Formica is a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melanin resin commonly used in kitchens for the installation of countertops, sinks, etc. One can cut formica sheets with the help of required tools and by the implementation of correct methodology. The skills required for cutting these sheets can be developed with enough practice and patience, and by keeping the hand steady. The process of cutting and installing formica sheets is presented in the paragraphs below.
How to Cut Formica Sheets
- Saber saw
- 'J' roller
- Flat file
- The first step in cutting a formica sheet is to mark out or sketch the required pattern.
- Once the sketch is prepared, cutting should be done with a saber saw equipped with fine blades. Cutting has to be done in excess of 3/8 to 1/2 inches outside the sketch border.
- After cutting the sheets, adhesive should be applied at the back.
- A 'J' roller is used for applying pressure on the sheet; it facilitates proper bonding of sheet with the surface.
- To cut the sheet in line with the edges of the underlying surface, a router should be used. A flat file is used in removing sharp edges.
The procedure of cutting formica countertops is as explained below.
- A sawhorse is used as a platform or base for cutting countertops out of formica. A circular power saw with 40 teeth is ideal for cutting these countertops. Most of the cutting is done with power saws, while the finishing is carried out with a power jigsaw. The jigsaw, thus, helps in cutting the countertop without damaging the adjoining wall. A pair of goggles, belt sander, and metal file are some other tools required to cut formica countertops.
- Prior to the actual process of cutting, one should cover the countertop with a masking tape to prevent splintering and chipping of plastic. The rip fence which comes with a circular power saw helps in directing/guiding the cut. Finishing with belt sander helps in compensating for any waver in the direction of cutting. One should always cut the countertop a bit outside to the actual line. When a saw blade is guided through the thickest areas of the countertop, it is necessary to adjust it by about 1/8th of an inch.
- A metal file needs to be used for the final finishing work. The filing process should be carried out by positioning the metal file in the downward position. A 220 grit sandpaper helps in polishing in the end.