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Kitchen Router Experts Advice Needed for First Worktop

Postby FlashDancer » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:45 pm

I am now confused! I am doing my first kitchen worktop using square edge Black Sparkle worktop. The plan is to form an L by butting two pieces instead of using mitres, with Colorfill between the faces and clamps below.
I know that the first job is likely to be put down to experience! Would welcome comments from people with experience.

I first cut one piece, face down, close to the needed length using a circular saw with a 40T blade, having first put tape on the work surface. This is now about 2.5mm too long at front and back and 1.5mm in the centre, and the worktop surface edge is rougher than expected. The edge is slightly concave because I used what I thought was a wooden straight edge which clearly wasn’t; (next time I will use a 25mm square aluminium straight edge or my spirit level!)

I thought I would then get a nice clean edge using my new Erbauer ½” router and a new cutter. With the worktop surface facing downwards and edge to be cut facing me I clamped my UNIKA Supajig to give a 1mm full depth shave. Rather than use the 30mm guide in the centre slot I removed the guide and used the flat side/edge of the router on the top edge of the UNIKA. The UNIKA manual didn’t say in Section 4.01 Straight Edge Mode which way the worksurface should be on the bench. I moved from right to left as I thought the Erbauer manual showed, and started from the flat formica edge on the right. It took a 12mm chunk out of the facing (First bodge - I hope to glue it back and infill with Colorfill.) I can now see how that would happen with the direction of rotation.
Looking again at the diagram I believe I should have gone from left to right as it shows right to left viewed from the stock side. Is the rule right to left when viewed from the stock side? In which case should I have put the worktop face up so as to first cut into the edge formica?

How do I work out the distance from the UNIKA top edge to the finished cut edge? I have seen the offset is 9mm but (30.0 – 12.7)/2 = 8.65

Was a single 1mm full depth shave wrong at half speed?

I could have used the router to do the first cut but had read that a sawcut would mean less wear on the router cutter. I can sort out the straightness but how do I get a better top formica edge? Are there 48T blades?
Several videos show people moving their router left to right and others right to left. Does it not matter only when using a guide in a jig slot?
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Postby Sometimewoodworker » Tue May 01, 2018 2:56 pm

1mm is a bit of a large bite.

However you have left out quite a lot of important information.
You ask if there are 48tooth blades for a circular saw but don't give the size of the saw so the answer is probably yes and you can probably get one with even more teeth.

You were correct in cutting with the material face down with the circular saw, however if you have a cheep saw or blade then you may never get a great finish with it.

You haven't said the size of the router bit you are using. You should almost always go against the direction of the router bit so you are pushing through the cut. If you go in the same direction as the cutter is spinning the router is going to pull into the work and you have already found out the problem that causes.

The only time you can do a climb cut is if you are taking a tiny final pass and even then you need a lot more practice before trying that on a work surface.

Also if you have a long cutter the end will flex a little even if you are using a ½" shank on a ½” bit. If you are using a 50mm bit then assuming you have protected the surface from scratching, then finished surface up will get a better finish, and you should not slow the router down for that size of bit
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