Cutting Corian-type product

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jdkimes, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I'm installing a solid surface vanity top/sink that I bought at Lowes (Estate Solid Surface by RSI). I might need to trim about 1/4" to 1/2" off the side.
    Can this be done easily?
    Should I use a jig saw, skil-saw with Formica-type blade, or sand it (orbital or belt)?
    Is there a risk that it will crack?
  2. jmariechambers

    jmariechambers New Member

    Messages:
    9

    Don't quote me on this becuase I have never done it, but I have seen it done two ways.
    1) Using a circualr saw with a heavily taped surface and a fine tooth blade to reduce splintering. Or to avoid splintering all together youo could flip it over and avoid the tape.
    2) A better option in my opinion is to use a heavy duty router with a straight cutting bit and a fence.

    *****Remeber to take off equal amounts from both sides.******

    To fine tune use a belt sander.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Carbide tipped tools as used in woodworking will work on this. Make sure they are sharp and treat it as if it was a very hard wood (i.e., if using a router, don't try to cut the whole thing off in one pass). You can sand it like wood, too. You may want to work up to finer grits than you would on wood - depending on the shine level you want to obtain, you might want to go up to 1000 grit or more.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,503
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sollid surface

    If you can cut a straight line with a jigsaw, that might be the better way, using a blade that cuts on the downstroke so you do not get chipping on the surface.
  5. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    Thanks for all the input. Might just have to use the sander since I don't have a router table which I think would be best. I suppose a carbide blade in my 10" table saw would work but a little unwieldy with the 22"x49" size. I might try the jig saw with a clamped on fence.
    I'll let you know what happens.
  6. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    A circular saw with a carbide blade works fine for straight cuts. If using a router, a 1/4 inch shaft is not recommended. If cutting any inside cuts, just be sure all corners are well rounded, no sharp square corners.

    When installing be sure to leave a small gap for expansion on the ends and back.

    Paul
  7. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I have a couple of carbide blades for my table saw but they are the 40 tooth combination type. I'm thinking I'd need a carbide blade designed for laminate that has more like 100 teeth. That would be the case for either the skil saw or the table saw.
    What do you think?
    I plan to leave a little gap for expansion that will be covered by side splashes on sidedand caulking in the back.
    I suppose I could have bought the custom sized corian but that would have been about $700 versus the $250 for this standard size at Lowe's.
  8. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    80 to 100 will work fine, for a covered end cut even a 40 should work ok. Sounds like you should be ok on the gaps.
  9. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    Follow up

    I ended up using 50 grit sand paper on a 3 x 18 belt sander. Worked pretty well, lots of dust in the driveway. Easy to remove the material and get it to fit just right to the unsquare, unstraight walls. Marked the counter top w/ pencil and sanded down to the lines.

    Curious if there's any reasons the sink manufacturer recommends that you put the faucet on the sink prior to installing the sink/vanity top? Seems like it's just as easy to do once the sink/vanity top is installed. Can't see the advantage unless they want to make sure that your faucet will fit on the sink before you permanently attach it to the cabinet.
  10. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    I think it might be so that you don't crack the product at the faucet holes. (Guessing here.)
  11. jumpyg

    jumpyg New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Michigan
    JD--I have a similar problem with a vanity that rests against a wall (out-of-square wall, at that). I think I'm going to use the belt sander method to shave some material off the vanity top as you suggested. I have a few questions for you.

    One, how many belts did you go through? I want to make sure I don't have to make too many trips to the store. :D

    Two, how did you position the vanity top to sand it? Mine's a 49" wide one, so I was thinking of setting it on its edge and sanding horizontally. Or maybe putting it on the workbench and sanding vertically. Obviously, I'm worried about scratching or otherwise marring the other surfaces of this thing. Any tips?

    Thanks!
  12. jdkimes

    jdkimes Engineer

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I just used one 60 grit belt, it cuts through pretty quickly, the sander was 3x18.
    I laid it upside down on some 2x4 scraps sitting on cardboard in my driveway. There's a lot of dust.
    I marked it with a pencil and had to test fit it about 4-5 times before I got it just right. I didn't need to get it exact, within a 1/16 or 1/8 since I caulked all around between wall and vanity top and also had side splashes.
  13. jumpyg

    jumpyg New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks a lot for the tips, JD! Sounds like it will not be too difficult. :D
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Unless you enjoy laying on your back with your the door frame jabbing you in the ribs and crud falling down in your eyes, it is easier to install the faucet and drain while the lav is out on a bench or table.
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