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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once more I am the master of being in over my head. I have to fit kitchen worktops/counters tomorrow morning and I've never done it before in my life! I just want some pointers if it's not too much trouble!

One day I won't be the idiot seeking help but the guy giving it lol
 

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Old School
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Once more I am the master of being in over my head. I have to fit kitchen worktops/counters tomorrow morning and I've never done it before in my life! I just want some pointers if it's not too much trouble!

One day I won't be the idiot seeking help but the guy giving it lol
What are the tops?




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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
solid laminated oak blocks

2400x600x50mm

One straight worktop and one L shape joined worktop
 

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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah thanks! My final concern is that the worktops are going into an 18th century old English cottage... the walls are as straight as a penny. I'm not entirely sure how to mark those out...
 

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Having dealt with walls that were almost that bad, I recommend not trying to fit the counter perfectly.. Fit the tops as well as you can, and use a thin strip of something as a backsplash. Between that and caulk at the top edge it won't be real obvious that the wall ripples.
 

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Your 1st concern ought to be the cabinets being as level as perfect. Last year I remodeled our 125 year old home's kitchen and the kitchen now occupies 3 separate structures - the original very small kitchen, and added pantry and an attached barn. To make a long story short, I started by installing a new sub floor because the original 3 structure match had such a serious mismatched flooring situation, I ended with a slightly noticeable roll in the final floor (noticeable to me).

To install cabinets, the 1st step is to make sure the tops equal a level plane for the counter tops to sit upon. The way to do this is to make a story stick which is a piece of wood with a mark on it equal to the height of the cabinets (usually 34 1/2 inches high). Take your story stick and place it on the highest point of your floor along each wall. At that point, take a long level or laser level system and draw a level line in all directions your cabinets will be installed. You will need to install all your cabinets along that line using shims under the backs to keep them level to the line.

Now comes the difficult part. As you're installing your cabinets, you will need to shim the fronts level to the backs and level to each other. Again you begin at the highest point and work your way to the ends. This is the most difficult part of the operation because when you change the front of a cabinet - it becomes problematic to the adjacent back line.

It's difficult to explain in writing so I'm sure it is difficult in reading the procedure. I hope I didn't confuse you. Once you have the cabinets level you can install your counter tops against the back wall and correct those curves with a back splash.

One procedure I forgot to explain is that the faces of your cabinets also need to be flush to each other. As you try to make these flush, often the tops become uneven. It's a matter of adjusting and re-alignments over and over again until everything aligns perfectly.

But the 1st step is to make sure your 1st cabinet (installed at the floor's highest point) is level in all directions. Work from that point. Good luck and if you have problems along the way, please post pictures so we can better help you. We already have cabinetman involved here so I'm sure we can all help you get through your delima.
 

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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll be on the job site in a few hours so I will post many photos
 

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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
These are the old worktops, in didn't cut them today because some other materials arrived for a higher priority job. So I have one more day to prep!

IMG_00000290.jpg

IMG_00000291.jpg
 

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Now I see you are only installing the counter tops onto already installed cabinets - sorry, I miss-understood.

Like Cabinetman instructs - make a template 1st using inexpensive like luan board. This doesn't have to be the width of the tops because you are only fitting the back of the top to the wall. A 12 inch strip will work fine. Place your template material on top of the existing top, against the wall. Then take a compass (instrument to draw circles on paper with a pencil) and spread the pencil 1 inch from the point of the instrument. Start from 1 end of the counter and run the point against the wall to the other end of the counter while the pencil is on your template. This transfers the wall waves onto the template which once you have it right - use it to cut the new top correctly.
 

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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How shall I join them together? Bolts? Screws? Dowels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The worktops I'm fitting are solid oak which comprises of many 1x1 inch blocks of various length laminated together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Those are the old tops are coming off. The solid oak is replacing them. The oak comes in 3 meter lengths, so I still need to cut them all! Sorry if I didn't make that clear
 

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Carpenter & Joiner
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Because they were glued down and when I took them apart they snapped apart.
 

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I agree in using the old ones as templates. If the fit is good go with it. Otherwise use cardboard and scribe the walls.

If you have never done this I will offer some insight. I would like to start by saying I am no expert in this matter...that said this is how I would do it.

Cut some 2" wide strips of cardboard. Lay one up against the wall and scribe the wall on to it. Then carefully cut it with a utility knife. Test the fit, and when you are satisfied proceed to layout the rest of the top. You basically just lay the strips around the outside of the cabinet in a rectangular fashion. Attaching them together. Giving you an outline if you will. Make sure to allow the desired overhang.

Then transfer that template to the workpiece. You will be able to make your square cuts etc then using a jigsaw cut the scribed line to the wall. Adjust it with a file and sandpaper. Test fit. As always remember measure twice if not 4 times and cut once.

Hope this helps.
 
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