Cutting laminate panels (kitchen fitting)

Postby » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:48 am

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?

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Simply Build It

Postby acsimpson » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:24 am

Hi tmjmed,
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.
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Postby » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:28 pm

So just to check; if the blades cut on the down stroke does this mean that the untidy surface is the underneath side?

This would mean I cut the laminate with the good face up?

Or do I have that the wrong way around?

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Postby » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:10 pm

I am interested in the circular saw tip as I have one of those but the blade I have on it is very severe with large teeth (I use it for cutting floor boards at the moment)!

What blade did you use? Was it specially for laminates, or was it just fine toothed? I am not sure how accurate a cut I would get with it, but for straight runs I could use a batton to run it along.
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Postby acsimpson » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:25 pm

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.
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Postby bd3cc » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:01 pm

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.
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