How to Build a Custom Laminate Countertop Part 2 How to Build a Custom Laminate Countertop Part 2

What You'll Need
Wood Glue
Nail gun or hammer
Finishing nails or brad nails
Laminate material
Utility knife
Measuring tape
Straight edge
Chalk line

In Part 1 of this series of articles on how to build a custom laminate countertop, you learned how to select a location for the counter,  measure for the base and edge facing and cut the pieces of wood needed to build the countertop. Now, in the next installment, you will learn how to attach the edge facing to the base and how to measure and cut the laminate material. Follow the instructions below.

Step 1 - Attach Edge Facing Pieces to Countertop Base

Apply wood glued to the upper portion of the edge facing pieces of wood and the edge of the countertop base. Then, align the first piece of edge facing with the countertop base, and ensure that the top of the piece of edge facing wood is flush with the top of the countertop base. When placing the first piece, butt the edge of the edge facing with the edge of the countertop base.

Next, use the nail gun or hammer and finishing nails to attach the edge facing pieces to the countertop base. Place nails every 12 inches or so to create a strong bond between the edge facing and the countertop base that will allow the would glue to create a tight bond between the pieces of wood.

Step 2 - Measure Countertop Surface

Once you have finished attaching the edge facing pieces to the countertop base, measure the top of the countertop base again and take in to account the pieces of edge facing that you added. This should add an additional ¾-inch on all sides of the counter where the edge facing has been attached.

Step 3 - Transfer Measurements to Laminate Material

Transfer the measurements for the countertop base to a piece of laminate material that will be used to cover the countertop. In most cases, the laminate material will come in 4x8-foot sheets. Use two sides of the laminate material as true straight edges, and use your straight edge and a pencil or chalk line to create measurement lines on the material. be sure to draw all measurement lines on the rear side of the material.

Step 4 - Cut Laminate Material for Top

Place the laminate material on your table saw, and adjust the guide fence so that it is the same width as the countertop base with the edge facing pieces attached. Make sure that the bottom side of the laminate material is facing up when you cut it with the table saw.

If you want, you can add about ¼-inch to the measurement for the width of laminate material and use a router to trim the material to an exact fit later.

Step 5 - Cut Laminate Material for Edge Facing

Set the guide fence on your table saw to about 1¾ inches. Then, cut enough lengths of laminate material to line the outer perimeter of the edge facing on your countertop. Again, you can later use the router to trim off any excess laminate material to create a flush and perfect finish.

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