How do I flush cut edging on a countertop?

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Forum topic by Kevin posted 12-31-2007 06:24 PM 2151 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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291 posts in 3955 days

12-31-2007 06:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question countertop desk shelving edging

Sorry, no pics yet.

I am building a new computer desk and shelving for the wife. I had some custom formica countertops made that I am eding with 3/4” red oak to match some existing built ins. I just got a new router (2 1/4hp Porter Cable) from the wife for Christmas and was attempting to use a flush cutting bit to trim the red oak to the top. I already had finished the desk top with a hand plane, but was very nervious the whole time about cutting into the formica. I tried using the router, but found it was very hard to hold level on the red oak and run the bearing along the counter top. This is for the shelving, so the top is only 3/4” thick.

What methods have you used for holding a router level on a thin piece of edging to flush the edging with a countertop before? (top is not yet installed, so it can be moved around the shop)

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

7 replies so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3872 days

#1 posted 12-31-2007 06:28 PM

It helps to have a smaller router which is easier to hold. Like the Bosch Colt.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4019 days

#2 posted 12-31-2007 06:46 PM

If the top is still loose you can clamp some wider stock to the opposite edge to balance the router while you make your cut.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 12-31-2007 06:46 PM

I see that you mentioned that you just got this router from the wife, so a smaller one might be a bit of a stretch right now (?). You could try chucking a flat bottom mortising type bit and then come down from the top. Attach a piece of ply to the bottom of the router so that it will just ride on the Formica, and use your edge guide against the oak. Now just lower the bit so that it is barely flush with the Formica.

FWW has a jig design that uses this type of concept (if you have a subscription).


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4003 days

#4 posted 12-31-2007 07:39 PM

I like to put the wood edge on with minimal lip that i can take down with a hand scraper. If its too late and youve got the edge glued on then just make sure your bit bearing only and no cutter is touching the formica.
Good luck!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 3955 days

#5 posted 12-31-2007 08:21 PM

Thanks for the ideas.

I was able to get it finished last night with some router butchering and then some hand plane and sand paper salvaging. I was mostly curious for the next time. I think the smaller router is probably the way I will do it. That is on my list of things to get.

The wife is actually on board with the new tools. Anything I want, within reason (her reason not mine). I’ll be getting a smaller router and was thinking about the Porter Cable 97310 laminate trimmer.

When I got the shelves finished yesterday, she said, and I quote, “I’m sure glad I got you that router instead of the laptop case I was going to get you.” She likes the new tools as long as I can keep producing.


-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3879 days

#6 posted 12-31-2007 08:33 PM

I have the PC laminate trimmer (without all the other bases) and I don’t like it. It is underpowered as it is for trimming laminate, not oak edge banding. The collet grabs onto bits like glue, it is loud, and the height adjustment is pretty crude. Other than that, I guess it’s OK.

I have heard good things about the Colt.

I have done several hundred feet of 1/2” maple edge banded laminate cabinet doors with a flush bit and a larger router, but most of these were on the router table with the doors held vertically.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View LONGHAIR's profile


94 posts in 3812 days

#7 posted 01-01-2008 02:03 AM

I have had a Colt for quite a while. I use it a lot. I would say that it is the best of the mini routers/lam trimmers. I have a few others of different brands and the shop where I work has a bunch of the Porter Cable units. The only down-side (for some) is the square base.
On the original topic, I would try to run them vertically, as has been suggested. On shelves this is great, but for a countertop, probably not practical. A set-up like SPalm suggested works well. I have also seen a shop made jig that holds a trim router at a 90 degree angle. This makes it register off of the laminate top and still uses a flush trimming bit.

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