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Old 04-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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New Solid Surface Countertops

I am starting a new thread on the installation of my new Solid Surface Counters. I purchased a surplus piece of material made by "Dovae" from SolidSurface.com, https://solidsurface.com . They carry surplus solid surface countertops from Corian and other manufactures in a range of sizes. Click on the "View all surplus items" for a list of pieces and a color snapshot. You can also sort by sizes ranges. I ordered a 50" X 30" piece for my countertop project. That should give me enough to cover the 45" X 29" section where the sink is with enough scraps to fill in around the rangetop area.

My next step is deciding on a new sink. The current double sink is 27" X 16" from edge to edge. That leaves me with about 10" on the right side and about 8" on the left up to the drop down for the range top. I think the depth of the sink is about 7".

Here is a link to American Stonecast Kitchen Sinks for RV's, Residential Homes, Mobile & Modular Homes that have "RV size" sinks. They have a double 60/40 sink that is 25" X 19" and one that is 33" X 10". These sinks can be installed as a drop in or undermount. As an under mount you conserve some usable counter top space. I am also looking at some undermount stainless steel sinks in about the same size range.

I have decided for sure to go with an undermount sink and this brings up my first question, cutting the hole for the sink in the countertop. All of the sinks that I am looking at come with the undermount hardware and a cut-out template. As I understand you can use wood working saws with this material. With a drop in sink I could simply trace the pattern on the material and cut it out without worrying about how smooth the cut was since the sink would wrap over the cutout area. But with an undermount sink the cutout needs to be precise and a router is suggested. I have a router and I have "routed" a few things but I don't believe that I could freehand the cutout with my router. So I would guess that a "guide" for the router to follow would be needed. If I use the template to make guide will a straight edge router blade follow the guide to make my precise cut? Or should the guid be slightly larger than the cutout. Thanks

Don






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Old 04-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Make your template from mdf the exact size of the sink cut out and use a flush cutting router bit with a ball bearing guide. Remember the routerbit will find every imperfection in your template. So make sure that your edges are clean and straight.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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Make your template from mdf the exact size of the sink cut out and use a flush cutting router bit with a ball bearing guide. Remember the routerbit will find every imperfection in your template. So make sure that your edges are clean and straight.
Thanks. That is what I was thinking on the mdf. I did not know the exact term for the router blade so now I can buy one of these and start creating my guide template. I can do some practice cuts on plywood just make sure that it is correct before I move to the countertop material.

Don
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Rainy day project

Well its a rainy and stormy day here in Houston, can't go camping so I brought the A/S home to start on my counter top project. First I removed the old counter top including the small section where the gas range sits. Like other projects that I have done on the A/S I found that the counter top was constructed from the inside out. Most of the screws and rivets that you need to get to are not easily assessable. But with a little prying and jiggling I was bale to get it out. Now It will start reinforcing the frame to make sure that it is sturdy for the new counter top. My solid surface corian type material has arrived but a little works needs to be done before I start triming and cutting out the opening for the new Stainless steel undermount sink. I will takes some pictures and post later today.

Don
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:24 PM   #5
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Exclamation Contingencies Contingencies

Don if and that's only if..
you booger it up with the router work, Will a surface mount sink be available in a size that would cover the flaw?

There are lots of places in Houston that fabricate those surfaces and I would think that they would cut it for you for a minimum charge.

I am still trying to figure the wonderment of these hard and heavy surface sink tops.
I guess I'm one of the few in the world who like ceramic tile or laminate or wood or stainless steel countertops much better. In homes or RVs.
Real estate agents say you cannot sell a house without the fake or real granite stuff. Course real estate agents and creditability are not always related.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Don if and that's only if..
you booger it up with the router work, Will a surface mount sink be available in a size that would cover the flaw?

There are lots of places in Houston that fabricate those surfaces and I would think that they would cut it for you for a minimum charge.

I am still trying to figure the wonderment of these hard and heavy surface sink tops.
I guess I'm one of the few in the world who like ceramic tile or laminate or wood or stainless steel countertops much better. In homes or RVs.
.
Lets not think negative thoughts. The sink comes with a template which I my plan is to transfer to a piece of mdf material to use as a router guide. I am going to buy a flush cutting router bit with a ball bearing guide to make the cut out. It might take me a few tries to get a precise template guide in the mdf but I will try this on a piece of plywood until it looks good. If I could find a fabricator here in my area that would make the cuts at a "reasonable" price I would probally do that. I am looking.

The corian material in the size I need is not all that heavy, a little over 40 lbs. I took out the old sliding shower door in my center bath arrangement that was never used and that should save me about 20lbs. I plan on installing it over a 1/2 plywood base that will be securelly mounted to the existing cabinets after I do some work in reinforcing them. The color of the material should macth great with the new oak cabinet doors that I recently built.

Don
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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Don,

If you can build cabinet doors, you should be able to master the router. I'd do some practicing on the Corian too. A lot of practicing. Seems like you have to buy the sink to get the template and if you aren't perfect, either buy more Corian, or a different sink—Catch 22. They make Corian undermount sinks too but I think they can't take really hot water. I don't think anyone could free hand that kind of cutout. Can you sand Corian to take out imperfections? Don't get a cheap router bit. But the good ones are expensive and might cost as much as having someone else do it.

My little experience with a router makes me feel experience is very important and if it were me, I'd pay someone. I hate paying someone for anything, but an undermount sink is different story for me.

I'm with distantdrummer—I like tile at home and Formica works well for a trailer. Stone is porous and can stain and needs periodic sealing. Some of the synthetic stuff also needs maintenance. The Corian I've seen shows streaks whenever it is cleaned. I'll admit granite can be beautiful, but it's not worth it to me except as a mountain. But I disgress…

I've tried some really hard stuff in my perpetual remodeling projects and mostly it's come out pretty well. There have been some messes. The second time is always easier. Being willing to try to do hard stuff is a good thing, but having it done may be a practical decision. Either way can make sense. Best of luck.

Gene
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Don, I don't think anyone could free hand that kind of cutout. Can you sand Corian to take out imperfections? Gene
No I would not try and freehand cutting the Corian. The suggestions that I have gotten from other forums is to to make rough cut with a jig saw about 1/8" to 1/4" from the actual cut out line. Then use a good router and good flush cut router bit with bearing to follow the template guide attached to the bottom of the material. Yes you can sand the courian to get a smooth edge and to take out imperfections or scratches.

I am going to make a few calls on Monday to see if I can find a solid surface fabricator who may want to make the sink cutout before I jump off on this.

Don
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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You can do this cutout yourself. It's not hard. You can make it easier still by making a rough-cut with a jigsaw about 1/8" in from your template edge before you make the router cut. That way you are only removing a small amount of material with the router and it will be easier to control.
The second thing is that the router bit will leave ripples in the edge of the cutout even with the previous step taken, so you will need to sand the edge of the cutout. plan on it.
The last thing is to rout a small radius into the edge of the cutout on top of the counter- 1/8" to 3/8" radius depending on what you like. The smaller radius is easier to make look good. You will need to sand the radius also. Start with 180 grit or finer sandpaper and go to 240 grit, then finish it with a Scotchbrite pad.
Make sure to seal around the top edge of the sink when you put the counter down on top of it. A thick bead of silicone is traditional.
You can PM me if you have any questions or need more detail.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
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I HAVE WORKED WITH CORIAN AND OTHER SOLID COUNTER TOP MATERIALS. tHEY ARE VERY HARD ON ROUTERS {VERY ABRASIVE} PLUS THEY PRODUCE POWDER FINE LIKE TALC POWDER ALSO GRANITE IN MY OPINION DOES NOT TO BE SEALED AFTER INITIAL COAT i HAVE SPILLED RED WINE &
OTHER SO CALLED STAINERS NO STAINS i HAVE COMP. KITCHEN & BAR TOPS IF YOU CAN FIND SOME ONE TO DO FAB WORK FOR YOU GO FOR IT FARMER BILL PS. I STILL DO SOME CORIAN ETC. ONLY FOR MYSELF.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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Don, Here's a typical stainless steel sink installation detail
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 04-20-2009(3).pdf (390.0 KB, 155 views)
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #12
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The suggestions that I have gotten from other forums is to to make rough cut with a jig saw about 1/8" to 1/4" from the actual cut out line.

Don
This is very solid advice.........ask me how I know.

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Old 04-26-2009, 05:30 PM   #13
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Make sure to seal around the top edge of the sink when you put the counter down on top of it. A thick bead of silicone is traditional.
You can PM me if you have any questions or need more detail.
Rich
Don,

DO NOT USE SILICONE!!!!

I will have to agree that silicone is the traditional method of applying an undermount sink. However, the latest trend is to use epoxy. It is stronger, longer lasting, and sets much faster. There have been many sinks in high dollar homes that ended up in the bottom of the cabinet from silicone failure, along with the resulting water mess, broken pipes, lawsuits, etc. The stainless steel sinks especially don't like silicone.

Use a "kitchen & bath" mildew resistant type siliconized latex caulking after gluing the sink in place to protect the epoxy from water infiltration. I recommend OSI brand, it can be purchased at Lowe's.

Woody
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #14
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Don,

If you can build cabinet doors, you should be able to master the router. I'd do some practicing on the Corian too. A lot of practicing. Seems like you have to buy the sink to get the template and if you aren't perfect, either buy more Corian, or a different sink—Catch 22. They make Corian undermount sinks too but I think they can't take really hot water. I don't think anyone could free hand that kind of cutout. Can you sand Corian to take out imperfections? Don't get a cheap router bit. But the good ones are expensive and might cost as much as having someone else do it.

My little experience with a router makes me feel experience is very important and if it were me, I'd pay someone. I hate paying someone for anything, but an undermount sink is different story for me.

I'm with distantdrummer—I like tile at home and Formica works well for a trailer. Stone is porous and can stain and needs periodic sealing. Some of the synthetic stuff also needs maintenance. The Corian I've seen shows streaks whenever it is cleaned. I'll admit granite can be beautiful, but it's not worth it to me except as a mountain. But I disgress…

I've tried some really hard stuff in my perpetual remodeling projects and mostly it's come out pretty well. There have been some messes. The second time is always easier. Being willing to try to do hard stuff is a good thing, but having it done may be a practical decision. Either way can make sense. Best of luck.

Gene
Gents,

The router is actually one of the easiest tools in the woodworker's arsenal to get accustomed to. The most difficult part is remembering which way to feed the router into the material. Always go against the rotation of the bit. (Think of a circular saw turned flat.)

The other trick is to make sure you keep the base of the router solid and flat on the surface you are working.

I will agree that a bit of practice would sure help.

Whiteside bits are some of my favorites, but a bit pricey.

Whiteside Machine Company

Woody
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