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Old 03-20-2007, 12:53 AM   #15
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...I would try a slightly angled router bit instead of the 90-degree. I think they come in different angles (without running out to the garage to check). If sett shallow, it'll just put a slight eased edge on it which also helps when it comes to catching & ripping off the laminate on a snagged shirt, belt loop etc. Try it on a test piece first...just to see if it goes better and to test the depth settings.

2-Wing Bevel Laminate Trim

Just my limited two-cents. Sorry you are having so much trouble...this sort of thing drives me nutz! Maybe it's time to take a breather from this project & go try something else for awhile ~

Good luck ~

Shari
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Yep. That must be it.

I was thinking I'll just make a new top all together when I get some more time. Frustration has set in.

Neil, are you suggesting the file to make it a true 90 then re-laminate?
Well, you will have to re-laminate because you need to get a flush meeting of the top laminate over the edge, face (which I am sure you laminated and trimmed before gluing the top laminate). If you decide not to remake the counter, and you don't have too because you may just goof the next edge too. Here is how I would trim it. First laminate your 1 1/2" - 2" edge and trim that with your router. Then cut the top laminate to as close to fitting leaving maybe about 1/8" overlap especially where you are having your problem. Carefully glue the top in place. If the only place your router is digging in is on that short side don't trim that with the router. Trim the other sides with it. Then get a flat fine to medium file and work down vertically slowly until you get the idea. Hold the file vertically at a very slight angle in towards the top of the counter and file downward and along the edge at the same time. Kinda like a ferrier files a horseshoe on a hoof. Just be gentle. Carefull not to cut in beyond the edge's (face) thickness. Don't worry about the slight inward angle..you shouldn't want a sharp 90 degree edge anyway. I hope I have described the process clearly.

We live a half of a big state from each other otherwise I would come and help/do it for you.

Neil.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:49 AM   #17
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Are you sure it is not the bit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
... I picked up a new flush trim bit w/ball bearing. ... It happend again for the third try!
Are you using a using a good quality bit? Perhaps the new bearing is either undersized or pre-worn-out (too much slop) right out of the box.

Lay the bit near the corner of a flat, hard surface, and put your thumb on the bearing. Then rotate the shaft I see if the carbide scrapes the surface appreciably.

If all else fails, mask the edge laminate with a layer of masking tape before trimming the top laminate. The tape's thickness will keep protect the surface from the bit. If the top laminate is not flush enough, then hand-file the few thousandths remaining.

Tom
p.s. I have done this before, and it works.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:01 AM   #18
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Been there, done that

Tim,

I know exactly what you're going through. The guy at the counter top place did it like it was nothing but when I did it, I had to be really careful (and still had some gouges). He used a swab of vaseline on the laminate where the bearing came in contact with the laminate. He used a Rotozip (or similar), same as me. It seams a large router would be bulky.

The masking tape idea is a good one as well. The idea is to cut the edge off flush and use a file to bevel the corner. (That's what the professionals do.)

I think I replaced the edges on my first table about 3 times before I could live with it (and it had one or two small "spots").

Hang in there but don't quit your day job!
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
...I would try a slightly angled router bit instead of the 90-degree. I think they come in different angles (without running out to the garage to check). If sett shallow, it'll just put a slight eased edge on it which also helps when it comes to catching & ripping off the laminate on a snagged shirt, belt loop etc. Try it on a test piece first...just to see if it goes better and to test the depth settings.

2-Wing Bevel Laminate Trim

Just my limited two-cents. Sorry you are having so much trouble...this sort of thing drives me nutz! Maybe it's time to take a breather from this project & go try something else for awhile ~

Good luck ~

Shari


Shari, your suggestion is a really good one I used to use those bits myself. But since I got my laminate trimmers I really don't need to anymore as I've become quite proficient in using the straight bits without any difficulty. But those bits are really great as you can adjust them up and down gauging how much of the laminate you cut off. By raising it up at its highest point where it still cuts you leave a slight edge over hang in with a bevel. The amount that is left is not very much to file off. You have to file no matter what you do as the edge that is left is fairly sharp and will cut you if you don't file it. From the look of the gouge that is left by your last trim section it appears to me that your bit is still to low. Keep raising it up until you just cut the laminate. If you're over hang is larger than a 1/4" you're leaving too much you need to cut it closer to the edge so you do not have to apply so much strength to push the router through the cut. What I do for my to laminating I allow the glue to dry to the touch and then I put 1/4" sticks in between the top surface in the laminate to keep it from sticking until I can position it properly. I have also used newspaper for this but the glue needs to be completely dry to use the paper as it may stick otherwise usually takes about an hour. Make sure the base of your router is secured tightened if you is at all lose it'll cause those cuts into the edge as it will be tipping. Also if you are trying to cut the larger overhang you have a tendency to push harder in the wrong direction thus making the router tip in to the cut. Other things will help as well like as suggested putting gasoline on the vertical helps somewhat we used to do that before they put bearings on the bottom of the cutters. The Roto-zip hasnít any bearings. This is why they need the Vaseline. But if you let these trimmers in one spot too long it does not matter how much Vaseline you apply it will still burn. When you do you're trimming it is imperative that you keep the router at a 90 angle to the cut any variation will cause these burnouts. It looks to me as if your counters are at 90 degrees to the top if they are not you must make it so. You know that you can delaminate Formica with lacquer thinner, just don't let it hit any of the other finish as it will dissolve it. Do this in a well ventilated area wearing a toxic mask filter and neoprene gloves. I always do my Formica laminating on the countertops before I install them.These burnouts rarely happened to me as I eliminate all of the issues that I mentioned above. It is too costly to make mistakes like this when you're in the business wasted material and wasted time cost me big$$. Please look at your equipment make sure it is proper for the job. When pressing down the laminate I usually take a 6 inch cut off 2 x 4 and use it as a press by tipping it in 45į angle to the surface and rubbing it all across the top. I also have a rubber rollers for this as well. I am suggesting the block as there is no need for you to go out and buy the roller for one job. Again good luck be careful and much hope in your success.
SaabLover
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:37 AM   #20
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Thanks guys. I'll give it another go.

But I'll have to dig my router up out of the hole I buried it in....
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:31 PM   #21
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Tim (good name),

You have received a lot of good advice, both with regard to using a router and trimming that edge by hand. I have trimmed a lot of formica using a bit with a bearing guide and an enormous old router and have not had the problem you have encountered. It is probable that your edge is not square to the top surface or you are slightly tilting the router when you get close to that corner where your problem occurs. The latter can happen very, very easily because the router is vibrating and the area of the support surface is getting progressively less as you approach the corner.

For such a small countertop, doing the job by hand is a snap. You can trim the surface formica very close to the edging with a block plane (careful not to chip the corners) and then do the rest with a fine mill-cut file. I suggest "draw filing" which means using two hands (one on each end of the file) and pulling the file towards you. That way you can easily see and control the angle of the file.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:40 PM   #22
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Second the hand file turned 45 degrees from most agressive tooth-cut angle and two-hand strokes and take your time...
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:19 PM   #23
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Fourth time's the charm?

Finally got it after four tries . Never give up, never surrender.

I tried a number of things different.

1. Made an entriely new counter top
2. Used my skill saw to cut the edges straight after I added the 1/2" edge molding
3. Sanded the edges of the laminate as each piece was applied
4. Put two layers of tape across the edges before trimiming the top.
5. Moved the router more quickly and in a back and forth manner
6. Went wide around the corner then back toward it, instead of hugging it around

Who know which if these helped, but this one's done finally! Should be a few more to do. Thanks everyone for the help.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:21 PM   #24
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Looks great, whatever worked!
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Finally got it after four tries . Never give up, never surrender.

I tried a number of things different.

1. Made an entriely new counter top
2. Used my skill saw to cut the edges straight after I added the 1/2" edge molding
3. Sanded the edges of the laminate as each piece was applied
4. Put two layers of tape across the edges before trimiming the top.
5. Moved the router more quickly and in a back and forth manner
6. Went wide around the corner then back toward it, instead of hugging it around

Who know which if these helped, but this one's done finally! Should be a few more to do. Thanks everyone for the help.
I know that you could do it as long as you did everything that everyone here advised. WOW!!

As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up... and never surrender.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:44 AM   #26
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Congrats! I am just getting ready to do some countertops. I got a lot of good advice here that will help me. Thanks SaabLover for the suggestion about using a 2x4 rather than buying a roller for one project.
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