Build a Foolproof Jig For Cutting Laminate Countertops
If you need to cut a postform laminate countertop in the field, you could try freehanding the awkward cuts and hope you don’t screw it up, but there’s a better way.
Jeff Johnson from Glen Allen, Va., has made a cutting guide that has a 90-degree angle in it so that he can ensure a flush cut, both horizontal and vertical, first time, every time. Here’s what he does.
There are a couple of considerations that you need to think about for this kind of a cutting guide. For one, your’re going to have to flip the countertop over and cut from the back so that you don’t get tearout on the finshed surface of the laminate top. You also have to consider how the guide will clear the the lips at the front and back edges so you can pass your saw over without hitting a bump. This is part of what’s so cool about this guide.
The cutting guide consists of two thicknesses of plywood. The base is made out of 3/4-in. plywood, and it’s a rectangle that is wide enough to accomodate the base of the saw running in both directions. The edge of the 3/4-in. base indicates wher the cut is going to happen on the countertop. So we mark our cut, and then we align our cutting guide with that mark. And that’s where the saw blade is going to go.
In the center of the 3/4-in. plywood is a 3-in. strip of 3/8-in. plywood. That’s the guide strip upon which the edge of the base of the saw is going to ride. Once we reach the end of our horizontal cut, we can reorient our saw to make the plumb cut, using the short leg of the jig to guide the saw base. And both of the cuts are going to be perfectly flush and square.
Nice tip, Jeff. Thanks so much for sending that to us.
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