Solid Surface Routing - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default Solid Surface Routing

I am planning on replacing my kitchen counter tops with a solid surface product. I have read several articles that say this is DIYable. Anybody ever do this? Any advice or tips? I have a 2 1/4 hp Dewalt router and favor Infinity bits.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 08:12 AM
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Read this to get an idea of what's involved http://www.aristechsurfaces.com/site...0Aug2015_1.pdf Larger tops that have to be seamed are potentially a problem for the DIYer, and you definitely need help moving whole sheets, both because of the weight and the possibility of cracking. On the plus side, they can be cut with normal woodworking tools, carbide tips are a must though. Also, you will wind up with a bunch of spring clamps after doing the edge build-ups.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 08:53 AM
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Are you talking about something like Corian? That is synthetic acrylic and would be susceptible to heat, I would think. Let us know how it turned out. Good luck.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 10:35 AM
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Don't have experience with Corian other than vanity tops, but Avonite withstands boiling water http://www.rosskopf-partner.com/file..._sheet-ENG.pdf and I'd think the various brands are the same. Avonite requires the use of a specific heat-reflecting tape around cooktop cutouts though and is very specific about the application. Note that the material is very notch-sensitive and a router/template must be used for all cutouts.

On our second Avonite job after factory certification, we did a kitchen with a monster island top with cooktop - the top cracked after about two years, the factory rep looked at it and told us they didn't cover it under warranty because we hadn't used the "approved method". We showed him that we'd followed the manual we'd been given at our training, turned out that they'd revised the procedure afterwards so they replaced the top.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 11:08 AM
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First you must make sure that the tops of your cabinets are in one single plane (Level & Flat). Secondly if you have any seams you need to make a mirror cutting jig. Third you need sharp carbide tooling (All cuts should be with a router if possible). Fourth have every thing you need and dry fit and clamp before using the adhesive because it will want move around on you once the adhesive is applied. Do not squeeze all the adhesive out of the joint.
Let everything cure before you try to clean up. You can use a sharp block plane to do the initial cleanup of the joint and finish with a random orbit sander. Sand a large area and not just at the joint. Can this be a DIY? Yes if you take great care and do some research.

Regards Bob
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodger96 View Post
First you must make sure that the tops of your cabinets are in one single plane (Level & Flat). Secondly if you have any seams you need to make a mirror cutting jig. Third you need sharp carbide tooling (All cuts should be with a router if possible). Fourth have every thing you need and dry fit and clamp before using the adhesive because it will want move around on you once the adhesive is applied. Do not squeeze all the adhesive out of the joint.
Let everything cure before you try to clean up. You can use a sharp block plane to do the initial cleanup of the joint and finish with a random orbit sander. Sand a large area and not just at the joint. Can this be a DIY? Yes if you take great care and do some research.

Regards Bob
Bob has said what I was thinking, these solid surface materials are great Corion and the like, however they do not bend so you old cabinets have to be very flat on the top, now you cold fix that if they were not flat by adding and intermediate piece the compensated, if you old cabinets are not flat then if its a lot then that could be a big problem to fix. Like Bob OI am not saying level but that would help, I am saying the whole area has to be as flat as glass or the joins are very6 hard to do. N
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 09:52 PM
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Well the front edge still has to be glued and clamped so you need the proper adhesive and gun to apply and lots of clamps. I would say some could DIY with the proper tools. YES I am a licensed installer.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 04:59 AM
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Jim, former Corian distributor/kitchen dealer/top shop owner here...

All good advice regarding seaming, radius/routed cutouts, heat tape, etc. This is doable by a good woodworker, with some practice first.

Suggest you stop at a solid surface top shop, snoop around as a consumer, ask a lot of questions, observe some tops in the making, and buy some sink cutouts & scrap.

Take some time with the scraps, routing, cutting, seaming, edge buildup, etc., before you attempt the project. Make yourself some cutting boards of various shapes, sizes and edges in the process.

Also keep in mind that most distributors will sell sheet goods only to "certified solid surface fabricators", top shops, not so restrictive. Finished product warranty is normally only honored if installed by a certified fabricator, so your top will not be warranted by the mfgr.

You'll need good dust collection, a respirator, and fresh carbide bits...fwiw....

Ron
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Last edited by rpludwig; 11-28-2015 at 05:15 AM.
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