Issue with kitchen worktop joint

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by LJC66C, Nov 2, 2021.

  1. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of this square edge worktop
    If you know where I can get it cheaper - please let me know. It's the same price at tradepoint with the current double 10% off (making 19% off).

    I'm up in Derbyshire and I don't have any Selco outlets near me - but I hear nothing but positive comments from other tradesmen on here, and that price is certainly competitive. I buy 50-60 tops a year from these guys;

    They're superb. It's also worth mentioning that they offer a full machining service, where they deliver the finished tops to you, ready just to bolt up if you decide to take the easy option. I do all of my own obviously, but other people on the forum have used this service and recommend it highly. The other thing I particularly like about WTE is that most of their tops are also available in 2m and 4m lengths, meaning very little waste with a bit of careful cut planning. This often results in a lower overall cost, rather than having to buy 3m lengths and chucking large offcuts away.

    Do you think the female 600mm of 38mm edging that I need to take off, will heat up/chisel off & remaining sticky edge clean up without the need for machining, or will it be wrapped/formed and require machining off?

    Almost certainly. It's only bullnose tops which use a continuous wrap - the front faces of most square-edged tops are finished using a continuous edge-banding machine and adhesive. Chisel a sharp vertical at your removal point, then heat up with an iron and the banding should peel away with relative ease. For cleaning up the sticky residue - acetone is your friend. You can either buy litre bottles on eBay, or go to Boots and buy nail polish remover.

    For a neat male end - I understand how to get the perfect angle by overlaying. Can I assume I will need to use a router to get a good finished edge?

    Not necessarily. The ideal tool which would be used by a pro is a plunge saw - a good one will give a laser-like, factory-standard cut. But if you don't have one, you can get a very acceptable cut line using a circular saw - but you must make the cut into the laminated edge, and with the top upside-down. The reason is that if you cut the top with the laminate facing up, you'll get splintering and breakout as the sawblade's teeth burst up through the laminate. With a face-down cut, the saw blade is slicing directly and cleanly upwards into the laminate. Buy a new blade for your saw, with as many teeth as possible. The higher the tooth number - the finer the cut quality. This is the way it was always done before plunge saws came along.

    As I haven't got a jig and will only be doing a square edge 'butt-up', should I just use a straight board clamped over the worktop as a single side router guide (being careful not to rock the router), or should I make a jig for a 30mm guide bush that supports the router so it cant rock? Or... do you think that I'd get a good enough finish with a circular saw & clamped guide)?

    See above - but by all means use a router if you wish - a clamped straight-edge will be perfectly adequate. I'd strongly recommend the use of something like a spirit level as it's been awhile since I saw a dead-straight piece of timber ....... The best way to ensure that your router doesn't rock is to have the entire base of the machine planted firmly on the surface so it's dead flat to the worktop surface. So this means doing this part of the job first, making sure you have a perfect cut, then trimming the worktop to its final length afterwards. This also gives you a 'get-out-of-jail' card if you have a mishap with the joint cut. Once again - trim to length with a circular saw with the worktop upside-down. Give both mating surfaces a gentle sand with 120-grit, just to ensure that any little nibs are removed. Also bear in mind that if you do decide to use a router, you'll need to make sure that a high-gloss surface is well protected - it's very easy to leave little scratch marks on a gloss top as you move your router base across it.

    Also, I did watch a guy fit a worktop a few years back. On the female, he put a piece of paper under the inside edge of the jig before clamping. He claimed it was to tip over the router by a 0.5 deg, thus ensuring the butt joint had slight clearance on the underside, so that he could guarantee that the top laminate edge would 'pull-up' tight without excess tightening of the bolts. He said that glue fills any slight clearance left between the chipboard. Is this 'trick' a common practice and what do you think about doing it?

    He was using an Erbauer router which was as out-of-true as the one I borrowed !!!!!!!!! I guess every joiner develops their own way of doing things. A properly cut joint should consist of two mating surfaces which are both dead square to the surface, so it shouldn't really be necessary. But if you do have a tiny discrepancy - a far easier and quicker solution is to pack up one length of the worktop on thin shims to 100% level it - 1mm plastic glazing packers or similar.

    Any remaining tiny discrepancies can be taken out by Colorfill - run a decent bead across the top inside face of the joint immediately before you bolt up, across the wole length of the joint. it will squeeze out as you bolt up,the squeeze-out is then wiped off across the length of the joint using a plastic spatula, and the excess cleaned off with acetone.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
    fizzy2 likes this.
  2. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    I agree with you (within the spirit that you meant it). If you followed WillEckerslike logic, you'd also be wrong if you were using it held upside down!

    Previous posts have only ever explained that you need to enter the laminate edge first to stop the breakthrough. I fully understood that logic when using a saw and followed on with the same logic on the entry & exit of a router. However, that's only half the explanation... no one explained that you also need the bit to compress cut 'in' to the worktop piece that you are keeping & pull cut the piece that you are cutting off (with the rotational direction). In theory the blade can 'lift/tear-off' the laminate on the material you are cutting off, even if you do enter the laminate edge first, but that doesn't matter if you are discarding it anyway. This is why there is the risk of flipping the jig and cutting right to left, because you might lift the laminate edge on the side of the cut you are keeping, even if you did enter the laminate first.

    What would you do if you were cutting a doubled side bar - do half, flip the worktop and do the 2nd half from the other side?
  3. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    Thanks to the people who advised on which router, both new a used.

    As a DIYer, I have to take a pragmatic view on price v's quality/functionality/durability.

    Looking around, I think I may have found a good deal on a TREND T7EK 2100W 1/2" VARIABLE SPEED ROUTER. If i'm not mistaken, this one at screwfix is £180
    is only £100 at trend plus delivery

    Is there anything better for £100? I know that I can always get better if I pay more!
  4. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    The Screwfix one has more kit with it which is reflected in the price. In my experience Trend routers should be better than they actually are especially as the bigger ones (T10 and T11) are a derivative of an Elu model now branded and sold as the DeWalt 625 (which has been mentioned earlier) and is an industry standard. That said I haven't actually used the model you're referring to so cannot comment on it first hand.

    If you're going to be fitting your children's kitchens now is the time to get them to club together to buy you a decent router to help you help them. Black Friday and Christmas looming...

    Edit: I've not long sold a couple of DW625s which fetched around £150 each and they were perfectly good machines. There's nothing wrong with decent second-hand kit. You will quite often see (assuming they're to be believed) tools that have been bought to do a job such as fitting a kitchen then moved on - it can often work out comparable/better than hiring (without the time pressures for them) plus they get to use new gear.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
    longboat likes this.
  5. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    We are talking worktop joints here......... well, I am anyway. :)
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  6. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    And yes, probably, for a double post-form worktop if it just had a square cornered end.

    I have cut and finished quite a number of 665mm and 900mm double post-formed breakfast bars. some with just the corners cut off (then edged) but also some with an arch (arc) shaped end. Using a 'tuning fork type' guide to create the arc, securing this to the underside of the worktop, and the router to it, you can only cut so far (ie, not out the other side) so you have to prevent the end P/F breaking off by cutting it (middle of where the router bit will end up) prior to routing, and then finishing this end off by hand using pencil sander, sanding block and file.
    And then edging it.
  7. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    I did ask the carpenter in the maintenance dept of my old workplace. He said that he's had the double sided curved end bar issue many times. He has curved jigs made from mdf, but the way he a avoids the right side break-though splinter is to clamp a piece of wood hard against the exit edge, cutting slowly out of that bar edge and into the added piece of wood.

    Looks like the Trend team didn't bother doing anything special on the pic attached. What are the 2 score lines all around the cut edge?

    Just to confirm to the point of embarrassment, I assume that we are talking about the exit edge finish below the router handle that's below his T-shirt badge?

  8. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    I'd be too worried about the post-form round chipping. Unless his 'piece of wood perfectly matched the post-form shape.
    It is a reasonable option with a wooden square edged worktop.
    Need some very long clamps doing it his way though........

    Each to their own though and whatever works to get the desired finish.

    The beauty of wood is that you can usually sand out any imperfections.
  9. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    He just read this but is not on the forum. His says that it usually splinters on the vertical edges where all the edge gets the load of the blade at the same time rather than gradually. This is evident on the trend photo where the bevelled edge is clean and the vertical edge is messy. He uses ratchet straps to hold the additional sacrificial wood that avoids the breakthrough.
  10. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    100% normal joinery practise - not just for this, but also for mitre sawing, spindle moulding and any other task involving a spinning blade exiting a piece of material. You're referring to what's known as a spelch block.
    kitfit1 and fizzy2 like this.
  11. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Lol :D it's years and years since i heard that term. But your 100% right, it has always been common practice to use a spelch block on anything that needs protecting from breakout/splintering.
    Completely useless with a router on a double post formed laminate worktop though. Much better just to flip the top over and come back the other way, even with a curved end.
    woodbutcherbower likes this.
  12. fizzy2

    fizzy2 Guest

    Thanks - just been reading about 'spelch'. I was wondering... you know when you use a circular saw, you often turn the good surface down for similar reasons to what we have been discussing... However, if you cut through double sided furniture board, unlike a laminate worktop, you may want both sides to be finished well. This is where people suggest using tape (with limited success)!
    Would laying thin wood between the saw & the furniture board help (similar to spelch block), or do you know a better method of getting a good finish on BOTH sides of the cut (when using a saw) please?
  13. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    Only if you are actually using a bench/table saw. With a circular saw the top edge will always chip out, even if it was a brand new blade never used before. You can only cut double sided furniture board with a 100% guarentee of no breakout if using a panel saw with a blade underneath the main cutting blade.
  14. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Showing my age, bud. And yours, too, no doubt. No-one under 50-55 will ever even have heard of it. The young college lads are all too busy being taught how to fire 2nd-fix Paslodes into MDF door frames and bodge on new-build skirts and arcs for about 10p a linear metre.

    Me? I'm very happy to be old, conscientious, detail-aware and customer-focused. From the limited interaction we've had - I know you're just the same. Respect.
    kitfit1 likes this.
  15. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    I suspect if we were not customer focused most of us would have been out of business many years ago..............................probably wielding a Paslode on a new build site by now :D
    woodbutcherbower likes this.

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