how do i cut formica without chipping the edge? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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how do i cut formica without chipping the edge?

I have to cut a piece of formica counter top and do not want a raggedy edge. what blade and what preperation?
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 11:07 AM
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With a lot of care and even more luck.

You need a fine tooth saw blade. Preferably one which states it is for laminated media.

Score the cut line with a sharp knife.
Apply masking tape across the cut line.

If the counter flat or does it have a backsplash?.

Ideally you want the blade cutting on the up stroke, so if the top were flat lay it down on the laminate side, ideally on a piece of foam, thick cardboard or plywood to allow the the blade and to support the laminate.

If you have a backsplash you could lay plywood up to the backsplash, but you are likely to have to take your chances with the backsplash.

If not backsplash another option is to cut wide with the circ saw and follow up with a router and a trim bit. Will need a fence since will not be able to use the edge to guide the bearing.

Good luck. I hate cutting countertop. Too frustrating. Too many ways for "Murphy" to get involved.
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Rielly View Post
I have to cut a piece of formica counter top and do not want a raggedy edge. what blade and what preperation?



Do you mean you want to cut just the piece of laminate, or a countertop that has laminate already glued to it?









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post #4 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 02:00 PM
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I just use a straight edge and cut a formica counter top from the back side with a circular saw.
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post #5 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 05:56 PM
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Most, if not all, of the blades I've seen designed for laminates are TCG grinds.
http://www.buyfreudtools.com/index.p...tegoryId=57995

If you don't want to pop for the blade, use the tape as the next best option.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood

Last edited by jschaben; 07-15-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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post #6 of 32 Old 07-15-2012, 06:12 PM
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Just like what Jshaben says.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-24-2012, 05:27 PM
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I always use a laminate scoring blade and then snap the laminate like glass.
http://www.stanleytools.com/default....ng+Knife+Blade
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post #8 of 32 Old 09-18-2012, 09:22 AM
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This may not be the best way....but it works. Turn your saw blade around, tape, mark, and score your line then cut slowly.
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post #9 of 32 Old 09-18-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
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This may not be the best way....but it works. Turn your saw blade around, tape, mark, and score your line then cut slowly.


It would be nice for you to introduce yourself. This thread is about 2 months old and the OP has likely found a way or has competed his project, as he hasn't come back to address his own thread.

As for your suggestion, carbide tipped saw blades aren't designed to be run in a reversed position. It can be a safety hazard. There is the potential for teeth to get knocked off or damaged.









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post #10 of 32 Old 09-18-2012, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post



It would be nice for you to introduce yourself. This thread is about 2 months old and the OP has likely found a way or has competed his project, as he hasn't come back to address his own thread.

As for your suggestion, carbide tipped saw blades aren't designed to be run in a reversed position. It can be a safety hazard. There is the potential for teeth to get knocked off or damaged.














.

+ 1 on that, besides when I first heard about doing that years ago I tried it and ended up with a bigger mess. I'm thinin it should be something Mythbusters could bust.

John

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post #11 of 32 Old 09-18-2012, 11:56 AM
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As per your request...My name is Charlie, I have been a carpenter/cabinetmaker for over 20 years I still have all of my fingers and not even a stitch from an accident. I usually do not join forums due to the fact that some ego's get in the way of practical suggestions, after careful review of several posts I did not see any of the usual...so I joined. There are always several different ways of completing a task, and each is allowed his own opinion. I apoligize to the guy with 14,000+ posts, I guess I do not have the experience to post on this site either. I will let you guys get back to ruling your roost.
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post #12 of 32 Old 09-18-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieC View Post
As per your request...My name is Charlie, I have been a carpenter/cabinetmaker for over 20 years I still have all of my fingers and not even a stitch from an accident. I usually do not join forums due to the fact that some ego's get in the way of practical suggestions, after careful review of several posts I did not see any of the usual...so I joined. There are always several different ways of completing a task, and each is allowed his own opinion. I apoligize to the guy with 14,000+ posts, I guess I do not have the experience to post on this site either. I will let you guys get back to ruling your roost.
Sorry you were offended because I disagreed with you. Good Luck

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #13 of 32 Old 09-19-2012, 07:27 AM
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Sorry Guys

I apologize to cabinetman and jschaben, even though it has worked well for me in the past many times...I should have never posted an unsafe way of doing anything. I also apologize for losing my temper...bad habit... I am sure you both are very good guys with a wealth of knowledge. Have a blessed day
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post #14 of 32 Old 09-19-2012, 07:36 AM
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This may not be the best way....but it works. Turn your saw blade around, tape, mark, and score your line then cut slowly.
The backward blade method was an old trick that evolved when saw blades were steel tipped.....a carbide tipped saw blade turned backward would no longer be supported by the steel shoulder and would be at high risk of eventually having the carbide separated from the blade body and possibly being mated to a human body....not something any modern blade manufacture would suggest. Taping and scoring are safe and effective ways to reduce tearout. (No matter how much experience we have, there's always something we can learn. I think this is a pretty nice group of open minded folks Charlie, even if everyone doesn't agree with your views or ideas. Groups like this can enlighten us to new ways and ideas that we'd otherwise have no way of knowing about. The first thing we learned in the old days isn't always the best way, and certainly isn't he only way. We don't have to be in agreement on everything to get along....hope you'll give them a chance, and maybe teach us something new too.)

A blade with a steep top bevel like a Hi-ATB grind will give the cleanest possible cut of any other grind....the steeper the bevel, the lower the tearout. When combined with high precision manufacturing and a high tooth count, you'll have the best possible blade....Infinity 010-080 Ultrasmooth, Forrest Duraline, Freud LU80, CMT 210.080.10, Amana MB10-800. Using one of those blades along with taping and scoring should yield as good of a cut as you can get.

Last edited by knotscott; 09-19-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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post #15 of 32 Old 09-19-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
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This may not be the best way....but it works. Turn your saw blade around, tape, mark, and score your line then cut slowly.
I though you were implying a jig saw blade, because I use a jigsaw and a down-cutting blade - works great.
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post #16 of 32 Old 09-19-2012, 12:45 PM
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I though you were implying a jig saw blade, because I use a jigsaw and a down-cutting blade - works great.
That does work better than an upcutting blade for wood. I've had the best luck if using a jig saw with using metal cutting blades.





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post #17 of 32 Old 09-19-2012, 06:25 PM
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Straight edge and a router if your letting the bearing rest on Formica use Vaseline on the Formica edge

May not be right but it's how I do it
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post #18 of 32 Old 11-24-2012, 10:47 PM
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I have always used the score and tape method
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post #19 of 32 Old 11-27-2012, 05:59 PM
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I've always cut my laminates over sized and trimmed with a laminate trimmer. Using a thin kerf TCB has always given me a nice cut.
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post #20 of 32 Old 12-06-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post


It would be nice for you to introduce yourself. This thread is about 2 months old and the OP has likely found a way or has competed his project, as he hasn't come back to address his own thread.

As for your suggestion, carbide tipped saw blades aren't designed to be run in a reversed position. It can be a safety hazard. There is the potential for teeth to get knocked off or damaged.









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The best part tho is all of the smoke alarms in the area go off!
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