Cutting Your Kitchen Worktop To Size: How To Make The Best Cut
In the final instalment in our series of how to cut your worktops yourself, this week we’re getting down to the business of cutting. Fittingly, it’s split into two sections; one on creating a guide for your blade to move down so that you get the smoothest, straightest cut, while the second section gives you a few final tips on how to make it all but guaranteed. So, without further ado…
What You’ll Need
We’re going to assume you still have your personal protection equipment from our last blog, and like the last post we’re going to assume for the sake of simplicity that you’re using a circular saw (though other power tools are available). So, in its entirety here’s the list of what you’ll need.
Your PPE (personal protection equipment: e.g. safety goggles, dust mask)
A tape measure
A carpenter’s square
A 2×4 block of wood
A shim (essentially another small block of wood)
Creating Your Guide
Measure Your Line
Assuming that you’ve got your countertop upside-down in place from our last blog entry (with the masking tape on its underside), use your tape measure to measure from the very end of the worktop up until the point you want to cut. From there, make a mark along the top from one side to the other, running parallel with the masking tape on its underside. This is the line that your saw is going to cut along.
Remember, it should be 90o exactly, so take a moment to check this with your carpenter’s square. What you should end up with is an unbroken mark around your worktop that’s one half marker pen (topside) and one half masking tape (underside).
Lower Your Saw
Now that you’ve got your saw ready, lower your stage to where you’re going to cut, making sure that the saw itself is snug against the backsplash. You could theoretically start cutting right here, but unless you’re possessed of Herculean steady hands, you’re going to be thankful for a quick guide to keep everything on the straight and narrow.
A Quick Guide
Here’s where your longest block of wood comes in: put your 2×4 snug against the saw blade and clamp it in place using your trusty C-clamps. Pick up your square again and just double check everything’s definitely still as straight as it can be. But this 2×4 can’t keep your blade straight when it goes over the edge of your worktop, so for that we have your shim. Clamp that into place against the vertical backsplash edge of the worktop – just under your 2×4 – and now you have a smooth, unbroken guide for straight cutting all the way around. Top work.
When Cutting Your Kitchen Worktop
Now we’re onto the cutting business. If everything’s gone well up until now, this bit should be easy. But hold your horses – we’ve still got a few final quick tips to help you out:
Start the machine before touching the blade teeth on the material – otherwise, you could chip the worktop when you start it up, and ruin all your hard work
Cut the worktop from front to back, so that you exit at the backsplash (which is where your shim should be). Since this fits against the wall, if it goes a bit wrong you have a bit of leeway to hide the damage
Don’t pressure the saw; just let it do its job! Let it pull/glide through the worktop at a controlled speed, and don’t use excessive force. Again, you risk undoing all your hard work if you’re not patient.
It’s always good to have someone hold the other end of the worktop while you’re sawing – if it suddenly drops to the floor it can bend and break at the join, leaving you with a damaged worktop.
Admire Your New Kitchen Worktop
And you’re done! It’s been a lot of hard work, but all your preparation has paid off, as you finally have a stunning new worktop for your kitchen. Now’s the ideal time to take a moment, and enjoy a job well done.
Of course, sometimes you may not have the tools or workspace for this sort of operation. Maybe it’s just a matter of confidence. Well never fear on that front, because our lovely people at Savoy Timber have got you covered. We offer a custom fabrication service so that you can get your worktop cut to size even if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself.