How to cut laminate countertop

Mr. HowToSpecialist November 14, 2012 Comments Off
How to cut laminate countertop

This step by step woodworking project is about how to cut laminate countertop. Cutting laminate counter top isn’t the easiest diy project, as you need to use proper tools, techniques and work with patience. The most challenging aspects of the project are to choose a blade with fine-teeth (in this manner you won’t chip the laminated layer) and to make straight-line cuts.


 

Generally speaking, there are a number of tools that could help you get the job done quickly and accurately. Therefore, you could use a table saw, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw (ideal for curved cuts). As far as the blade is concerned, you should choose one with a fine high teeth count and long enough to cut trough the counter top (if it is also carbide tipped it would be great).

A great techniques, especially for amateur handymen, is to put masking tape over the cut lines. In this manner, the edge of the countertop won’t be chipped. In addition, you need to place the coutertop with the face up, if you are using a blade with downward oriented teeth (highly recommended). Take accurate measurements before marking the lines on the countertop, as the quality of the cuts won’t matter if the piece doesn’t fit into place.

In order to cut laminate countertops, you needs the following:

Materials:

  • Laminate Countertop
  • Carpentry Pencil

Tools:

  • Safety gloves, Safety glasses
  • Jigsaw, Circular saw
  • Tape measure, T-square
  • C-clamps, Straight edge

Tips:

  • Wear safety glasses, when making the cuts
  • Choose a blade with fine teeth

Time:

  • 10 Minutes

 

How to cut laminate countertop

Measuring the countertop

Measuring the countertop

The first step of the project is to mark the cut lines on the laminate countertop. In order to get an accurate result, you need to use a measuring tape and a large T-square. In this manner you can make sure the mark lines are accurate and the corners will be square.

Use a pencil to trace the marks on the laminated face of the countertop. We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of tracing the marks to the countertop accurately, so make sure you double-check all the measurements.

Tracing the cut lines

Tracing the cut lines

 

If you need to cut out a notch in the countertop, then you need to make another mark. Measure the countertop several times, before drawing the guidance line. In addition, check the corners for squareness (unless you have to make angle cuts).

 

 

Preparing the countertop for the cut

Preparing the countertop for the cut

You should notice the cut lines on the countertop. If you don’t have an appropriate blade for the cut, or if you want to prevent chipping the laminated face, you should stick blue tape over the cut lines. Afterwards, trace the guidance lines over the tape. We usually skip this step because we have done it hundreds of times and we always use appropriate tools and blades.

Smart tip: If you don’t have experience in working with this material, you should practice a little on a scrap piece.

Installing the guidance fence

Installing the guidance fence

In order to make sure the cuts will be as straight as possible, you need to install a fence guide, as in the image. Tightly secure the fence to the countertop with several C-clamps. In addition, make sure the blade of the saw goes exactly over the cut line, at both ends.

Smart tip: When cutting a large piece of the countertop, you need to support it under both halves. In this manner, you make sure the blade of the jigsaw won’t be blocked between the two halves.

Aligning the guidance fence

Aligning the guidance fence

From our experience, we recommend you to use a quality jigsaw, as what you get is what you pay for. Nevertheless, the crucial aspect of cutting laminate countertop is to choose a blade with downward oriented teeth. In addition, the blade should have a medium to high tooth count.

Using a blade with upward-orriented teeth is a rookie mistake, as in most of the cases it will chip the laminate countertop. If you don’t have the right blade, you could try to place the countertop with the face down.

Cutting laminate countertop

Cutting laminate countertop

You don’t have to force the jigsaw, on the the contrary, you should let it make the cuts in its own stride. In addition, set the saw at low speeds, otherwise the blade might chip the laminate face of the countertop. You can also make straight cuts using a circular or a table saw.

Smart tip: Investing into a good router is the only way to get perfect cuts. Nevertheless, if you follow these basic instructions, you will be able to get a decent result.

Set up for cutting laminate countertop

Set up for cutting laminate countertop

After making the first cut, you need to install the fence guide perpendicularly and clamp into place tightly. Make sure the blade of the saw will go exactly over the cut line, otherwise the countertop won’t go over the cut line. Hold the saw firmly, otherwise you won’t have a good control and might not get a straight cut.

Smart tip: Vacuum the wood residues regularly, as they could mask the cut line or get under the jigsaw’s shoe.

How to cut laminate flooring

How to cut laminate flooring

 

Last but not least, you should take care of the final touches. Therefore, you could smooth the edges of the countertop with a belt sander, if you are not satisfied with the result.

Smart tip: Don’t forget to wear a pair of safety glasses when making the cut. In addition, vacuum the residues after every cut or use a saw with dust collector.

 

Thank you for reading our article about how to cut laminate countertop and we recommend you to check out the rest of the projects. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

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