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Old 04-06-2016, 07:16 AM   #1
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2016 FC: Sharp Edges on Formica Counters

Hi, we bought a 2016 27' FC FB in December. Love our AS. We are on our inaugural trip out west.

Many if not most of the formica countertop edges were left with a very sharp 90 deg edge from the factory. In looking closely at the edge, the finish strip glued to the edge was left straight up, and at a very sharp angle / edge to it, where it joins the horizontal part of the counter.

I've found that, as a new AS owner, I've banged my hands into these edges several times, enough that it is painful.

Is there a preferred way to relieve this sharp edge?

I was just going to get some fine sand paper and gently rub down the edge to give it a slight rounded off profile. Another thought was to use an emery board and gently file the edge at a 45 deg angle to do the same thing. Of course, I don't want to incite Panic from my wife when I come into the trailer with tools in hand to make a modification to her beautiful interior, so I am asking the experts.

Thanks!

Rich
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:38 AM   #2
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I have the same problem. The dinette table bugs me so much I am thinking of changing it out!
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:41 AM   #3
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Typical...
A wood block with "crocus cloth" (mechanics emery cloth) which you purchase on a spool from NAPA or other high end Auto Parts store will give a smooth sanded area.. Very LOW pressure. You can "round off" the edge or sand carefully at desired angle.. Remember... Go along the edge, not at a sharp angle so you do not chip the edge.

You can also use a router with a bearing to keep it true on the edge.. That is what professionals use. They then "feather by hand sanding" in the tight spots.

If uncomfortable with this, get dealer to fix. It is a safety issue. Unfortunately not the only one on the new Airstreams I have seen.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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I would try a fine emery board at a 45 degree angle to the horizontal (or vertical) in an inconspicuous place until you get the result you want. I would not use any power tools to do this.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
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Lland088, there is nothing wrong with your approach. Get one of those fingernail boards with four sections of light to polish finish grit and have at it. It does not take much to round over the sharp edge so it doesn't cut into skin, just avoid the coarser grits. All the methods mentioned above work: specialty tools are overkill.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:45 AM   #6
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Boy am I glad to see this thread! I cut myself on the sharp edge of the countertop above the refrigerator. I was pondering how to sand it down without chipping the edge....I will definitely follow this thread.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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On my first trip out with the brand new 25' FC, FB, THE EDGES OF the dinette seats carved gouges into my leg behind the knee.
So I took photos of the 'damage" and showed them to the dealer in London. The guy rounded the edges somehow and it was good.
No more leg damage.😊
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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Formica is a very hard material. When I apply it to countertops in my workshop, I use a carbide router bit to round over the edge. For spots that I can't get to with a router, I use a medium metal file and it works very well. I like the rigid file as it provides control as to exactly where I want to apply the pressure. An emery board may work but be prepared for possibly slow removal of material if doing a lengthy edge. For sandpaper, I suggest wrapping the paper around something rigid such as a small piece of wood.

I also find it works better to move the tool lengthwise along the sharp edge as you remove the material. (don't sand/file vertically up and down in one single spot)

Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:32 PM   #9
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when I made my counter top I did the final edge touch ups with a rigid file at 45 .... worked great .......but at what you paid I would scream blue murder to the dealer!! Doesn't sound like your the only one!
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:31 PM   #10
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If you need a color matched filler, here it is: http://www.kampelent.com/seamfil.php
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddbisho View Post
I use a medium metal file and it works very well. I like the rigid file as it provides control as to exactly where I want to apply the pressure.
I also find it works better to move the tool lengthwise along the sharp edge as you remove the material. (don't sand/file vertically up and down in one single spot)
When our 2002 was new, the edge banding on all cabinets and doors had edges sharp enough to cut our hands. Having had experience with Formica, I did just as ddbisho suggests and used a file (a fine-cut mill bastard file) and rounded every edge. The result? A luxurious feel for all doors and edges.

If you use a file, most effective is filing lengthwise from the surface slightly towards the glue line and at an angle that give you a bit of a chamfered cut. Then use the file to round the resulting edge. No sandpaper is necessary

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Old 04-07-2016, 09:06 PM   #12
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I think I touched ours lightly with a file moving carefully and slowly along the edge, file almost flat to the top and then side surface. I don't think you really want to round it off much, just enough to take a tiny edge of the top then side laminate. If you expose the plywood underneath it can absorb water, possibly expand. Take it easy, you can remove too much material quickly.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:14 PM   #13
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Sharp edges on formica counters.

Hi, I didn't have this problem with my trailer, but I did have it with my new house. I cut my arm open a few times before I finally fixed it. I used a metal finger nail file to smooth out the sharp corners.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:51 PM   #14
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Problem solved.

Bought a set of coarse, medium and fine emery paper at Lowe's. I wrapped the fine around a soap container to use as a block, and gently rubbed the sharp edges down. Ran a damp cloth over, edge is much smoother now.

Just a couple strokes is all it took.

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Old 11-22-2016, 07:20 AM   #15
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Wondering if anybody knows the manufacturer of the formica ? I was thinking of having the edge retrimed by a counter top shop with a better shaped edge . There are many styles of matching or contrasting materials . If I could color match with same brand that might look nice ,what do you think ?
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:29 AM   #16
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Yeah, I've already hashed my pretty bald dome on that stuff while digging under the counter too.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:36 AM   #17
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My 2 cents

My father installed formica countertops for years. He always finished the edge with a rigid file. He installed the edge strip of the formica first and then put the large flat top surface piece of formica on, so that the sharp edge you're talking about was on the top/flat piece of formica and not the edge piece. He would then hold the file at a 45 degree angle from the edge, and always use a downward motion so that the pressure presses the fomica to the underlying wood and not pull it off of the wood. He wouldn't move the file straight down though; as he moved the file downward, he also moved it horizontally. He used light pressure - just enough to knock off the sharp edge. Visually, you couldn't tell that he had even done it, but you could feel the difference with your fingers.

Of course, if the surface piece was put on the counter before the edge strip, then the sharp edge you're talking about is on the vertical piece of formica, and you would want to move the file upward rather than downward, so that the pressure presses the formica towards/onto the cabinet.

Hope that made sense. It's kind of difficult to explain in words without showing pictures.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:25 AM   #18
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rlhendren describes an excellent way to relieve some of the sharp edge. You cannot really round it without exposing the plywood underneath, and water/liquids will begin to ruin the whole thing.

We have used this rigid file method on two Airstreams, it works very well and you have good control. Proceed carefully, you just want to take off a tiny bit of the edge.

I found an area on the table top where the trim was slightly higher than the surface. I took a razor sharp chisel, laid it flat on the table top, and moved it slowly around the trim edge being careful to always push inward towards the table, never pushing the trim away. Take your time.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:16 PM   #19
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Does anyone recall "buffing" a shoe? A spit of colored wax/polish rub in well to generate heat so wax is absorbed.. then a flat thin rag is kept taut between hands and the center of the rag applied to and pulled across the shoe.

Well, same here. Get some "mechanics abrasive paper" (ultra fine emery cloth called "Crocus cloth").. you will only find at best supplier houses . Take a foot or so, use a buffing motion at a 45 degree attack vertically and horizontally... buff very lightly!!! Run from one spot to the end or turn of the edge. Don't polish too much in one spot. Polish to happy level.

Now, with a folded cloth, gently rub along the underside of the dropped edge. Be careful not to not slip and cut yourself on any of the above.

Oh.. this, plus valve grinding compound (ultrafine) applied to a sanding block works too, but messier ( also good for repair of foggy headlight lenses... finish the headlights with clear coat buffing compound, wash then wax. )
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:36 AM   #20
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Kinda late joining in on the conversation but YouTube "Airstream How To: Edgebanding Repairs". Airstream technicians teaching other technicians how to make various AS repairs. Good belated luck!
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