May 18, 2009

DIY Countertop Attempt 2 - Success

I couldn't live with the marks on the first countertop edge so I thought I'd give it another shot and start over. I didn't have quite enough particle board to for a solid two layers so I cut out a solid top and added some blocking to the back to build up the thickness.

I used the first attempt countertop as a template and cut out the new top with the flush trim bit.

I then flipped it over and glued and screwed blocking in place to make up the full inch and a half. Once that was dry I used the flush trim bit to trim the blocking down to shape. One theory on why the edge got messed up when trimming last time is that the edges weren't quite square so this time I flipped the whole piece right side up and ran another pass with the flush trim bit from the top. I think this actually helped quite a bit.

Lon came over to help again for this part and we got the edge strip on trimmed flush. This time we set the top edge as close to flush as we could and then used files and a sanding block to bring it flush which avoided having to use the router on both sides of the edge. We also used Lon's plunge router this time and the better depth control made things a lot easier.

Same as before...apply the contact cement to both pieces and take a picture while waiting for it to setup. We also applied a layer of packing tape to the edge to help protect it from getting damaged again while trimming the top.

We again used some scraps of wood to help line up the top and then rolled it on working from the center out. Once it was stuck down we used the router to trim the edges. This time I actually tried to leave a little bit extra especially around the corners. I then came back with the file and carefully cleaned them up by hand.

Here is the final product, there are a few areas where I went just a bit to deep when filing the edges but its barely visible and much better than the last attempt.

The next project was to trim out the toe kick under the sink. I had to allow for an vent register and also build up the front enough to cover the gap I mistakenly left between the tile and the vent duct...

3/4 plywood with some extra 1/8" spacers built up enough thickness.

I then glued and stapled the veneer, installed the register, and finished up the corner with a piece of oak trim that I stained to match.

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