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Thread: Cutting Miters on premade Formica countertops.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Cutting Miters on premade Formica countertops.

    The corner in my kitchen is right around 47 degrees. The previous counter top was made using the precut 45 degree miters. This resulted in about a 3/8 to 1/2 inch gap from the wall to the edge of the countertop and it looked terriable. The previous owner filled it with cardboard then caulked it.

    So my plan was to get some straight pieces and cut my own miter. Well at least try. I assume I cut the counter top upside down but how do I cut it when the back it not flat? The counter top comes with an attached back splash do I have to cut it from the both turn it over then cut it from the top and hope it lines up?

    any input would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. #2

    No fun!

    This job begs for a sliding table saw with some serious blade height!

    I would stick with the 45 degree mitre and scribe the back splash to the wall and then use a jig saw or belt sander to take the backsplash to the scribed line. This is the way the installers do it. The jig saw really needs a chip out free blade in it for this work.

    Mess with your mitre angle and what happens at the front of your cabinets?

  3. #3
    mitres on countertops are best cut with a counter jig and a router with a straight cut bit taking only maximum half inch deep cuts at a time but i have also seen them done with a straight edge clamped on to the counter always cut from the top if using this method

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Cut it from the bottom with a circular saw and a straightedge. The saw will cut part-way through the backsplash. Use a sharp handsaw to complete the cut through the backsplash, guiding the handsaw from the cut left by the circular saw. I'm really partial to pull saws. They cut straight and splinter-free. The Shark line quite affordable, and is distributed through Sears and Ace (http://www.sharkcorp.com/), or you can get many kinds at Woodcraft and the like. If you're buying one for this project, look for one without a back, so it will fit into the circular saw kerf easily.

  5. #5
    First, cut yourself a couple of buildup strips from the appropriate thickness particle board. With the counter upsidedown, glue and nail the strip into place. You'll want the outside edge of the build up to be your finished cut line. Now cut it close to size with a circular saw, finishing up the backsplash with a handsaw ( be sure to direct chip out towards the back).Now, use a pattern bit to route flush to the build up. On the left hand leg you will need to clamp a block to the backsplash to avoid blowing out the laminate. Once the edges are routed you can use a sanding block to sand to backsplashes flush to the routed edge. The build up can now be used for clamping or screwing the two halves together. a good slathering of caulk between the two will avoid moisture damage at the seam.

  6. #6
    Ironically, it's prolly just as easy to make your own counter top as it is to miter postform CT.

    Plus, if you were to make your own CT,
    -you get full 1/16" thickness horizontal grade laminate instead of V32
    -you can offset the lam seam from the substrate seam, so there is less chance of the seam opening up
    -you can scribe the CT tight to the wall
    -you can make simple butt joints in the substrate and laminate, saving yourself a lot of hassle, while getting a neater job
    -you can make a nice wood or tile splash, or laminate a particle board splash
    -you have more laminate color options; there are some very dynamic colors and textures available
    -you can select substrate that meets your own specs
    -you can add a spiffy wood CT edge
    -you get to buy a new j-roller, trim router, and flush and bevel solid carbide trimmer bits

    IMO, postform CT is just OK for a cheap quick & dirty straight run, but I wouldn't choose it over other options.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Juvenal View Post
    Ironically, it's prolly just as easy to make your own counter top as it is to miter postform CT.
    I agree with Timothy.......
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  8. #8
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    Ditto for Timothy's suggestion. Or perhaps have you considered tile?

  9. #9
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    Mountain View, CA
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    I'd be breaking out my tile saw right about now .
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  10. #10
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    Glen Easton, WV
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    Tim is right; make your own CT's.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Scott McDonald View Post
    The corner in my kitchen is right around 47 degrees. The previous counter top was made using the precut 45 degree miters. This resulted in about a 3/8 to 1/2 inch gap from the wall to the edge of the countertop and it looked terriable. The previous owner filled it with cardboard then caulked it.

    So my plan was to get some straight pieces and cut my own miter. Well at least try. I assume I cut the counter top upside down but how do I cut it when the back it not flat? The counter top comes with an attached back splash do I have to cut it from the both turn it over then cut it from the top and hope it lines up?

    any input would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Scott

    Right tool for the job - check out this link: Cutting Cuontertop


    Mike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    421
    Thanks everybody for the input.

    I think it would probably be faster to built it myself. Being out of square by a couple a degrees over 8 feet makes for a lot of grinding to fit it to the wall.

    I would love to do tile but investement would not have any return on it. Foreclosures came throw my townhome community and sank the prices pretty bad. I am stuck with this place for awhile thats for sure.

    What is the normal substrate to use? Couple pieces of 3/4 ply or is that to much? Should I cut out the opening for the sink before putting on the Formica?

    I did find a pattern I like a lot more in sheet form and Lowes can order it for me so pretty happy about that.

    Thanks!

    Scott

  13. #13
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    Nov 2007
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    Mid Missouri (Brazito/Henley)
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    Good choice, laying your own laminate countertops!
    Aside from the problems of un-45 degree corners, post-formed tops are rather mundane and utilitarian. You can do better! Front edges can be trimmed with solid hardwood to match your cabinetry.

    BUT....IF.....I were going to miter my own post-formed CT, I would have to have one of these! ;-)

    Original Beam Saw.jpg

    The Original Saw Company's Beam Saw! Hmm, yeah! That's the Ticket!
    Necessisity is the Mother of Invention, But If it Ain't Broke don't Fix It !!

  14. #14
    3/4 inch chipboard product for the substrate. Laminate the entire countertop and cut out the sink when you install it.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by David Larsen View Post
    3/4 inch chipboard product for the substrate. Laminate the entire countertop and cut out the sink when you install it.
    Usually it's HIGH DENSITY particle board. I have used the Arruco plywood form both HD and Lowes. HD doesn't always stock it, but when they do, it's about $25 a sheet. Not all Lowes stock it, but the ones that do get around $38 a sheet. High density particle board is available from cabinet shop wood suppliers. Stuff at BORGs isn't the same.

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