Advice on cutting Beech Worktops

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Hi Folks,

Wondered if any of you folks had any advice on cutting solid beech worktops?, I'm a reasonably good woodworker with a quite a well 'tooled' up workshop.

Q1. Is it better to just cut with a saw and finish with a No. 7 Plane (As a joiner advised me), or my idea of using a 1900 watt router with a good (Freud) cutter?

Q2. I don't want to buy a Worktop Jig for cutting the keyhole slots for the joining screws as their about £100, and obviously will only be used once. Has anybody ever made their own?, I was thinking of cutting a jig from 8mm ply on my fretsaw - what do you think?

Q3. I also have to cut for a Belfast Sink which is going into a corner - any general advice on doing this? again I was thinking of cutting a template from Ply.

Q4. The corner with the sink is going in at an angle, if you can imagine, I have to join the 2 long pieces of worktop with the corner piece . I'm guessing that the cutting angles on the worktops will be 67.5 degrees - i.e a 90 degree join would be 90 / 2 = 45 degrees. therefore I have to half that again i.e 45/2 = 22.5 + 45 = 67.5 degress.

Boy that's a lot of questions for a newbie, but if anyone can offer any advice I would be extremely grateful.




Established Member
17 Sep 2002
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I recall giving this answer once before, as I do install these things occasionally for a living, so here we go:

When cutting beech or iroko worktops it is always better to make all your roughing cuts with a power saw (jigsaw or circular) then clean up either with a hand plane, like a #7 on the straight edges. I have to admit to having a Bosch plunge saw and rail system which requires very little cleaning up on cross cuts. Belfast sinks require a different technique. The cut-out is roughed out with a jigsaw then a template is made from plywood (or similar) offcuts and secured around the opening. The opening is then machined to shape using a largish diameter top bearing template trim cutter on a heavy (1500watt plus) variable speed router. Don't try to take too much off at each pass as you'll end up digging in (this is also why you should also cut near to the line with the jigsaw rather than trying to work the edge only with the router. Try not to stop in any spot as end grain beech can scorch easily.

Using a kitchen template cutter is really the wrong approach for a solid wood worktop. These jigs are necessary on chipboard tops because of their post-formed or rolled front edges. Solid wood worktops are normally square edged, so conventional wood jointing techniques work well, i.e. a loose tongue and a stopped slot in each piece to be joined. You can drill and rout-out worktop the openings for worktop cramps on the underside if you like, but it doesn't really require a jig for that. (after all, who's going to see it?)

If you are putting in a corner sink then the bevel cut angle is indeed 67.5 degrees


to make the holes for the connector bolts use a forstner bit to drill the flet bottomed hole and then just rout or cut the slot with a hammer and chisel.