I am currently fitting my kitchen, which was selected by my better half, and includes a fair amount of laminated panels which will need cutting to size. The laminated panels are not worktops, they consist of end panels and surrounding panels selected by the missus to make it look "special"
What is the best way to cut these panels. In the past I have used a jigsaw, which has left the edge chipped and rather unsitely which wont go down too well :-(. Maybe it was blunt, maybe there are better blades; any advice would really be appreciated. I need a neat unchipped cut.
I have to also cut a base unit around a soil stack. As this will be hidden its not so tricky. My plan was to simply patch it up with plas board to give it some strength rather than just leave it open. Any advice?
You can buy a special laminate blade for a jigsaw which only cuts on the in one direction (can't remember if it's up or down) you then need to cut so that on the cut stroke the visible side is being pulled into the board and hence chipping is minimised. A sharp blade is always a requirement for a neat finish too.
Having said that if money isn't a problem, I'd recommend a circular saw. I used one for my kitchen and it was a dream, quick straight cuts with no chipping.
Yes, if the jigsaw is cutting on the downstroke then the good surface points up. It's always best to practice on an offcut to ensure it gives the desired results.
The circular saw I borrow had 2 blades with it and it was the rougher of the 2 which worked. I assume that it is spinning at such a rate that it works well. As the circular saw pulls the material against it's bottom plate you need to have the good side down. Again practice on an off cut and hopefully you'll be surprised how good the result is.
Downstroke jigsaw blade- cut from top, normal jigsaw balde and circularsw blade, cut with laminated surface down.
Whichever blade you have it must go into the laminate, rather than emerge from it to avoid chipping the laminate.
Hope that's clear.