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First time routing worktops

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by kjacko, 28 Jun 2021.

  1. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Hi all,
    I’m sick to death of unreliable tradesman, constantly letting me down, so much so that I’m having a go at routing worktops myself.
    They are actually for an office and are the white 1860mm x 615mm x 28mm thick ones from IKEA (slightly rolled edge).
    I don’t have a jig, so which one do I need? I was looking at the Trend KWJ700 but there is also the KWJ700S (I assume for square edge?). Thought there might be a jig that offers both square and rolled edge formats, in case I do another in the future and want a different edge profile.
    Also, I only have a DeWalt 1/4” cordless router. I know generally you should use 1/2” routers but might I get away with it for a 28mm (as opposed to 38mm) thick worktop?
    If not, then recommendations for a worktop capable 1/2” router as well please.

    I know that it “could” be cheaper to get a pro to do it, but I do most of my own stuff mainly due to unreliable tradespeople. Plus it will give me another skill.

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. blup

    blup

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  4. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Thanks mate, that’s the very video i was watching earlier.
     
  5. Lower

    Lower

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    I did my first joints with a cheap mdf jig and a b&q own brand 1/2” router. The joints were perfect.

    I’m sure that the jig wouldn’t survive for long, but it did 3 joints quite happily.
     
  6. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Just bought a brand new Trend KWJ700 jig from ebay for £65….. good price that.
    Just need to get a 1/2” router now. Thinking of the Trend T7.
     
  7. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Yep just ordered the Trend T7 from amazon and the cutters that blup linked me to from screwfix.
    Everything will arrive by Thursday.
    f*ck unreliable fitters!
    I’ll do it myself.
     
  8. blup

    blup

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    Some fitters refuse to do worktops only because they think the customer wants to do the "easy work" of fitting the units, forgetting that sometimes its only the worktop that needs renewing.

    Blup
     
  9. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Yeah, but I had a guy lined up to do these worktops AND finish a bathroom re-fit for me, which he was happy to do. It’s an easy days work for an experienced kitchen/bathroom fitter. Started out promising with decent comms, then the evening before (Sunday) I texted him just to confirm at 8am start, which is when he said he couldn’t make it as his colleague wasn’t going back to finish another job so he had to do it. I’d booked a day off work for this.
    So yesterday he texted me at 1pm and said I’ll be with you within the hour, so I went to the house (it’s empty whilst being renovated) and he never turned up and didn’t reply to my texts asking where he was. At 5.45pm I left to go home.
    Now unless there is a very real/sinister reason for ghosting me, how can anyone be too busy to send a text to say “sorry, I’ve been delayed” etc.
    Sadly this is just another in the list of tradesman that have let me down in pretty much the same way over the past year. It beggars belief.
     
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  11. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Whilst I can't forgive no shows and non communication, the "joints only" objections I can understand. When I've done "joints only" jobs in the past I've routinely checked that the units are installed level and straight (both necessary for successful installation of the worktop). In between 1/3 and 1/2 the jobs I did either the units needed straightening up, levelling up, or or both. They also frequently needed additional fixing back to the wall(s) to ensure that the units couldn't move. All of this takes extra time and effort which I found many customers were reluctant to pay for, after all they'd installed stuff "correctly". But if I didn't correct the errors in unit installation I'd probably have got a phone call telling me that my joints were carp, or in these days of social media I'd have gotten a load of grief there. So a situation which would cost me either way. It got to the point where I was unwilling to even look at a job which had already been half done by a DIYer because so many would require extra, unpaid, work to correct the errors. I know my experiences in this area are far from unique.

    Bad things happen on both sides.

    BTW 1/2in plunge router with 1600 watts or more power is a must to avoid having to make too many passes. You also need to centre the guide bush on the collet (many routers require the use of a tapered mandrel mounted in the collet to achieve this because centring of the collet recess from the factory is far from perfect).
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2021
  12. kjacko

    kjacko

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    For my part the worktops are for the office, so nothing to do other than joint them once as its a standard "L" shape. I've put the battens on the wall ready, no units for it to sit on (other than legs). Might need profiling as the plasterer made a complete b*llox of the walls and one undulates all over the place. I had to re-do it myself but didn't have time to do both walls. (another example of a shoddy 'professional').
    The other part of the job is finishing the bathroom install. The last fitter put the sliding door on so far out of plumb its as if he did it for a joke (and he fits full bathooms/wetrooms all day every day). The door frame is 10mm from the edge of the panelling which is plumb so its easy to see how out it is, yet he failed to notice. He also damaged one of the rubber seals on the concealed shower valve which i now need to replace. I installed everything else up to this point but i don't quite have the confidence to fully connect it all up, close it all off and be confident that it won't leak in places i can't see (as everything is concealed). I just need a decent time-served fitters' experience to show through here.
    As i said in my OP its actually an easy days work for a pro, probably half a day but i offered a full days wage.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2021
  13. kjacko

    kjacko

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    Thanks for the heads up. As mentioned earlier i just bought the Trend T7 1/2" 2100w router. Seems to have decent reviews for the job i want it for.
     
  14. opps

    opps

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    You need a 30mm guide bush for the jig. I don't know if you will find one for the 1/4"router.

    ******edit- I posted that before discovering that you had purchased a full fat router- sorry***
     
  15. Notch7

    Notch7

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    One problem with worktops, if that's all you are doing and you c@ck it up, the replacement cost of a worktop is more than the job value.

    If you do a whole kitchen and ruin a worktop, it's just a bit of a cut out of the profit.
     
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  16. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Any router which can take a Trend T5/Elu MOF96 guide bush will do as there are 3 or 4 firms who supply them (e.g. Trend Axminster, deWalt, etc). I think three of the biggest issues with 1/4in routers are lack of power, barely adequate plunge depth (you need 45mm mimimum for a 40mm thick top) and insufficient plunge depth to accommodate a sub base like the Trend Unibase whilst still having 45mm DoC if no 30mm GB is available from the OEM for the router
     
    Last edited: 29 Jun 2021
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  17. blup

    blup

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    The Makita rp2301 I purchased for the worktop I cut came with a 30mm guide bush free, though not advertised as such, maybe it was luck. I notice the price has risen £100 in five years since I got it though.

    Blup
     
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