laminate countertop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-22-2009, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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laminate countertop

I just finished a job "re" laminating a countertop, and had an issue with the bearing on the router bit. It would follow the flat surface, but would build up material it was removing on the bearing. Causing the flush cut bit to angle and take a little too much of the laminate. The countertop was "black granite" and it fortunately didn't do it enough to damage a lot of it. The screw ups were easily touched up with sharpie and are unnoticeable.

Has anyone else had problems like this? What do I use to clean the 2 flush cut bits to ensure they're not ruined? Any tips on using a palm router (ridgid r2400) that may be different from using a large/regular router?
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-22-2009, 11:07 PM
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I've used mek to clean bits before and it seemed to work pretty good. As far as tips having the material overhang as lil as possible and there's times illtake multiple passes before I letthe bearing touch. Also try one of the new bits where the bearing doesn't spin but just slides along the edge. I got the cmt with triangle bearing and it doesn't build up or burn as easy.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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Try using lacquer thinner for the clean up, works well for us.
As far as the cutter thing, we use a straight cutter and a laminate file. Try to stay away from the angled ones. When using them it's awfully easy to mess it all up. A file is alot easier to feather the edge to where you want it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-23-2009, 08:15 AM
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an angled bit is way safer than a straight trimmer. just get a 15 degree chamfer not a bevel bit. once you have it set to the correct height it is impossible to mess it up. then file it after to bring it the rest of the way down and darken the line. if you insist on using a straight bit run some masking tape along the edge of the top just to shim you ou the tinyist bit. A straight bit does work but you have the bearing so close to what your cutting off that you run into the same problem that you have. a 15 chamfer will put the bearing further away from the glue and you will not get much buildup. it is also a good idea to oil the bearing before you use it.... stuff wont stick as much and you wont burn your laminate if it gets sticky
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-23-2009, 08:21 AM
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also lacquer thinner will wreck you bearing more than paint thinner. and if you are cleaning you bit while still in the trimmer make sure t have the bit pointed down. we had a few new guys cleaning bits with the bit up and they wrecked the bearings in the trimmers real quick i usually just scrape the glue off with my finger nail while its still hot if you let it sit till it cools it get pretty hard
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-23-2009, 08:42 AM
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I have two theories about flush trim routing. First, using the trim bit with a bearing, having it extended down far enough to clear the routing line will help keep the bearing and the gap between the bearing and the flutes cleaner. But having that length, makes it easier to rout off too much if the router is tipped.

Having the length short, where the flutes are just below the rout line makes it less likely to rout too much because the length is shorter, but is more likely to pick up dried cement and laminate particles.

There may be a happy medium, and my method is how I feel on that day.

As for cleaning, lacquer thinner will dissolve the glue and makes the glue gummy unless it is thoroughly cleaned. I prefer to use mineral spirits as it makes the glue "break away" from the bit and laminate faster and cleaner than lacquer thinner without dissolving it. VM&P Naptha will also work well if the glue is wetted. It will keep the glue intact with itself and cleanly break away from metal or laminate parts.

A clean bit spot sprayed with WD-40 will be less likely to garner a buildup, and will lubricate the bearing. Before I start I put a couple of drops of air tool oil on the bearing and on top of the bearing which helps a lot.

A stuck or frozen bearing that "locks up" can start spinning with the bit and wind up burning the laminate where it rides. So, it's important to keep an eye on it.

I find using a trim router works best with trimming as it can be controlled with one hand, and is less tiring. It takes much less surface to feel when the router base is flat than a full size router with the larger base.

If using a "bevel" bit to put the bevel on the laminate, keep in mind that a straight bit should be used first. The laminate should be cleaned off so the bevel bit has a clean and unobstructed surface to run on. One problem with bevel bits is that because the depth set for the bit determines how much to rout off, very little of the flute ever gets used. But I use them quite a bit doing kitchen work because of how much routing and filing there is to do. If I use a bevel bit, I leave the edge slightly full, so there is minimal filing to do.

Other than the flush trim bits with a bearing and bevel trim bits with a bearing there are pilot bits without bearings for both flush trim and for bevel trimming.

There is a "no-file" bit, that some use. I find they work well if they are adjusted perfectly and if the working rout line is kept clean. All in all, I rather use a flush trim and bevel and then file off the edge.






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post #7 of 11 Old 01-23-2009, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
One problem with bevel bits is that because the depth set for the bit determines how much to rout off, very little of the flute ever gets used.
that is the only problem with them i go through at least 2 sharp bits a week
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-19-2009, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
that is the only problem with them i go through at least 2 sharp bits a week
thats why i use these

http://www.amanatool.com/bits-fv/rc-1008.html
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-09-2009, 10:39 PM
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Not a bad idea to smear some oil (machine or vegetable) on the overhang (top & bottom) and where the pilot touches.
The oil keeps the 'chips' from coagulating and they spit out onto the floor instead of gathering on the bit.
Or use a slightly larger pilot bearing on the first pass to get rid of most of the veneer. Then go back over it with a flush trim and some oil.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-09-2009, 11:43 PM
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glue

what kinda glue are you using? Is is sprayed on or brushed on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRecklessOne View Post
I just finished a job "re" laminating a countertop, and had an issue with the bearing on the router bit. It would follow the flat surface, but would build up material it was removing on the bearing. Causing the flush cut bit to angle and take a little too much of the laminate. The countertop was "black granite" and it fortunately didn't do it enough to damage a lot of it. The screw ups were easily touched up with sharpie and are unnoticeable.

Has anyone else had problems like this? What do I use to clean the 2 flush cut bits to ensure they're not ruined? Any tips on using a palm router (ridgid r2400) that may be different from using a large/regular router?
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-10-2009, 01:29 AM
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I don't use bearing bits for trimming plastic laminate. Never have and probably never will. In any case we must keep a sharp eye on the surfaces that we are routing. You got lucky my friend that your color was black.
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