How to use a router to trim countertop laminate edges

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How to use a router to trim countertop laminate edges

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Working with laminate can be frustrating if you don’t have the right tools. Even with the right tools though, your job can be ruined by poor technique. With proper setup, using a router to trim your laminate countertop is the quickest, easiest way to get a professional-looking edge. Without proper setup, using a router is the quickest and easiest way to spoil your laminate job. Patience and preparation are the keys to successful laminate trimming.


Step One

Clean the countertop with a whiskbroom. Brush off the router's base plate as well. The router's base must move smoothly across the top of the laminate to maintain a straight edge.


Step Two

Place a single layer of masking tape on the surface of the laminate along the router's path to prevent the router's base from scratching the laminate as you trim the edge.


Step Three

Unplug the router. Insert your flush-cut bit. Use a straight bit for the bottom lip of the counter. Use a bevel bit for the top edge where the laminate pieces for the face and top join. A beveled edge will reduce the risk of edge chipping on the finished countertop.


Step Four

Adjust the cutting depth on your router. The top of the bit's guide bearing should be 1/16 inch below the bottom edge of the laminate surface you are trimming.


Step Five

Turn the router on. Place the router base flat against the laminate surface. Hold the router firmly against the edge of the cabinet, and move it against the bit's direction of travel. Trim the entire edge with one continuous cut.


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