Fast & Accurate Countertop Scribing


Fine Homebuilding's Tips & Techniques

As a kitchen-cabinet installer, I have scribed hundreds of countertops to fit irregular walls.
For most jobs, I only have to remove a little of the countertop material, but for some jobs, I have to carve away as much as 1/2 inch of material - which can be a long, dirty job with a belt sander.
Now, I use a new technique that leaves the old way in the dust. Instead of a belt sander, I use a router. 
  • As shown in the accompanying drawing, I use a medium-duty router with a 1/2-inch diameter straight-shank cutter.
  • I position the countertop away from the wall so that, at the maximum distance between the counter and the wall, the router bit just kisses the very edge of the counter.
  • Then I temporarily screw the countertop to the base cabinets from below.
  • Next, I run the router across the backsplash scribe using the wall as a guide.
Apart from a minor touch-up in the corner with a belt sander, the job is complete. A perfect fit, every time.
- Steven Morris, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press
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