Woodworking - updated!

Discussion in 'Chat and Banter' started by bishbosh, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. bishbosh
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    Morning all,

    Is anyone into woodworking at all? I'm a fairly competent DIYer (I like to think anyway) and last weekend I've been attempting to fit a solid wood kitchen worktop with a belfast sink underneath at the cottage we have. The old worktop never really suited the age of the cottage and so we bought a solid rubberwood worktop, belfast sink and fancy taps!

    I'd never fitted a worktop before and I'm learning as I go, reading stuff and watching youtube tutorials and the like. I acquired the necessary equipment that I needed; a 2100w router, a couple of quick release g-clamps, router jigs, etc.

    Day 1

    This was the kitchen before the project began - although I'd removed the undersink cupboard door.
    20170610_084932.jpg


    A lot of plumbing was required, mainly to align the existing pipes to where the new taps will be. First thing though was to remove the sink and unit. This is the new unit ready to fit. One thing I live by is the 'measure twice, cut once' philosophy and it's saved me on many occasions! Here's the new cabinet with all holes drilled ready to be fitted.

    20170610_143930.jpg


    I'm handy with a blowtorch so managed to route some new copper piping to fit within the cupboard. The taps will actually be situated behind the sink and mounted in the worktop but there is a washing machine so I needed to have access to the taps from under the sink, hence the routing of the pipes into the cabinet.

    20170610_150432.jpg


    Pushfit fittings made it much easier to get a neat installation compared to what was there before.

    20170610_204235.jpg


    We finally got the taps connected and could turn the water back on, the sink needs to come forward an inch or so, which will be done this weekend, it weighs about 50kg and I can carry it, but only for a short while!

    20170610_204442.jpg

    With the worktops off and the sink about finished it was time to relax and chill watching a film with my daughter, both knackered by this point!

    Day 2

    Bright and early Sunday morning I set about preparing to cut the worktop to fit along the back wall where the cooker resides. My Workmate bench was about the same height as the kitchen table which was very fortunate! I practiced a few cuts on a bit of spare worktop, but at first didn't manage to get a clean cut. A few more attempts and I was starting to get the hang of things. Taking it slowly, only cutting a small depth at a time. Managed to get a lovely smooth edge to one worktop.

    20170611_101902.jpg


    The second one wasn't so good and I suspect I'd started to blunt the cutter at this point, but as this edge wasn't going to be seen it wasn't too much of an issue. I'd bought a worktop installation kit which came with one router cutter, I've since bought another couple of cutters which should allow me to finish the job.

    My daughter came up with me to keep me company but she was also handy hoovering up the mess!

    20170611_113135.jpg

    I applied 3 coats of the recommended Danish oil to all sides of one worktop, apparently it'll need a fresh coat every couple of weeks or so for the first couple of months and then about twice yearly.
    20170611_154521.jpg

    The second worktop in position but not fitted yet, by this point we were running out of time and had to make our way back to Sheffield.

    20170611_163941.jpg


    I'm back on Friday night and will spend Saturday re-aligning the sink and preparing the worktop. Biggest concern is cutting the sink recess, I've not skimped on router cutters and I know I can get a smooth cut so will take it easy and carefully :)

    Will update this thread as and when!

    Cheers
     

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  2. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I used to fit kitchens, and still do for friends/family. I would always try and cut the sink out first with a circular saw and jigsaw and only leave about 1.5mm left for the router. I wouldn't entertain this with a DIY 1/4" shank router and I spent the money years ago on a Dewalt 1/2" jobbie, much better.
    What you have done looks superb, especially the plumbing. You could get some white pipe covers to hide the holes:

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/talon-15mm-pipe-collar-white-10-pack/19706
     
  3. bishbosh
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    Thanks Ian, I am using 1/2 router cutters after reading that 1/4 cutters aren't really up to the job for worktops. As the first cutter is now blunt I bought a couple of Erbauer bits, however their max rated speed is only 18k rpm whereas the router is 2100w and rated up to 28k rpm. I've swapped them for some Trend bits which although more expensive are rated higher.

    That's a really good tip about the sink cut out. Presumably this puts less strain on the cutter? Not sure if I dare going that close though! Maybe leave about 5mm :)

    I have a round nose bit for the drip groove. Not going to bother with draining grooves though.
     
  4. Adie
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    Love your light shade :)
     
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  5. bishbosh
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    Haha, that was my idea, simple but effective (y)
     
  6. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Yeah, I always use Trend or Freud cutters.
    Another tip is to get one of those small tubes of silicone, like a tube of toothpaste, so you can get right under the lip of the worktop and seal between the worktop and the sink. You won't get under there with a standard mastic gun.
     
  7. Carl W
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    Go and post this on wood workers monthly !

    All your doing is making those of us (me) who struggle to wire a plug feel even more inadequate. :)

    Top job though, will be great when it's finished.

    Kindest Regards
    Carl.
     
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  8. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Granite next mate, here's mine that I fitted in 2010

    IMG_0323.JPG
     
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  9. Verbarthe
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    Job looks good , fitted a new kitchen myself a couple of years ago so know how daunting it can be. Very satisfying to do though and if you just take your time and think it through it works out fine, just maybe not as quickly done as a pro would do it .
     
  10. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Yeah, but pro's cut corners
     
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  11. bishbosh
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    Speaking of corners I won't need to do any mitre joints as there isn't a radius, the worktop is square edged so I can do a butt joint instead :) I've left a few mm gap between the worktop and the wall to allow for expansion. The gap will be covered with tiles eventually that my in-law will do as I hate tiling and he's good at that.

    I don't think I'd ever dare do a granite worktop. :eek: Presumably the cut edges need polishing?
     
  12. kleynie
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    Yeah, the cut edges of the granite need to be chamfered with an angle grinder and polished with a sanding disk.
     
  13. slim_boy_fat
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    That's what low-entry trolley jacks are made for...........;)

    I'm hugely impressed with your work, keep it up (y)
     
  14. Verbarthe
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    Aye, indeed they do .:)
     
  15. bishbosh
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    Well, the weekend saw me and my youngest trek up to the cottage to finish off the kitchen worktop. Being only 7 years of age there wasn't too much he could do to help out so he spent most of the time playing outside.

    Meanwhile I cracked on with the task in hand! First thing was to route the bolt recesses in the worktops to make a nice join, quite an enjoyable and easy job actually.
    Made easier no doubt with the new and better quality router cutters, no juddering, skipping or vibration felt at all.
    20170617_104903.jpg



    Once I'd done the 6 recesses I test fitted the worktop and cut it to length achieving a very nice and smooth edge to the end grain, I'd used a slightly longer cutter too - 63mm as opposed to 50mm, the extra length meant I didn't have to push the router close to it's maximum plunge depth - making cutting easier.

    Then following the instructions for the Belfast sink jig I went about measuring, checking, measuring, drawing, cup of tea and measuring again to make sure I got the dimensions correct. The lines show the actual edge that needs cutting with the router but I cut out most of the area beforehand with a jigsaw. I did get a bit close to the right side edge but it was ok fortunately. I shall turn the cut out wood into a nice solid chopping board at some point :)
    20170617_121351.jpg


    A picture paints a thousand words and this is what they should have in the instruction manual, the jig - with the aid of the sliding datum block shows perfect alignment.

    20170617_121700.jpg


    Likewise, the marks on the jig's radius curve match with those I made on the worktop.

    20170617_121704.jpg


    With everything in place I made the cut and this is where my luck ran out :( I did not get a perfectly smooth finish to the sides as the jig flexed while cutting. The flexing occured because there was nothing supporting the jig where I'd cut the wood out even though the jig was clamped tightly.
    I thought about sanding it but that would take forever so I trimmed off a tiny bit, maybe 0.5mm from the back and the sides using the mitre jig, which is sturdier. I managed a lovely finish to the sides but upon doing the back the router unexpectedly slid to the left and made an unwanted 2mm deep, 1cm wide concave gouge. :mad::mad::mad::mad: I discovered it was because of some damage I'd caused to the router the previous week. Basically last week the router slipped and nearly flew away after cutting with the not-very-good router cutter that was supplied as part of a fitting kit. The cutter took away a tiny part of the jig along the main mitre guide, it was with this guide that I was cutting the back of the sink recess and while trimming the guide went into the damaged part of the jig and consequently faffed up the worktop.

    As you can see I've tried to fill it with wood filler but will approach the manufacturer of the Danish oil I used as they also do a line of natural shade wood fillers and 'plastic wood' which should disguise the damage a bit better.

    20170617_163813.jpg


    I suppose it's not as bad as cutting the sink out on the wrong side of the worktop and having to bin the whole lot or as my builder said on Saturday a job he'd been to correct was someone who'd cut out a standard sink recess, put the sink on it which then promptly fell through the oversized hole!!


    Feeling dejected I drilled the holes for the taps and routed out the holes on the underside to allow the plastic nuts to be tightened up properly. I oiled everything up with several coats of Danish oil and fitted the taps into position, tightening the nuts and attaching the flexible pipes. I lowered the worktop into position and then glued the joint, clamped the edges together and tightened the bolts. Incidentally when I took out the old worktop there was only one central bolt present although all recesses were there!

    20170617_201012.jpg


    A few minutes of plumbing later and I could turn the water back on.

    20170617_205959.jpg


    Silicone was applied around the sink although not behind the drip groove as @kleynie pointed out, it's quite difficult to do with a standard mastic gun. All I'd need would be a 90 degree nozzle :rolleyes:
    I installed the worktop using the slotted brackets (to allow for expansion) but I feel I may have used the wrong slots. There was some ambiguity in the instructions but searching around the net I found I should be using the slots perpendicular to the worktop grain and not the ones parallel with it. This will be corrected soon and is a 5 minute job anyway. Of course I only found this out once we'd returned to Sheffield :(

    20170617_210008.jpg


    The (99%) finished project! The kitchen needs tiling but that will be done next month.

    20170617_224358.jpg


    Tiling will be the next step, I need to prepare the wall and add some mortar or filler as some mortar has crumbled away from the breeze blocks near the oven. There is a 20mm gap between the worktop and the wall near the kettle which is by the back door. This is partly because the wall seems to curve inwards at the bottom and being honest partly due to my inexperience at fitting worktops. I didn't scribe the joint rear of the worktop but when I test fitted it it seemed to line up correctly. However in hindsight it was probably slightly off but not really noticeable as I'd not done the sink cut out at this point. To get a nice evenness to the sink cut out in relation to the sink entailed the worktop being moved slightly. This then created a gap, but only by the kettle, so this should be fixable.

    In total it took about 3 days to complete, however I was working solid for those 3 days, starting at 8am and finishing quite late. If this was a regular working week it would be closer to 5 days time I'd estimate. That's for me though, I expect a kitchen fitter would have done it quicker than I did.

    They do say experience is what you gain right after you need it and I've certainly gained a lot having never fitted a worktop of belfast sink before. Fortunately I didn't encounter any major issue, I read and re-read the jig manuals to familiarise myself with what to do. If I could take anything away from this it would be 'use good router cutters', if I'd had decent ones to begin with I may not have damaged the jig and subsequently the worktop. Measure, check and measure again saved me too as on one measurement I was 10cm out! Checking and measuring again meant the worktop wasn't only suitable for firewood! An extra pair of hands to help lift things would have been er handy too. :p

    Cheers :D
     
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