Flattening Corian routertop

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Forum topic by Kickback posted 04-20-2012 12:21 PM 4198 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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127 posts in 2869 days

04-20-2012 12:21 PM

I am in the process of building a router table from plans I got from I glued a 36” x 24” piece of this Corian counterparts to a 3/4” piece of BB. When I went to put the MasterLift II I purchased into the recess I routed I found that the Corian isn’t flat. I was having a lot of trouble leveling the router lift in the recess and then realized the top isn’t completely flat. So I have fabricated a router sled to flatten the top out of 1/8” x 1.5” aluminum angle. It seems to be very stable and rigid but when I measure from the base of the table in am using to the bottom of the sled rails I am off 1/16” when measuring the four corners of the sled. I am in my garage shop and the concrete floor isn’t level. I leveled the table in am using but I am still off. Anybody have any quick and easy ideas to get this setup level so I can flatten the Corian? This is a one shot deal and I don’t have anymore Corian large enough to replace what I already have sized and glued up so I want to be sure I don’t screw this up.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

7 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3946 days

#1 posted 04-22-2012 04:20 AM

Are you making it level or flat? If you are trying to flatten it, you’ll need to get the frame set to give you a flat surface…meaning you’ll be imposing a plane on the corain (it may not be level though). There are a number of articles here on building router plane tables as I think you mentioned. Will you have to re finish the corian once you’ve flattened it? I’m not sure how smooth the surface will be after.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 3508 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 10:33 PM

Could you have someone run it through a thickness sander ?

I am not convinced that it really needs to be 100 % flat. It is important that the bit is square to the table at the point of contact.

Interestingly I think Veritas or someone make a steel router table top that is very slightly convex on purpose.

Perhaps corrian might be heat sensitive, cook it and clamp it flat ??

good luck

-- Ollie, UK.

View bruc101's profile


1261 posts in 3775 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 11:50 PM

I don’t think you want to try and flatten a piece of Corian with a router, It’s not wood and you’ve probably never experienced trying to sand router cuts out of it before. It’s a nightmare and very difficult to keep it flat unless you use a widebelt or drum sander as big or bigger then the piece.

Any solid surface material such as Corain has to expand and contract just like wood and you can’t glue it to a piece of BB and expect it to lay flat. Doing that could make it crack.The way you hold any solid surface material down is with silicone and most of the time with dime size dabs about 12 inches apart. It also scratches very easily. doesn’t like anything hot on it and if you drop something heavy it could possibly break it.

When we install Corian countertops we hold the edges anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 inch away from a wall or anything solid it could touch when it moves. I’ve seen tops mounted a 1/4 inch from a wall later be jammed into the wall and cracked because of the material movement most of the time in a corner.
Sometimes when we have to lay Corian with a large overhang off a cabinet we use plywood with holes drilled in it so it can breath and move on the dabs of silicone.

Where you mounted your router in the top if you didn’t make the corners rounded on the inside and sanded the edges smooth it will probably crack there also. You also never want to leave any sharp edges anywhere so it won’t chip out.

I’ve seen Corian and other solid surface materials do some strange and crazy things before and it’s possible your top is trying to tell you something…I need to move !

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 2869 days

#4 posted 04-25-2012 02:24 AM

Well that is a fine how do you do! I wish you had posted this earlier before I glued the Corian to the BB ply bottom layer. I guess I will just have to see how it goes and if it doesn’t work out no big deal because it was free. The router plate opening was cut using a template designed for it so the corners are radiused. I also radiused the corners of the top and rounded over all the edges.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View bruc101's profile


1261 posts in 3775 days

#5 posted 04-26-2012 03:43 AM

I think if anyone has never used Corian, or any brand solid surface materials, they should find out what to do and what not to do before they use it.
Corian is also not the best solid surface material on the market, it’s a name in the industry and the oldest name in the industry and the most expensive for us.

I rate Gibraltar, Avonite and Hi Macs above Corian and do more Gibraltar than any of the five brands we fabricate. It’s basically all the same material. Any brand adhesive will work on any of the others. We use only a clear adhesive which is actually a milky color and never get a seam that’s visible to the eye. The guns we use to apply the adhesive with cost me almost 200 bucks each.

Gibraltar and Avonite also cost me about half what Corain cost me and carries the same warranty as Corian…10 years. I pay the same for 1 sheet or 10 sheets..not so with Corian.
The only time we use Corian is when a customer won’t listen and wants to pay the Corian price.

Also, if you’re not a certified fabricator and you build yourself a solid surface kitchen countertop and something goes wrong with it and you call the company…guess who gets the last laugh?

Good luck with your top.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2810 days

#6 posted 04-26-2012 04:09 AM

Put it together and run some scrap pieces and measure it. It’s probably not that bad. Run some long pieces and see if the detail is really messed up.
It should be fine. Good luck.

View vonhagen's profile


541 posts in 2598 days

#7 posted 04-26-2012 05:05 AM

run both sides thru a precision widebelt with the drum only til its flat then run with the platen down on the finish head with 220. find a local shop in your area with a bufering or scmi dual head and they will maybe do it for free or a 20 dollar bill. it does need to be very flat

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

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