Yesterday I tried to put the new melamine countertop (Kober) to my kitchen
with awful results: I should buy a new one and redo everything. The
principal problem was to cut the 45degree to make the two pieces to meet in
the vertice of the "L" I could not make the two pieces to join in an
acceptable (not only for my wife but for myself) way. After recutting and
strightening both angled cuts some times I ended with one of the pieces
shorter than planned for more than 2 inches, but the worse of all was that
the length of the two cuts were different. I mean when you try to align the
two pieces in the "L" vertex, if you make the front of the counter to match,
then the back of one of the pieces was longer by a half inch than the other
piece. My answer is the angle is not 45 degree exactly. One of the pieces
have an angle greather than the other. Even I make both to get aligned, the
difference in angle makes one of the cuts to be longer than the other. To
make the things worse (or better?) I make an error cutting the sink so I
should throw away one of the pieces. Then I'm facing the same problem for
the next weekend: How to cut a perfect 45 angle for the countertop?
The available tools are: a circular saw, a jigsaw, a small 1hp router, a
miter saw. I marked the 45 degree by using a scholar rule (such that have
the shape of a rectangle triangle, sorry, I don't know how to spell this in
english) Then I fixed a fence to the bottom side of the counter and make the
first cut with the circular saw. There where many problems: The bottom side
of the counter is not flat. It has a protuberance at the leading edge. Other
problem is the trailing edge that forms the back of thr counter is too high
to be cutted by the circular saw so I should finish the cut with a hand saw.
Other problem I identify is that after make the angled cut I made the other
side cuts (I mean the stright angle cuts) on the other extreme of the
pieces. I wanted to test the angled cuts by putting the pieces right over
the base cabinets, and to do that I needed to size both pieces to fit into
the kitchen. It was an error: The angled cuts were not good enought to fit
on the first shoot, so I needed to recut and restright resulting in
shortening the length of both pieces.
My plan for the next attempt is to make a replica of the angled walls of the
kitchen. Then first cut the 45 degrees angles and redo that cut up to fit.
Then after that cut both pieces to the right length. To cut the 45 degrees
may be I use the mitter saw. Just to be able to cut the extra height of the
counter back, and to mark the right angle for cutting the rest with the
circular saw or by using first the jigsaw and strighten after that with the
router. Other ideas?
Any suggestion for well doing this job is welcomed.
Thanks for your patience for reading this looooooong post
First, have you checked that the walls actually meet at a 90 degree
angle? You might want to verify that first.
As for the cut itself...maybe just pay a custom countertop place to cut
it for you?
I would have a counter top shop come out and measure/cut/fit if it
needs to be mitered. By the time I figure out how long it takes to go
pick up the top, set it up for cut, adjust for correct angle on the
miter, cut out the sink and then install the top... I haven't saved but
a few bucks doing it myself.
I have chipped too many tops in transit and spent wayyyy too long
trying to get a field cut miter correct.
OTOH, if you insist on doing it, most of the places where you buy the
postform can tell you who can cut it for you. But you will still be
liable for safe transportation of the top to and from the site to the
cutter, all measurements, fit, and installation. Knowing what you know
now, get a quote and see what the difference is between continuing on
yourself (and looking at your work you might or might not be happy with
for several more years) or having someone do it for you.
If the objective is to get the countertop installed as quickly,
professionally and cheaply as possible, then you should not be doing
it. Sorry. You've had an expensive learning experience. The odds of
you having another expensive learning experience on your second attempt
are only a little bit improved. You can order a mitered countertop at
one of the big box stores, or you can have a local guy come measure and
take care of the whole job. Unless you're not putting much value on
your time, and are willing to live with your visible mistakes, the
second alternative makes more sense. If you choose to have a big box
store fabricate and deliver the countertop, they're just going to sub
it out to someone local anyway and take their cut.
Make some calls. You might be surprised to find that a local
fabricator's price might not be all that higher.
It appears that you are using "post-formed" countertop material.
This is available from LOWES and Home Depot to order and in sections with
the 45 already cut (fewer colors available but left and right pieces in
Best bet is to order sections from Lowes/HD and order a SCRIBE Back (excess
laminate to allow scribing to walls which are not as square as they can make
the counter top.
HD Used to send a guy out to measure for $30 and credit same to the cost of
the counter top ordered (so "Measure" was free) and would warranty a fit!
Granted, this is usually a more expensive route, but if you are sure you can
screw it up as you have proven so far) it may prove cheaper for you to get a
semi-custom counter top this way.
To get the correct angle you'll want to bisect it. Use the process
described here to do it
that way both angled cuts will be the same length. Sounds like a right
pain, good luck :)
thats a great start. I wonder how accurate a cut using that layout
technique is when cutting with a circ saw?
Is this how one would approach this?:
Assuming that the ends of the counters are square and right at the ends you
could calculate the distance from the ends to the meeting inside corner,
then do the geometry twice, once on each piece, with the calculated
distances above to start the point (A) on each piece.
Wait, theres something missing. You could lay up a piece to assist layout,
but can't do both at once. I prefer calculus.
Besides the fact the cut is iffy, and the filler, overlapping glue-on may be
the way to go
Put one uncut sheet on. Coat the end of it with spray adhesive
of a sort that doesn't ooze, but which you can easily clean off.
put cardboard on the other branch as a spacer.
lay the second sheet in IT's place overlapping the first,
so that the spray adhesive sticks it in place.
Once it dries, pull them out a little and clamp, because
you can't trust adhesive.
Then cut from the inside corner to the outside corner
through BOTH sheets similtaneously. Cut
a serpentine line, just to prove you can.
Can you cut both parts at the same time? I needed to do similar with
plywood (I did my countertop different, will get to that in a bit). I laid
one sheet on one side, then the other on top of the first then clamped them
together, carefully slid them out together after making a few marks to
check that they didn't move, then marked one line and cut both at the same
time, that way the cuts lined up together.
For my countertop I used the laminate sheets you glue down yourself. I had
an L shaped section so I placed two thin sheets of material down, one long
and one short, then a second layer on top of that with the long sheet on
top of the shorter one and the shorter one on top of the longer one so they
interlocked, then glued the laminate down and patched it together at the
tink so there was only a short joint in front of and behind the sink.
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