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Kitchen worktop help ,please

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Redhill Red

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Hi all,
Although not strictly woodwork, this weekend I am fitting a kitchen worktop and although I've got the jig for the joints on the internal corners, one of the corners is a 90o external joint and I am wondering if anyone knows any tips or tricks.

I am planning on cutting the 45o angles with a saw and cleaning them up with a router and joiningit together with worktop bolts.
 

Argee

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I thought about providing that link to the jig page I did Neil, but the conventional worktop jigs are for internal angled joints, with the post-formed edge on the inside. What Red's going to do is an external 90 degree with the post-formed edge on the outside - something that's not often done (because it will come to a "hip-banging" point) and which a conventional worktop jig won't help with, other than maybe rout the butterfly bolt slots.

I can't see a better way than to go with your plan, Red - saw then trim with a router. However, bear in mind that the angles are going to have to be spot on and that you'll need to trim one part face up and the other face down. Hopefully, you've got enough length in the tops to have a second chance?

Good luck!

Ray.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Ray

Redhill Red":tz4qc0um said:
... and although I've got the jig for the joints on the internal corners...
I put the link up as Red has internal corners as well as the external. :wink:

Cheers
Neil
 

Redhill Red

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Thanks Neil and Ray for your replies,

Ray's point about getting the angle right first time is my biggest worry , it looks like it's a case of measure and plan about half a dozen times and then go for it!
 

Chris Knight

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I have never fitted a worktop so I may be talking through my hat but I have also never seen a 90 degree angle in a house. Perhaps a template is in order?
 

George_N

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I know that some of the more expensive worktop jigs allow you to cut 22.5 degree mitre angles for corner hob units - not sure if they will do 45 degree mitres. The Trend ones I've seen are well over £200 which is a lot for a jig if it is only going to be used once. I'm planning a corner hob when I refit my kitchen next year and I was going to try and lay out the 22.5 degree mitres and cut them with my circular saw and clean up with the router. I've never done this before and it would obviously be easier to get the angles spot-on with a factory made jig but the point of doing it myself is to keep the cost down, as well as the obvious satisfaction of (hopefully) doing the job well. I'd be glad of any tips from the experts who have done this sort of thing before.

cheers

George
 
A

Anonymous

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I know that some of the more expensive worktop jigs allow you to cut 22.5 degree mitre angles for corner hob units - not sure if they will do 45 degree mitres.

Just remember that they're internal angles, as argee pointed out.

The Trend ones I've seen are well over £200 which is a lot for a jig if it is only going to be used once. I'm planning a corner hob when I refit my kitchen next year and I was going to try and lay out the 22.5 degree mitres and cut them with my circular saw and clean up with the router.

By that do you mean that you're going to measure the angles out manually, cut with your saw and then tidy up with the router? Just makes alarm bells go off in my head, as the 3 angle measuring tools I have all give me slightly different angles which has turned the air blue on many occasions! Yes it costs £200 for a decent jig, but if you've got time to look around, you can hire them. I've done this twice, though I've had markedly different jigs in those 2 times. There are some awful (cheap and damaged) jigs available to hire but you should be able to get a decent one if you look.
The only other thing to add about jigs is that they allow you to position the dog-bone / butterfly bolt slots accurately and actually cut them out.
Good Luck!!
 

tombo

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how about cutting both pices roughly 45 then bring the joint together with a gap slightly smaller than the router cutter so you can true both pieces at the same time. If the rear edge of the pieces of top are set to 90 with a framing square the a slight variation in angle should not matter. Never tried this myself though so might be worth a trial run on some cheap ply or mdf before you commit to the counter top. Then again a trial run might be wise whatever technique you try

Tom
 

George_N

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If you did that wouldn't you be making a climb cut all the way along one of the pieces and therefore more likely to get chattering along the edge?

George
 

Argee

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All worktop jigs have the ability to cut both 45 and 22.5 degree internal joints, but remember that those angles are not throughout the joint, they are only at the leading (front) edge. The joint is otherwise a simple butt joint, held together with bolts in routed slots - I prefer to also use a single (28mm top) or double (40mm top) row of biscuits to help with alignment and glue-up.

Cutting a joint using the 45 degree option is for a 90 degree internal joint, the 22.5 degree option used for what is often referred to as a "corner solution" or a "cooker solution" where a portion of the worktop is fitted diagonally across a corner. If that's still not clear, check here for pictures.

The original enquiry was about fitting an external 90 degree corner - in other words, a situation where the rolled (post-formed) edge of the worktop goes around the outside of the corner, not the inside. A worktop jig is no use in that situation, because the joint is not a conventional butt joint.

In order to achieve an external 90 degree joint, as Red realised, the worktop must be accurately mitred over its entire mating surface, with the mitre bisecting the required 90 degree angle and thus forming the tip, or point, of the external corner - the same as an external corner joint in ceiling coving (only flat!).

The difficulty in completing this joint both accurately and cleanly arise from the inclusion of a post-formed edge in the worktop, coupled with the direction of cut of a router. Router cuts need to start at the rolled edge. If you exit the cut at the rolled edge, chipping of the laminate will occur, so - for obvious reasons, you cannot cut two at the same time as suggested by tombo above (because one would be against the direction of cut and the resultant chattering this would cause has the potential to ruin both edges. Anyway - just don't even think about doing it - it's not practical and it's certainly not safe either).

What must be done is to cut one side face up (if stood inside the corner, the right-hand side), with the other side being cut face down in order to orient the cutter correctly. This introduces another variable - transferring mark-up lines to an opposing face - but that one is simple enough to deal with.

The routed edges will be cut using a straight-edge clamped across the worktop at 45 degrees (the straight outside edge of the worktop jig may be suitable for this if it's long enough), then cut with a pattern-following bit or using a guide bush with the straight-edge clamped correspondingly further away from the cut line.

None of this is impossible, but it needs attention to detail, accurate marking and absolutely rigid clamping of the straight-edge. I would cut most of the waste with a saw first (circular, jig saw or hand saw, doesn't matter as long as it's sharp), then clean with a router as Red originally suggested. Once I'd got the mating faces absolutely right, I'd then rout the butterfly slots, clamp the tops together dry, offer the assembly up and scribe it in if required. Depending upon the size of the clamped assembly, the offering-up will probably be a two-person job and needs tackling safely.

Apologies for the length of this post, but I felt that it was going astray in a way that was not going to help Red complete the project.

Ray.
 

matt

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Miles away - totally impractical...
Just a thought and perhaps not a good one. However...

Howzabout aligning the two surfaces with the respective cabinet runs, ovarlapping where the join will be (using an offcut to prop up the other end of the top piece). Clamp them securely and then move the whole thing to somewhere where you can cut through both with a circular saw. The cut line would need to be right in the middle of blade width. Also, turn the sheets over before cutting to avoid chipping the laminate.

For the record, I've never had to do this.

Final thought... Buy Granite worksurface instead :lol:
 

Argee

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Sounds OK in theory, Matt, but we don't know the length of worktop sections that need to be cut - in other words, the final dimensions of the joined sections - or whether it's 28mm or 40mm stock. Worktop tends to come in 2metre or 3 metre lengths and good stuff (Perstorp, for example) weighs a heck of a lot.

Given that you could reduce the stock length to an approximate size, have you ever tried to clamp two bits of worktop together as you suggest? They tend to be not only very heavy and very slippery too (even with the protective wrap removed), but if you overdo the clamp pressure you can crush the substrate and crack the laminate on some of the less expensive stuff. I might try this on a small, good quality piece that was easy to manoeuver, but with anything else I'd resort to Red's original plan. :)

Ray.
 

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