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Old 06-08-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
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Converting an Undermount Sink

Sheesh, I am one cheap SOB. Can't stand paying hundreds for a sink. So I find this Suneli 1815 undermount sink for just over $50. It's about the right size and I like the 7" depth. So as part of making the new counter top (the particle board "prototype" lasted 7+ years, which is waaay overkill), I thought a sophisticated undermount would be just the thing. When it arrived, the top flange looked so attractive I thought I'd try making it into a top mount.

Undermount sinks have no cleats for pulling the sink down to the counter. I used some resin left over from the Pygmy kayaks and glass to attach some homemade cleats. Making the cleats required some 1/8" scrap, some 5/8" X 3" strips of 0.040, and a vise. Then the paint on the outside of the sink was roughed up with 80-grit and the cleats were epoxied on.

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The flange on the sink is so attractive [to me] that I decided to take a big gamble and expose it, flush with the counter top. This required making a template and using a pattern/template cutting router bit to relieve about 3/32" into the plywood. The template was drawn using the sink, but was cut with a sabre saw and then filed/sanded to as perfect a fit as I could manage, manually.

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After that, installation was a snap. The relief area wasn't perfect. There are gap variations of maybe 1/32", which doesn't sound like much, but it's easily visible if you look (that's the risk of doing an inlay, I guess). On the other hand, for a first time using a router like this, I'm giddy happy. The J-trap, as in all my other sink installations, is recessed back towards the shell to allow for more drawer space under the sink.

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The slight "S" curve edging (cherry on the burch plywood), where the counter gets wider, was cut using the same template idea. Why not go to excess when you discover a new technique?

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Old 06-10-2010, 12:53 AM   #2
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Howdy from TEXAS!!! You did a fine job on that sink.....pics will help me to work magic on my new pretty undermount sink.....

Pray, sleep, and enjoy life.....adios...Callie

TAC TX 42
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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That looks beautiful. And you recovered so much counter space!

Q: Is that a veneer counter top?
Other Q: Is that tape you put around your cut line so you wouldn't chip up the veneer?
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pageclot View Post
...
Q: Is that a veneer counter top?
Other Q: Is that tape you put around your cut line so you wouldn't chip up the veneer?
Yes, very thin birch.

No. That's the cut/relief before I cut out the center (you can see the line where the full cut is about to happen). This plywood (unbeknowst to me when I bought it) has two layers of very fine particle board as part of the five-layer sandwich. It's very heavy and I won't be getting it again, but it does cut very nicely. Anyway, that's why the relief area is so uniformly brown. The template helped prevent chipping, since it was down tight to the surface. I did a little test first to make sure.

Part of that "recovered" space is from moving the bedroom aft about a foot. That little task is covered in my Overlander thread.

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