I plan on buying the pre formed formica countertops sold at Home Depot for $100 per 10 ft.
Are those pieces hard to cut without damaging the formica?
Not particularly. Use a fine toothed blade and cut from the back side. These are very heavy, so you really need some help. You'll need to hold the loose end in place. I put some masking tape on the front side to reduce chipping.
Jon's right. I routinely use the slab countertops from Home Depot and have had great success. On my last flip I tried to be cheap and cut a 45 degree mitre instead of buying the factory-cut mitre and I made a real mess of it. Getting a homemade mitre cut to butt up nicely to a factory 45 is very tough (nearly impossible). For cutting straight, do just as Jon said and you'll be just fine. You might get a tiny bit of chipping of the formica, but for that I fill it in with color-matched caulk. Along the end caps it's hardly noticeable anyway.
one more little trick on getting as straight of cut as possible is,,,clamp a straight edge guide on back of item cut so the edge of the saw runs along it,,instead of following a eye ball line. can use scews or clamps or a combo so it for sure doesnt move
Use a good quality, fine toothed saw blade.
We use a portable table saw, masking tape on the formica, and cut it from the formica side, right down the middle of the masking tape.
It seems to me that my saw blade (just the blade) was over $100, but it does a great job and it can be resharpened, so should last just about forever.
Good tools are worth the money.
My table saw has a cutting guide, but you can get a cutting guide to go on a skil saw, so with a good blade, you should be able to make an acceptible cut with a skil saw.
There are free standing supports with rollers in the top that you can use to support the ends of the countertop if you have to work alone. They are pretty cheap. I prefer the ones that have ball bearings, so you can slid the wood any directions.
If you are using a skil saw, all you need are a couple of saw horses.
A table saw would indeed be more accurate. Mine's not portable. In both cases, you're cutting from the back. That is, the center of the blade is on the back side of the countertop.
I have a Bosch worm drive skill saw that set be back about $150. But it is amazing how much easier this is to use than my previous saws. It certainly worth every penny.
If you have to do this alone, take two saw horses and put to 2x4s on them. Put the counter on top of the 2x4s. Set the depth of cut long enough to get through the counter, but just enough to get through the counter. The corner between the counter and backsplash is the thickest part, usually. Now, you can cut through the counter without anything moving around. You'll nick the 2x4s, but that's the price you pay.
Yes and no. You have to get a really fine tooth blade saw and make sure you take it really good and then score the formica. I also cut it upside down or put the blade on backwards so the rotation of the saw doesnâ€™t try to chip it, it will be going the other way.
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