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Beech Worktops - massive problems - wife's gonna kill me

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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Folks,

Me again, posted a message last week regarding cutting Beech Worktops for my shiney new Kitchen. Got some good advice from Scrit & Kostello (thanks) but that's where it all started going wrong !

I'm installing a Belfast sink which is going into a corner at an angle, therefore I need 3 pieces of worktops to be cut at exactly 67.5 degrees.
(Imagine a sink fitting into a worktop the shape of a Stanley knife Blade)

I unwrapped the first Worktop yesterday afternoon, installed my nice sharp Freud cutter into my 1950 watt router, measured the angle carefully on a Screwfix Saw guide, and plunged away.

Cutting them wasn't as bad as I though, did have a few bounces when I tried to cut too much at once, but it's amazing how quickly you learn!.

After a some time, I took the 2 end, and 1 central piece of worktop into the new kitchen - wrong angle - arrrrghhhhh !

Checked the Corner, just rebuilt the 2 walls, checked on a very accurate framing square, exactly 90 degress, checked alignment of the units - straight as a dye, checked that the half way point of the Belfast sink was aligned with the corner of the walls - spot on.

Having done a lot of Picture Framing in my time, I'm well aware of just how accurate you have to be when cutting Mitres, I came to the conclusion that the saw guide I was using was not accurate.

Not to be detterred, I set about on the trimming option, taking a similar amount off each worktop until they fit, results as follows

1st attempt - fit snug against the walls - gap in the front of the mitre - reduce angle

2nd attempt - still gap at the front (Smaller though)

3rd attempt - gap transferred to back

By this point, all 3 pieces after so much trimming had become to small - disaster - at £180 a slab this is an expensive mistake.

I can use some of the smaller pieces elsewhere, but I now have to run the gauntlet of cutting another full length, hoping that I can get it right.

I'm normally very patient, and will just try, try, and try again, if I don't get something exactly right, but at this sort of cost, it's a huge risk!

At 6.00 last night, I sat down in the Kitchen, swallowed a loads of Budweisers, and just left everything there - tools, scraps, rubbish, and went upstairs in complete despair.

The wife's on holiday at the moment, she's coming back next moday, if I don't have her washing machine and hot and cold running water back on I may as well move out into the kennel!

Basically I need to be able to cut these damm things at exactly 67.5 degress with no marging for error, the saw guide I bought from screwfix is pants, as it's certainly not accurate, and isn't long enough.

Does anyone know where I could get an accurate guide to measure the angle across the whole length of the worktop? - Architects supplies maybe? - arts and crafts?

Other than that, is there a formulae that I could use, for measuring this angle?

Any advice you folks could offer would be very much appreciated.

Regards

Morph

PS - Anyone want to buy 27 Beech Breadboards?, good condition, slight tear stain damage
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
the best thing i can suggest is to cut all the work tops to the approximate length (or its better if you can leave plenty of extra so you can trim them to length after the angles are correct).
lay all the worktops in postition on the units and mark where the front and back edges cross.
in theory if you connect these lines and cut there they should be a perfect fit.

don't forget that if the walls above the worktops are going to be tiled you have about 5mm 'wiggle room' to get the joints tight(sp??)

tghe other option is to cut the middle worktop with 45 degree cuts and have a 90 deg cut on the others.
it won't look so nice though.

what glue are you planning on using in the joint??
i've had really good results outside on the cill corners of my conservatories with polyurenthane glue.
not one joint opened up yet and i've done about 100 over the last 2 or 3 years.
thats really good considering its end grain and exposed to the weather.

good luck.


aleks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Aleks,

Thanks for the reply, damm good idea about cutting them roughly to size though this will still be awkward as I need to get the 'sink' worktop tight into the corners before I can mark it.

In fact while I've been typing this you've given me an idea ! - I do Picture Framing in my spare time, what I'll do is slice some Mountboards to the same width as a worktop, and do what you suggested, lay them down and mark where they meet. Then use those pieces as templates on the actual worktops - eureka!

Now, about the glueing - do I really need to glue them, I was think of routing slots underneath and using worktop clamps, and also using biscuits with just one side glued,

what dya think?

thanks for giving me some inspiration.

Morph
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i don't know about the glue.

i've only ever fitted on set of worktops and they were postformed laminates, they were stuck together with a coloured sealant and glue.

i would be inclined to say that glue is probably worth it as they are going to be i an environment which will have a changing humidity and this will cause them to move.

it could be worth a phone call to the manufacturers.

or you could find instructions here:
http://www.albatops-for-kitchens.co.uk/

look under hard wood.


good luck.

aleks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morph

If you are having problems with getting the size right, why not carve up a sheet of hardboard and use that as a fitting template? Much cheaper than hacking away at the beech.

To strike a line I use a laser level on a tripod - a bit over the top really, but a chalk line into the corner would bisect the joint and a couple of home made scrap wood squares marked with the witdth of the top would allow you to see where the joint line should be. Incidentally, if you are slightly out did you not think about easing the joining surfaces with a jointer plane, or were you too far gone?

One way to disguise the shrinkage may be to plane up a couple of pieces of beech and "insert" them between the three boards - biscuit jointing will be OK providing you use a waterproof (D3) PVA glue. If you are butt jointing, then PU, as suggested by Kostello, is better as it is damp resistant (not fully waterproof) and you can get 10 minute setting stuff.

You would probably be better off using joiners - if you use biscuits glued one side only then moisture will penetrate the joint pretty quickly and you'll see discolouration along the glue lines and at the edges where the boards butt. One trick to stop this is to treat the end grain with PU wood hardener (Bondaplas Voss, from builders merchants)

Kostellos advice about the "wiggle zone" is bang on, although

Good luck
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks 'Guest'

Again some damm good advice offered - a freind of mine does actually have a laser level, sure he'd let me borrow it.

I have already considered the idea of using Hardboard as templates, and I think this will be the chosen option on Sunday!

I'll let you know how I get on !

Regards

Morph
 

Scrit

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Sorry Morph, logging-in problems, I was the 'mysteryous' Guest

The hardboard approach at least saves the problem of an ever-shrinking worktop
 

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