Cutting counter top

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I am reconfigurating a craft room. I have 2 preformed 8 ft counter tops that make and L shape with a 45 degree cut in the corner. I want to cut one of the 8ft from the straight edge down to 36 inches. the other one down to 6ft from the straight edge. I know I have to clamp a straight edge to cut these for the plate of the tool.
My question is:
Do I cut it it from the MDF side or the laminate side. Best tool? circular saw, or var. speed orbital jig saw.
If circular saw do I use laminate blade or combination blade. If I can use my jig saw which I am more comfortable with, what blade do I use. I have a Dewalt var. speed orbital jig saw.
I have also seen some place that it is best to put a piece of tape along the laminate side where you are trimming it down to reduce chipping of laminate.
Thanks for help.
Pat.
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I just did this in a hobby room, Pat.
I tried a circular saw with a plywood blade first. It just burned the laminate and was too difficult to control. Then I tried a jigsaw, and the cut was all over the place.
I ended up using a plain old-fashioned handheld carpenter's crosscut saw (my partner's teenage boys call this an "acoustic saw"). It went through the particle board and the laminate like butter, and was MUCH easier to control than either a jigsaw or circular saw. Got a good, straight 90-degree cut the first time, with a little care.
Some touch-up with a sanding block and I was ready to apply the edge strip.
Yes, tape the cut area first, and use the tape to mark your cut line.
-Frank
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--WebTV-Mail-18111-3076 Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
Thanks for information. laminate side down or up?
Pat.
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Pat wrote:

You want the teeth of the blade to push the laminate toward the MDF when cutting.
Normal jigsaw blades and circular saw blades cut upwards so if you use a normal blade you want the laminate side down.
If you use a downward cutting blade, you want the laminate side on top.
If you are cutting off a reasonable sized piece then you can try cutting through the scrap part first for a practice.
You could also try using a Japanese pull saw (a hand saw) which costs about $15. These have very fine teeth and cut on the pull stroke so they cut straight and fine. The cut is very clean - much better than most handsaws and comparable to a fine blade on a circular saw.
Another method is to cut through the laminate with a Stanley knife before cutting the MDF with a power saw.
Do you have any matching laminate to cover the cut edges or will that be hidden against a wall?
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I have never seen a Japanese saw at what you guys call the Borge, HD or Lowes. But I do have a Woodcraft store near me that I deal with all the time. Would they carry that saw?
It would be nice if the cut ends were going against the wall , but no.
The counter tops are butcher block so I know I can get an edge pieces at HD or Lowes.
All this just to fit a computer desk in that small room. The counter heights now are 36' high, too high for comfortable seating at a computer.
Thanks , I'll let you know how all your help works out.
Pat.
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I have never seen a Japanese saw at what you guys call the Borge, HD or Lowes. But I do have a Woodcraft store near me that I deal with all the time. Would they carry that saw?
yes
It would be nice if the cut ends were going against the wall , but no.
The counter tops are butcher block so I know I can get an edge pieces at HD or Lowes.
All this just to fit a computer desk in that small room. The counter heights now are 36' high, too high for comfortable seating at a computer.
36' is pretty high. how high is the ceiling?
Thanks , I'll let you know how all your help works out.
Pat.
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The ceilings here are 90 inches high ( 7 1/2 ft.) give or take an inch or so. Nothing is ever plumb. I am getting rid of a couple of cabinets and cutting down the counter tops. and in that empty space I am instaling a small computer desk.
Pat.
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wrote:

I've done this using the preformed tops you get at the Borgs. I used a jigsaw for the cuts, with a special blade that has only downward facing teeth, preventing chipping of the laminate. I used tape to protect the top from the base of the jigsaw, clamped a straightedge and cut from the laminate side. A few passes with the belt sander and you can't tell that it wasn't professionally done.
The key is getting the right blade to cut the laminate.
--
Jim Sullivan
seattle, washington
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