SS. Rough Cuts with a skill saw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default SS. Rough Cuts with a skill saw

I'm about to start my counter top replacement project and since I cannot find some info in the various guides or online, I will ask for your opinion. I have 3 sheets of 1/2" thick Hanex solid surface to cut into their rough sizes. Like Corian this is a hard acrylic material that could be prone to chipping.

Ive researched many available blades based on their specs compared to the high priced SS pro blades used for production shops. I will be using a 7 Skill Saw with a Task Hardbody, C3 Carbide, 48T TCG, 0*hook, .10 kerf blade. The blade I selected seems to fit those specs so I am not questioning what blade to use.

I understand the saw teeth should protrude at least below the cut surface. I have a clamp-guide and will use a router to do the final mirror cuts for seams. At first I will cut 1/4" over-sized until I see how it goes then try to tighten up to 1/16 or 1/8" over.

I have read that sometimes to insure smoother cuts, the blade manufacturers suggest turning the work piece face up or face down depending on whether a table saw is used (teeth cut on the down stroke from above) or if a skill or panel saw is used (that cuts on the upstroke from underneath).

So My question is: When cutting the solid surface sheets with a skill saw, which side of the material should be facing up to minimize chipping or other problems.

Do I cut the sheets from the top with the finished surface facing up or facing down?


(I have a opinion, but won't indicate it yet, so as not to influence your suggestions)

Thanks
Al
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:33 PM
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As you have indicated in your question, using a Skil (type) saw. the face should be down. The idea is to avoid tear out (chipping) on the finished face.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:37 PM
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Really will not matter, you will do enough finish work on solid surface to remove any saw marks.
With a 48 tooth blade you will have no problems. As an installer, I would ask, have you done this before?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick answers. No I have very little with finish work and have not used SS before.
My conclusion (as confirmed by Rmighty1) was that I need to turn the face down so the teeth cut into the inteded top surface and if there is any chipping or tearout it will be on the underside. This will also entail reversing measurements

I have heard that I won't have a problem but I just want to make-sure twice..cut once 8-) since a replacement sheet due to a mistake is $500.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AzOwl View Post
So My question is: When cutting the solid surface sheets with a skill saw, which side of the material should be facing up to minimize chipping or other problems.
Hi Al

I'm another one who says that the good side needs to be face down so that the cut is like that of a jigsaw, i.e. upwards into the face. Either way you are going to have to edge the material with a straight edge and router afterwards (with the biggest router you can get your hands on - colid surface really hammers routers). That's also what they tell you on the Corian fabrication coarse. Best blade for the task is a PCD diamond blade - like the blades they use for cement board - they last longer although the cut edge needs cleaning up

Regards

Phil

"Unfortunately there is lots of bad information online; some of it is really scary. It's probably not intentional, but I've seen some content that sets up the illusion that you can do whatever you want and get away with it" - Norm Abram in an interview with Jefferson Kolle
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I only have 7 cuts to make for the larger top pieces that will end up being mirror cut with a router for the seams. These don't worry me as much as cutting all the long but 1" wide strips for the edge buildups. Also there are a couple 4" back splashes. That's when the sheets start looking like a jig-saw puzzle.

At least some of the buildup strips don't have to be quite as precise since they are glued underneath and receive further edge treatment.

The routers I have are a PC-690 and a Ryobi-180PL both in the 1-1/2 HP range IIRC. I will just have to take thin cuts. I am still looking at bits to use, which I will get to in another post.

ETA- You Know, I asked this question 3 times of a pro that is in the business and he couldn't give me a straight answer. I then asked the manufacturer the same question and also got a non-answer reply. When I ask here, I get 3 good answers within minutes. That says a lot. Thanks I really appreciate your help.

thanks for all the info
al

Last edited by AzOwl; 03-13-2015 at 08:35 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 10:19 AM
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I asked this question 3 times of a pro that is in the business and he couldn't give me a straight answer. I then asked the manufacturer the same question and also got a non-answer reply.
You'd probably get the same from the distributor over here, Al. Solid surface is one area where the trade seems to have a vested interest in keeping secrets. DuPont over here state that it is because they warranty their product and therefore can't allow untrained people to have access in case they make a mess of things and make a claim.....

As with everything in life there's some stuff you can only learn by doing and experimenting. And I can tell you that the formal training left me with more questions than answers.....

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At least some of the buildup strips don't have to be quite as precise since they are glued underneath and receive further edge treatment.
That isn't really true. The joint between a build-up strip and a top surface (in fact all joints in solid surface) need to be as perfect as possible. With a few colours, like the whites, you can get away with poor quality joints and loads of adhesive. With others, especially the dark blues and blacks, joint imperfection is instantly noticeable. Also make sure that you clean off the ink product markins on the underside anywhere near joints - it can bleed through and spoil the appearance of an otherwise perfect joint on the lighter colour materials

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The routers I have are a PC-690 and a Ryobi-180PL both in the 1-1/2 HP range IIRC. I will just have to take thin cuts. I am still looking at bits to use, which I will get to in another post.
I'd say that they are both a bit on the small side. Corian soaks up a LOT of power - and one of the reasons that manufacturers such as Festool (OF2200e), deWalt (DW626) and Makita (RP2301FCX) have produced 2100watt+ (almost a true 3HP) routers in recent years is that working with Corian will make any router run very, very hot, very quickly, even if you are just jointing making thin cuts. I've not done it myself (yet), but I've seen enough burned out big routers to know that you need to check the temperature of your motor all the time and reduce the trimming to the bare minimum. My own approach is to have two DW625s (2000 watt) for jointing fitted with identical tooling and to just keep swapping.

It terms of bits, for jointing I've had great success with TC-RT tooling (which is completely the opposite of what a lot of people say - mostly those unfamiliar with that type of tooling) as well as solid carbide spirals, although I personally find them too expensive and the regrinding requirement to be a time waster into the bargain. The thing about Corian, etc is to treat it like you would acrylics, i.e. high feed speed, slower spindle speed (relative to woodworking) and a large diameter cutter - small ones heat up really fast. Oh yes, and get a mask for yourself and dust extraction onto your power tools - the dust will clog your lungs in no time flat. Even with that you'll find the taste of the stuff stays with you for a day or so after machining

Regards

Phil

"Unfortunately there is lots of bad information online; some of it is really scary. It's probably not intentional, but I've seen some content that sets up the illusion that you can do whatever you want and get away with it" - Norm Abram in an interview with Jefferson Kolle

Last edited by Phil P; 03-13-2015 at 10:26 AM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Lots of really good info Phil, thanks.
My color is called Desert Walk, a medium light speckled tan.

That feed & speed info is a surprise, I would have guessed to have a slower feed rate with a high blade speed but I see that would create a lot of heat.

As you say, I'll have to try my hand at it to find out what works but tips like that give me something to watch for.

At the moment I'm laying out all the sheet cuts in Autocad.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 06:33 PM
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That feed & speed info is a surprise, I would have guessed to have a slower feed rate with a high blade speed but I see that would create a lot of heat.
By slowing the spindle speed a bit and increasing the feed rate you effectively increase the size of the chip, which in turn generates less heat than creating dust. Acrylic materials (and Corian is mainly acrylic) are notorious for weld back of swarf, hence the need to keep temperatures low, dust chips large and extraction on if you can

You said you are doing an upstand. Have you figured out how to do it yet? Also have you got lots of spring clamps? Corian needs clamping at very close centres

Regards

Phil

"Unfortunately there is lots of bad information online; some of it is really scary. It's probably not intentional, but I've seen some content that sets up the illusion that you can do whatever you want and get away with it" - Norm Abram in an interview with Jefferson Kolle
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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B...
You said you are doing an upstand. Have you figured out how to do it yet? Also have you got lots of spring clamps? Corian needs clamping at very close centres
Phil
You sort of lost me with 'upstand' is that another term for counter? Also not sure what your asking with 'figured out how to do it yet"...

Projects often start when I just sort of come up with an idea and overall plan, then I break it into steps as to whats needed and in general how much work is involved then research the steps for refinement and then do the details as I progress with the project. I do a lot of research and planning but it isnt set in stone I dont visualize the final project until its done.

I built a 800 SF Rastra addition on my house (mostly by myself) having never worked with many of the systems involved. I learned a lot of things in the process from how to stucco to building my own I trusses to calculating high-wind loads on roofs & windows.

I recently recovered the kitchen base cabinet vertical panels with Formica... never worked with melamine before - winging it all the way. These solid surface tops are my next step in keeping my wife happy. (Cant get my mind to accept having someone come in to do it, when I should be able to figure it out besides my middle name is...CHE oh well, you know).

I have measured & laid out my kitchen plan (on AutoCad) and determined most of the pieces & their dimensions. Besides the obvious tops & backsplash, I have figured edge buildup strips for bullnose, radius blocks at corners and seam reinforcement. Ive laid out my cut sheets with both rough and final dimensions for each piece. I'm getting close to cutting the sheets into their major dimensions. Im hoping I can cut the 1 edge strips on the table saw and make use of the fence instead of hand guiding such small lengths with the skill saw.

A couple pictures would save a lot of my muddyness... (Dimensions & other clutter removed).

First is an old pic of the kitchen the wood side panels have been covered with black slate Formica.



Next is a layout of the new counters sink cutout TBD once I pick a sink.



Here are some edge and corner details in progress trying to decide on a profile and if its feasible to use a round oak trim insert for the roundover face or to build it up entirely of solid surface and route the edge over.



I have a few spring clamps, figure I need at least one per 3-4 for the longest glueup I will do at one time. That might mean upwards of 30 or 40 clamps. I got a little sticker shock looking at decent metal 2 clamps. Then I saw the cheap plastic 1 clamps WalMart sells for a buck apiece and am wondering if they will have enough tension. I got a few to try, they seem to have stiff springs for the size so maybe they will work. Maybe Ill have to use a few more closer together or maybe I can mix a few of the larger clamps in every so often- Ill have to try & find out.

Another thing I have started to look at is the adhesive. Im fairly certain I will use Integra brand. Found a place in FLA that sells it for $20 a tube. I calculated the total seam inches, including buildups and blocks then figured running 2 1/8 beads and some extra for reinforcement panels. I came up with 4900 Lin Inches adhesive and used 40 LF per tube (per manuf) thus came up with 10 tubes required does that seem about right? (no pun intended).

Last pic is the jigsaw puzzle.



Sorry if I get a bit verbose Ive been known to jaw like Im chewing rubber bands.

Thanks for the interest,
Al
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