screw
Cut off the point of the countertop with a jig saw to within about 1/8" of the edge.
Now just use a bearing bit, and run the router around the curve..... Careful at the edges where the circle template ends!!!!
You're done... take the clamps off (or the screws out) and admire your work.

Of course you are going to have to put a new edge piece on, but you know how to do that. There WILL be some file work at the ends, and the top isn't going to overhang the edge as is proper... but a nicely rounded top edge will hide that.

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Last edited by Willie T; 05-03-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Cut a free standing circle of plywood with the radius you want. This will be your router template.
Place the circle on the countertop.... If it's too big, just whack off some of the back side with a skill saw till it wil fit in there.
Clamp... or screw it in place, if clamps get in the way.
Cut off the point of the countertop with a jig saw to within about 1/8" of the edge.
Now just use a bearing bit, and run the router around the curve..... Careful at the edges where the circle template ends!!!!
You're done... take the clamps off (or the screws out) and admire your work.
Thanks Willie, but after that cut the real fun begins, no relaxing there! After the cut I have to glue on the new strip, which isn't a problem. But then have to trim that to size which is where I am really lost. Where the new edge strip meets the ends of the factory edge profile on the counter, the ends of the radius cut.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


Be aware the front edge of the counter is likely 'thickened'. You may have glue some wood to the underside after the cut and cut again to keep the front edge thick. If you do the 45º cut you could even glue a nice piece of wood on as the finished edge.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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Be aware the front edge of the counter is likely 'thickened'. You may have glue some wood to the underside after the cut and cut again to keep the front edge thick. If you do the 45º cut you could even glue a nice piece of wood on as the finished edge.
Once you have the top plywood cut to your radius, that countertop curved edge will become your new template. For each pass from there on, you just drop the bit, and make more passes to cut off any wood you may have had to add to regain the thickness.

Make sure you buy a bit with a long enough shank.

BTW.... You'll find that the old plywood template you made will work very nicely for that thickening... just cut it up into sections to fit.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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Be aware the front edge of the counter is likely 'thickened'. You may have glue some wood to the underside after the cut and cut again to keep the front edge thick. If you do the 45º cut you could even glue a nice piece of wood on as the finished edge.
Right I'll have to add a piece of 3/4" wood to either the straight cut or radius cut, whichever I do.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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Thanks Willie, but after that cut the real fun begins, no relaxing there! After the cut I have to glue on the new strip, which isn't a problem. But then have to trim that to size which is where I am really lost. Where the new edge strip meets the ends of the factory edge profile on the counter, the ends of the radius cut.
You really should make that one completely new, l-o-n-g strip of VT. Don't try to patch in a center section.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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You really should make that one completely new, l-o-n-g strip of VT. Don't try to patch in a center section.
I don't think I'm explaining myself right. The counter top we ordered has an edge profile that is a radius where the top meets the side. When I cut the corner off, either round or straight, I need to add a piece to the edge.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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I don't think I'm explaining myself right. The counter top we ordered has an edge profile that is a radius where the top meets the side. When I cut the corner off, either round or straight, I need to add a piece to the edge.
I wouldn't even try to advise on that without seeing, firsthand, what you mean.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #10
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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I wouldn't even try to advise on that without seeing, firsthand, what you mean.
I understand, it's confusing to me and I'm the one explaining it!

Here is a link to our countertops, http://www.countertopsinc.com/custom...nate/edgeStyle. If you scroll down on the left you will see the "modern" edge profile. If you look at my sketchup drawing you can see were that edge will be. And where I want to cut the corner off of the countertop and glue on a strip of laminate.

Here is a rough drawing of a top view of the countertops that may help. It shows the new piece of laminate and where it meets the other edges. That is were I'm not sure how to trim it flush to the other edges. I can't just run a laminate trimmer in there due to it being a 135 degree angle.

Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop-countertop-corner-2.jpg

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Old 05-04-2013, 04:47 AM   #11
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


Moved to Kitchen and bath remodeling forum.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:45 PM   #12
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


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Moved to Kitchen and bath remodeling forum.
Thank you.

We're going to go with the round or radius cut on the corner. So I will either use a plywood circle like Willy mentioned or my circle jig for the router. Then add some 3/4" wood under the counter at the edge to make it 1 1/2" thick at the edge. Then use contact cement to put the new strip on.

Then comes the fun part of trimming the new edge piece to the counter. I went to my Grandma's today to look at her countertop because she has a section sort of like this where a radius edge runs into a rounded edge profile. I'll try to get a picture up to show what I mean. This is the part that is confusing me on how to use the laminate router to cut it to size.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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Cutting a radius on a stock laminate countertop


Here is a picture of a countertop that shows what I need to do. What I'm confused on is how to trim the edge piece of laminate flush with the counter? I have a laminate trimmer but because the counter will be rounded and also the edge is rounded over. No way to run the laminate trimmer with flush cut bit around that part.


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