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Location of worktop joints

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by wicketlesswal, 16 Jun 2007.

  1. wicketlesswal

    wicketlesswal

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    Am considering attempting to join an L shaped worktop which will consist of 1 mason mitre and 2 joints. The 2 joints could either:

    1) both be on the long part of the L
    or
    2)one on either L.

    The worktop lengths are 3m,2.3m,1.8m,1.2m and (0.8m to practice on).

    The long L consists of a pillar (from kitchen extension) and cooker next to it.
    Using 1) above, the 3m piece can be used for the short L and all other pieces on the long L. The 1.2m fits where the pillar and cooker are, but a joint would be situated above the cooker housing!
    Using 2) joins the 1.2m and 1.8m pieces, about 1 metre from the sink on the short L, and the 3m piece will need to be mitred - then the back cut to recieve the pillar, before being joined to the 2m piece.

    I inderstand that joints shoudn't be made above applications, but there is a housing below it, and option 1 means no join near the sink. Could an expert advise on the better option, or how they'd tackle the problem plse?
     
  2. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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    If I'm understanding this correctly, the joint over the cooker would have a hob cut out in it. If this is the case the front rail you find in most built under oven housings will be pretty much destroyed by the hob cut out and will provide no meaningful support. Also you will be left with very little worktop to bolt approx 55-60mm front and 80-100mm rear. Would not attempt this in any circumstances.

    A mason mitre or butt & scribe joint 1M from a sink is no biggy. 1M is more than you get in a lot of circumstances, and provided you use plenty of silicone in the joint before bolting, should not have any negative repercussions.

    Standing water is the only real threat to a sound fitting joint, but provided any spills are cleared away immediately, no harm will result. Definitely the way to go.

    Strange worktop sizes though, this a refit, you using offcuts or just pulling chains?
     
  3. wicketlesswal

    wicketlesswal

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    PJ,
    Yes you understand correctly, so thanx and nuff respect to the response. Me being a layman liked the idea of having an uncut worktop near the sink, and being able to manoeuver the small worktop when making the cut for the pillar. Will take your advise and make a join near the sink.

    Also, yes it's a refit, as the worktops (originally 2 x 3m) were cut for the old kitchen (2.2m x 1.7m) but due to the size (or lack of) this was abandoned for an extended kitchen.

    NB Have tried for over 4 months for a joiner, but seems that either they are too busy, or its too small a job to look at. Have considered hiring a router and jig - so any words of wisdom would be more than welcome.

    Regards - wicketless
     
  4. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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    No problem, that's the point of the forums - it's good to help.

    Regarding the router & jig - go for it. I could get killed for saying this but worktop joints aren't as mysteriously difficult as they're made out by those who earn money from them.

    However, that said they can give you a nasty bite if you're not fully on the ball, generally it's an expensive bite too.

    With a jig you should get instructions on how to perform a square mitre. Although I never put in a square mitre myself, I'm not confident in my ability to explain the alternative process verbally, and therefore I would reccomend you follow the instructions, use the guide pegs & take your time. If you have dry-lined walls you can always chop the worktops into them if your walls are badly out of square.

    Also I would offer the following:


    Plunge router - 1850W min 2200W ideal. 1/2" or 12.5mm collet (depending on whether you're familiar with new or old money!). 30mm guide bush with fixed (ie non adjustable) sole plate. 1 x new 1/2" - 12.5mm router cutter 55-60mm length (60mm better) Trend are good.


    Right tools = halfway home.


    Also:

    When you have cut your worktops to size, it's a good idea to take the time to scribe them into any irregular walls. If you don't and the two halves of your joint are slightly "out" it's a strong possibilty that any pre-existing gaps between back of worktops and walls will be made considerably worse. If you scribe them in first, any gaps resulting from a slightly "out" joint will most probably be small enough to be covered by tiles.

    Router operates from left to right, cutting clockwise, and you have to start your pass from the worktop profile towards the back - this prevents the laminate from chipping out of the profile and leaving you with a big problem.

    This method requires that one of your joints is cut with the worktop upside down. Always do this one first, if you overlap this worktop (after routering your joint) onto it's partner with the profiles meeting (use a worktop offcut to support the other end of the elevated worktop to keep it level) you can run a pencil line along your first joint and trace it onto the top of it's partner. Doing this will ensure that when you line your jig up on the partner, if the jig guide and pencil line aren't parallel - you've got a problem and the joints won't match. Having said that - 1mm tolerance out of parallel is ok as you can usually pull that up with your bolts.

    Finally, some obvious ones (that still catch me out from time to time - familiarity/contempt)

    Make sure your jig is clamped firmly to the worktop before you start.

    With a 30mm guide bush and 12.5mm router cutter - you need to set your jig back 9mm from the cut line (8.75mm to be exact but that's not realistic).

    before you start your first pass make sure you're working into the profile left to right.

    Make your first pass a shallow plunge 2-3mm max on the worktop you router with laminate face up. this will prevent "chatter" and a resulting rough edge - when laminate is applied to worktops the top 5mm or so of the chipboard is compressed and has a high density, the difference in relative hardness between the laminate and underlying chipboard will cause the router to bounce along the cut line if you try to plunge too deep, thus producing a ragged edge on the laminate (I'll get me anorak) Even with the upside down worktop don't try to router more than 5mm plunges at a time, it will stress the router (not too important if it ain't yours) and blunt the cutter quickly. After making your first pass if you have the tools/skill (no offense intended) to cut off the excess worktop (along your 12.5mm wide routered line) without disturbing the jig, this will prevent counter-milling against the reverse face and make all subsequent passes a lot easier.

    Thats about all I can think of, I've hit waffle mode and I have probably missed something out,

    Oh yeah - Scrit's strap line - Measure twice cut once.

    Feel free to request clarification - I'll do my best.

    Good luck and regards.

    PS Apologies if that's the most mind-numbingly thing you've ever read (assuming you're still reading) but it's not that easy to explain in brief.
     
  5. Deluks

    Deluks

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    *applause*

    :)
     
  6. Scrit

    Scrit

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    Thanks for the plug, PJH! :LOL: The only thing I can add to that detailed explanation is that the cutter must be brand new as you'll only get 2 (or at most 3) joints/ends out of a cutter and that the better quality cutters (e.g. Trend, Wealden, Titman, Freud, etc) will last longer before they go "off" and start to chip-out

    Scrit
     
  7. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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    You're welcome Scrit. one of the first things I was taught - and just so right.

    I find the biggest wear on my cutters is the keyholes for bolts, you can't avoid counter-milling, and they just don't like it.

    I keep thinking about keeping my old cutters just for keyholes, but when I've collected about twenty I chuck 'em out! When it comes down to it I just can't be bothered to change them over.
     
  8. Scrit

    Scrit

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    I tried carrying a second router but got hacked off by the extra lugging about so that ended up living in the van as a spare :rolleyes: I eventually switched over to Wealden Versofix disposable tip cutters a while back - only 'problem' is the initial £40 hit for a cutter (K69420) and an extra £91 hit for a pack of ten disposable blades (K69886) but they do seem to hold a better edge and at least each tip has two edges. So I only use brazed tooling when I forget to order spare tips these days

    Scrit
     
  9. wicketlesswal

    wicketlesswal

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    Wow...before even looking at the technical bits, I think I'll sit back and wait another year, in the hope that some pro might fancy this.

    Am currently still waiting for this video "Trend Machinery Video Joining KiTChen Worktops Tv/3" before contemplating, whether its achievable, plus a builder / expert DIYer / friend has offered his 1/4" router and his services where needed, but agress that both could be unreliable. Whilst waiting (and reading some of the responses) have found that the walls (perfectly levelled by plasterer using dot and dab) are 25mm out, when they meet at the pillar, which protudes about 125mm on lhs and about 150mm on rhs.

    Will this mean having to pull the unit forward 25mm on the rhs side, or cutting back the worktop / wall 25mm on the lhs side, or a combination of both? The gap would be too big for a tile to cover, and the cuts would mean next to no overhang of the worktop. - is this a common problem?

    PJ -what's your alternative to the square mitre please? have seen 45 mitres, but thats surely out of my league.

    cheers

    Wicketless
     
  10. Scrit

    Scrit

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    Say politely, "Thanks, but no thanks". The job needs a "mighty" 1750watt 1/2in machine........ Accept no paltry substitute

    Yes. There probably isn't a square wall in any kitchen in the UK....... I'd cant the jig manually to cover the difference in angle, cutting the female joint first. This approach may require a bit of hit and miss cutting to get the angles right, so good judgement is a necessity - that and masking tape to mark where the jig was for the last cut.

    Scrit
     
  11. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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  12. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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    Errrr :oops: I haven't got the hang of that "quote" feature yet :rolleyes: That may not make anymore sense than my last post on this one. Sorry.

    I don't suppose there's a forum on using the posting software...... is there?
     
  13. wicketlesswal

    wicketlesswal

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    Right, so in summary:
    the 1/4" routers is a non starter, the backs of the units can be cut back 25mm, as can the worktop, and the jig can be "canted" to create a better angle. Thanks for these tips.

    Pj - I'd say yes (without looking?) to your question re the worktop lengths reaching the corners, as there'll have to be a final cut on both sides of the L. So, aside from the lateral movement, does this mean that the diagonal mitre is on? As you've got me intrigued.

    Thanks for all the advice and comments

    Wicketlesswal
     
  14. pjholybloke

    pjholybloke

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    Yes the diagonal mitre is on, I'll try to post a better worded method guide tomorrow, when I'm a bit more awake.
     
  15. Scrit

    Scrit

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    Yes, but only if doing so isn't going to foul any service pipes (particularly waste pipes) - they're the reason most lower cabs have a 50mm service space at the back (except for IKEA cabs which are a total PITA as they have NO service space). If that side of the kitchen has waste pipes and you can't move them out of the way (i.e. down to floor level/in plinth space) another alternative to consider is to buy one piece of breakfast bar top (the narrower 760mm or so wide stuff) and cut down to size using a jig saw.

    Another point to consider is that if you have built-ins on that side of the kitchen (integrated under counter fridges, freezers, dish washers, driers, washing machines, etc) then you won't necessarily have 25mm to play with. A lot of integrated units require almost the full depth of the stabndard carcasses (570mm) so that's another thing to be aware of. Complex this kitchen-fitting lark, innit? ;)

    BTW I'm not trying to put you off, just pointing out some of the potential pitfalls of lopping depth off the backs of cabinets.

    This whole business of canting the jig allows you to overcome discrepancies up to about 4 or 5 degrees only (5 degrees corresponds to a displacement of approximetely 261mm over 3 metres, so quite a long way out of square, really). Above 5 degrees you really start getting into making straightforward mitre joints I'm afraid because the further you move away from 90 degrees the more difficult it becomes to position the jig accurately. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that with most jigs it becomes much more tedious as there's a lot more "trial and error" required (and who wants to spend their life lugging bits of worktop back and forth to shave off a few millimetres each time?). This is one of the things you pay for when you get a worktop fitter in to do the job :LOL:

    Scrit
     
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