posted on December 22, 2007 01:19
One of the most difficult edge profiles designed for solid surface counter, is the 'No-Drip' edge. Some fabricators refer to it as a 'Marine Edge'. Making it look smooth and seamless takes a bit of practice and patient.
I will show you one method of creating a beautiful No-Drip edge without the hassle of cutting the edge with a hand held router.
Most critical in creating the edge, is making the no-drip portion nice and smooth. Dips create hours of extra sanding.
Start by gluing on the edge buildup to the underside of the countertop. You can create any height edge with either a stand up or stacked lamination. After applying the edge buildup, trim top to size.
To eliminate glue lines, be sure to start with an 1/8 deep by 11/16" wide rabbet on the top, front edge. This can be cut with a cnc, straight edge and handheld router with 1" wide straight plunge router bit or you can use a specialty 'Build-up/Cove Bit'. Take extra care that all the edges are the same width.
Next, a no-drip insert needs to be cut. We will start by cutting a strip approximately 5/16" x 11/16". Make sure the edge butting next to the inside of the rabbet, is extremely straight and smooth. This step is critical to eliminate any glue line on the deck. Check the width of the insert to make sure it fits in the rabbet.
Now that we have the insert cut to size, we need to add the No-Drip detail. This is accomplished using a table router. If you have a CNC, there are bits that will create the detail. The insert piece is going to pass through the router table between the fence and the router. Every table router is different so you will have to customize the setup to get the desired results.
This process should create a smooth profiled insert. Double check the fit to eliminate any extra sanding. A piece that stands above the deck will add hours of sanding. If the piece is too tall, just adjust the fence and reroute the test piece.
Once you have a perfect fit, run all the strips.
TIP: Cut all the strips a bit longer than you need. As they pass through the router, they tend to rattle at the beginning and end.
Clamp the no-drip profile in the rabbet. Be sure to apply pressure to the inside portion of the strip. If you don't get it pushed down, you run the risk of a glue line.
Scrap any excess glue from the deck.
Let dry and sand using your standard sanding methods. I like to sand with 400 or equivalent to eliminate any hand sanding. Of course you will have a bit of hand sanding in any inside and outside corners.
Your final results will vary depending on the color of material used. I have done this process for years and although I use the same technique, solid and translucent colors tend to show tiny glue lines sporadically.
Here are the final results.
About the Author: Andy Graves is the owner and operator of Olive Mill Manufacturing Inc. in Anaheim California. Olive Mill specialized in residential and commercial countertop fabrication/installation. Graves can be reached at email@example.com Visit his website: www.olivemill.com