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Discussion Starter #1
I am embarking on something that I have never done before. I know I can get some help from the vast knowledge within our membership here.

Our house is estimated to be around 80 years old. I think the addition was added in the 1950's at which time the kitchen was remodelded along with the floors etc. in the entire house.

The kitchen countertop is plywood with what I am guessing a formica sheet on top. It is trimmed with metal type edging and caulked. This is what is to be replaced.

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The sink is double bowl cast iron and is 9" deep. We are reusing this as a direct replacement would be well over $600 and will not settle for a stainless steel sink. It is old enough that it is mounted with a Hudee ring (old timers should remember these).

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I'm not sure if the ring will be reusable or not. Luckily I found a place that still makes them if need be -

S4 Sink Frame

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This is a very low budget operation so am planning on buying the cheapest countertop I can find which is a laminate piece. Anything will look better than what we have now.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/VT-Dimensions-Wilsonart-8-ft-Kalahari-Topaz-Matte-Straight-Laminate-Kitchen-Countertop/50240969

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The cabinet was made in place and is an odd size. The length is 8'-7". I assume my only option is to buy a 10' top and cut it to size as these tops are available in 8' or 10' length.

My initial question before I even make any more plans - how easy (or hard) is it to cut a countertop like this? Are there special blades I would need if using a circular saw? I will have to make a straight end cut plus the cutout for the sink.
 

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Stan, I installed one of those exact same countertops. It's very easy to cut with a standard jigsaw. Drill some starter holes first somewhere near the edge about an 1" or so away from you cut line. Use some good masking tape and mark your cut line on top of the tape. The tape will support the laminate as you cut it. Without the tape the laminate can and will easily chip. An alternative is to cut it from the bottom side as the teeth from the blade cut in the up stroke. Use a higher tooth count on your blade for a smoother cut. This is an easy DIY'er project that I'm sure you can handle. The bulk/weight of the countertop and running the jigsaw itself may present some challenges to you, but you know your limitations far better than I do. :good2:
 

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Stan, I installed one of those exact same countertops. It's very easy to cut with a standard jigsaw. Drill some starter holes first somewhere near the edge about an 1" or so away from you cut line. Use some good masking tape and mark your cut line on top of the tape. The tape will support the laminate as you cut it. Without the tape the laminate can and will easily chip. An alternative is to cut it from the bottom side as the teeth from the blade cut in the up stroke. Use a higher tooth count on your blade for a smoother cut. This is an easy DIY'er project that I'm sure you can handle. The bulk/weight of the countertop and running the jigsaw itself may present some challenges to you, but you know your limitations far better than I do. :good2:
Ken gave you good advice. I would also add, you can get high quality jig saw blades with the teeth in the opposite direction. Best way to do it is to make a template for the pattern of your new sink. Position it where it should be and scribe the counter top. If you use a jig saw, keep extreme down pressure on it and go slow and steady as you cut. If you can clamp a straight edge all the better for the cut. The corners you can do free hand or use a hole saw of the right diameter. On kitchen jobs, I've seen guys actually use a router freehand. A freehand router can be a wild beast and there is not much room for error other than the overlay lip of the sink if it's over mounted. Don't recommend you use a router unless the counter top is removed and you can clamp a straight edge and know when to back off as you reach the corners.
 

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I too have recently installed that same countertop from lowes. We replace the kitchen cabinets and counters here a year and a half ago. We ran into one slight challenge with that countertop, it was almost not deep enough for the back splash to sit against the wall because the floors/walls are a little out of plumb and this countertop doesn't hardly give you enough depth to accommodate that. My advise would be to get an accurate measurement of what you need for depth and verify this will work.
 

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Stan, I installed one of those exact same countertops. It's very easy to cut with a standard jigsaw. Drill some starter holes first somewhere near the edge about an 1" or so away from you cut line. Use some good masking tape and mark your cut line on top of the tape. The tape will support the laminate as you cut it. Without the tape the laminate can and will easily chip. An alternative is to cut it from the bottom side as the teeth from the blade cut in the up stroke. Use a higher tooth count on your blade for a smoother cut. This is an easy DIY'er project that I'm sure you can handle. The bulk/weight of the countertop and running the jigsaw itself may present some challenges to you, but you know your limitations far better than I do. :good2:
:bigthumb: A piece of cake.

Stan, I installed the same counter-top in my shop's kitchen. I did just about the same as Jason suggested above. After marking where the sink was to be located, I drilled a 1/2" hole(using a wood auger bit)(place tape prior to drilling) at each corner of the sink's location. I use a good quality tape on the top-side where the cut was to be made. I then transferred the marks to the opposite side(bottom) of the countertop, using a high speed jigsaw blade to make the cut.
As Jason stated, the tape will help prevent the Formika from chipping.

To cut the countertop overall length, I marked it underneath, placed tape on the top surface and used a plywood cutting blade(high tooth number) on my circular saw.

Just take your time. As the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I never would have thought of using tape on the cut line - great advise! So what type of tape should I use?

I would like to use a cordless 5-1/2" circular saw with a 30 tooth blade - will that work OK? If I need to buy a jig saw I will. I never knew there were blades with the teeth in the opposite direction.

No matter what I will use to cut I will need to use some sort of clamp on guide. There is no way I could do it free hand.

I will have to buy either saw - the circular saw or jig saw. Which will make it easiest for me? I know I will have many other uses for the little cordless circular saw so was going to buy that for this project.

I plan on using the old top (plywood part) as a template for the sink hole.
 

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Ken gave you good advice.
Jason, did you see what Mark called you. :lolol:
Maybe I'm getting close to Ken status? :dunno: :lol:

I will have to buy either saw - the circular saw or jig saw.
Jigsaw, hands down. Do no try this with a circular saw.

Stan, I have a jigsaw you can use, just ship it back when you are done. It's nothing fancy and I don't use it very often, but it'll work nicely for you and this job. Send me a PM if you'd like to go down this road. :good2:
 

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Thanks guys. I never would have thought of using tape on the cut line - great advise! So what type of tape should I use?

I would like to use a cordless 5-1/2" circular saw with a 30 tooth blade - will that work OK? If I need to buy a jig saw I will. I never knew there were blades with the teeth in the opposite direction.
What?? :dunno:

No matter what I will use to cut I will need to use some sort of clamp on guide. There is no way I could do it free hand.

I will have to buy either saw - the circular saw or jig saw. Which will make it easiest for me? I know I will have many other uses for the little cordless circular saw so was going to buy that for this project.

I plan on using the old top (plywood part) as a template for the sink hole.

If you must buy one, or the other, the jigsaw will be your friend.

As far tape, I used Painters Tape. Some folks use Duct Tape because of it's strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe I'm getting close to Ken status? :dunno: :lol:



Jigsaw, hands down. Do no try this with a circular saw.

Stan, I have a jigsaw you can use, just ship it back when you are done. It's nothing fancy and I don't use it very often, but it'll work nicely for you and this job. Send me a PM if you'd like to go down this road. :good2:
After thinking more about this I have to agree in that a variable speed jig saw will be the only way for me to do this. That along with the reverse blades and tape I should have no problems. I didn't want to use a full size circular saw as I have a hard time controlling it even just cutting 2x4's.

Thanks very much for the offer Jason. But I have other remodelling jobs that are desperately needed around here so I don't mind buying the saw. I am starting with the kitchen top as it looks to be about the easiest to start with other than figuring out how to drop a 70# sink down from underneath.
 

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Stan, I have a jigsaw you can use, just ship it back when you are done. It's nothing fancy and I don't use it very often, but it'll work nicely for you and this job. Send me a PM if you'd like to go down this road. :good2:
:thumbup1gif: Never as much help, friendship, prayers or camaraderie have I ever experienced on any other forums. :bigthumb:
 

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image.jpeg

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Both these blades will work. The ones to the left(yellow) are Swiss made and cut on the up stroke. The ones on the right cut in both directions. Both are made for cutting laminates with wood. The blades for laminants have a rake angle and geometry for cutting without chipping. Again, make sure you have a quality jig saw, go slow and keep down pressure on your saw. Make sure the orbital on your blade is also set right, very important. That Bosch is 100% German made and works with precision to this day. New ones aren't the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Excellent Mark - thanks! I noticed when doing some searches that there are those 2 types of blades. I always find it amazing what for tools are out there!

So for my own summation so far -

Use a jig saw on the laminate top.
Use either clean wood or reverse teeth blades.
Use good painters tape over cut line.

These are the questions I needed answered - thanks all! I am going to gather the materials and tools I will need slowly as I can afford them. This will likely he a winter project once I can't work on the **** tree anymore. I just needed to verify to myself that I will be able to handle doing this before I start buying stuff.

If this works out I should have the confidence to start on the bathroom next. Then someday flooring......so many things heed done to this old house.
 

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If cutting from the top of the counter be sure tape the area out far enough from the cut line that the saw can ride on the tape and not scratch that new counter.
 

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I built my own counter tops in my old house. From pressboard and laminate sheets. I'd use regular regular 2" masking tape. It sticks good and protects the surface from any thing that might be on the jigsaw or caught on the saw during the process. Be sure to save all the clips from the silver ring when you take it off.
 

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When you get around to jigsaw shopping i have a Bosch like Mark, but mine is the barrel grip version. Nice and heavy to hold it on line and powerful. Precise too - I have done some cabinet trimming with it for the one neighbor who didn't measure his 'fridge clearance before buying the replacement. Used tape and a straightedge and man that thing made a very nice straight smooth cut with the cab still up on the wall! It wasn't cheap but if you have more projects lined up you'll be glad to have it for any curved cuts.

I like heavy saws - my circ saw is an all metal skil saw from 1956 - that thing holds a line!
 

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View attachment 426082

The sink is double bowl cast iron and is 9" deep. We are reusing this as a direct replacement would be well over $600 and will not settle for a stainless steel sink.
Geez, that looks like the same Formica and trim that was originally in my Mom's place that was built in 1956.

For being the cheapest counter top material out there, Formica is remarkably durable.
 

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Geez, that looks like the same Formica and trim that was originally in my Mom's place that was built in 1956.

For being the cheapest counter top material out there, Formica is remarkably durable.
We have 27 year old Formica counter top in our kitchen and just got a quote to replace them and the sink. You would never know they are 27 years old. But our sink is shot and we figured we might as well do the counter too, time for a change. Our house like Stan's, is an old farmhouse that has been added onto. It was built well, but simply and doesn't have much "character" for an old house. So, we are foregoing the fancy granite and quartz counter top and just going with Formica again.


Stan, just curious, why don't you want a stainless steel sink?:unknown:
 

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As far as a jigsaw goes I have a DeWalt variable speed that is very good. I would recommend variable speed - easier to make precise cuts.

You might check into rental places for one (I suspect rental cost may be close to purchase cost, though)
 
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