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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am bidding a job that will require pulling countertops from one area of an office and fitting, cutting and installing them in another area. There will be both inside and outside miter joints to be cut to length and fit. I have cut a couple tops and rejoined them before but I haven't been pleased with the final product. Currently I am just using a large protractor to find my cut angle, a circular saw and straight edge to cut the joints and then bolts with flat plates to hold the joints in place along with glue. I always back bevel the seams a bit but it still doesn't give it that factory cut and fit look. Is there a better more exact method or do I just need to refine my approach more yet?
 

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The problem with a circular saw is the blade spins the wrong way, so it pulls up and doesn't give you a good joint. I used to make a jig on the cabinet saw. If it has a backsplash I cut that with the miter saw.

Now I cut the backsplash with the miter saw and then finish with my track saw (ts55req)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I also will glue up as much as possible in the shop and install pieces as big as I am able to. When you reference template you are making a template of the countertop?

I cut with a circular saw from the back side of the top to eliminate chipping the laminate.
 

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Put a line of blue painters tape down before you make the cut, if using a circular saw. Keeps the laminate edge from chipping off too bad. If you want it super clean use a grinder or knife,along a guide, and gently score the first line. Then finish cut with the circular saw.
 

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I also will glue up as much as possible in the shop and install pieces as big as I am able to. When you reference template you are making a template of the countertop?

I cut with a circular saw from the back side of the top to eliminate chipping the laminate.
Yes I template the entire counter top with strips of Luann ply. Much more accurate than measuring.
 

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Blue painters tape along cut line and then use a good circular saw with a Freud Diablo fine finish blade. Super clean cut and then biscuit joint the seem and throw a few flat plate brackets to hold till all the glue dries. You can also put a little bit of caulk that closely matches the color of the countertop in the seem to blend the finish product.
 

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My local CT shop will alter if I need. They have a bridge saw.

They charged me $18 to cut length - $18 to glue / make up an end piece $55 to complete a miter. 1 day service.

I can't do it for the above rates. Stop into a local shop or two ?

I doubled those rates and billed the customer.
 

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...field cutting from the back side solves all chipping problems.

A >true< straight edge, 48tooth+ blade, a very sharp block plane, sanding blocks, patience and a fair amount of practice and it can be done well. LOL field fit some Solid solid surface, then go back to laminate tops

IF you don't really have the tools and skill set to "fit" a field cut laminate counter top, find a shop that can. It's the easiest way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I normally just build my tops on site. Occasionally I fit the plywood and then finish them in the shop.

I don't have a CT shop within 90 miles, very rural area, Home Depot is 90 miles.

Appreciate all the tip and I will use them to refine my process.
 

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OK your kinda screwed on having them cut.....

Here's what you can do to get the "finished" look you are probably after.

You need a "true" straight edge to straighten-true the cuts.

Been using Solid surface blocks 1.5" tall x 24-30" long with sand paper spray #90'd to the straight edge... However a level as the straight edge was on the way to that.

See what I'm saying?
 

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I always cut from the bottom side, with circular saw, 40th carbide trim blade. Set the blade about 1/2 past finish surface. Minimizing the depth puts the teeth at a more optimum angle as it passes the surface, resulting in better finish cut. Do layout on top, transfer to back side, clamp on saw guide. The hardest part can be cutting the backsplash if it's a one piece top. It's doable, but definitely needs a high skill level to accomplish. Grinders, belt sanders. & block planes all help to do adjustments. Do wood glue on joint, with silicone at the finish surface to help seal out water.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Texas I see what your talking about I think, your just using the SS as your straight edge with sandpaper adhered to it???

Railman that is a good tip using the silicon for water protection. But I use Seamfil on my seams and would be afraid that if the silicon got to high or on top of the laminate that the Seamfil wouldn't stick. Would using an exterior glue help with waterproofing the joint?
 

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Texas I see what your talking about I think, your just using the SS as your straight edge with sandpaper adhered to it???

Would using an exterior glue help with waterproofing the joint?
Yes. Have used a level with same success, in a pinch. This one is not ideal. It will rock easy because the hand grip rubber sticks proud of the sides. Not in Dallas and 1000 miles away from my shop, best I could do for a picture.

Plain old straight up Elmers Wood glue works best. Just checked a kitchen counter top joint glued up 20 years ago.... wiped everyday, spilled on regular, still holding like the day it was glued up.
 

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