Cutting Sink Cut Out
Cutting the sink cutout in a countertop is a straightforward procedure, but it must be done accurately.
Tools needed are; jig saw, jig saw blade, power drill, drill bit (Fig. 1), tape measure, saw horses, straight edge and pencil or marking pen.
Steps to Cutting Sink Cut Out
- Place countertop on padded saw horses laminate side down. Allow for open area below position of sink cutout.
- Locate center of sink on cabinets. Take accurate measurement and write measurement down on paper for reference. If cabinets butt into a wall, it is best to measure from the wall to center of sink. If you must measure from open end of cabinet, take into consideration any countertop overhang and add to measurement.
- Transfer measurement from appropriate end of countertop to center of sink and make a line. This is the center line of the sink.
- If you are installing a new sink, the manufacturer provides a template, follow manufacturers instructions for cutting out template.
- On countertop measure 1-3/4" from back of cove stick (Fig.2) toward front of countertop. This measurement works for most standard 22" X 33" sinks (double check measurement with your sink), other size sinks will require you to determine a new measurement that will center sink front to back in cabinet. If sink is placed to far toward the nose of the countertop, sink clips may be above face frame of cabinet making it difficult to tighten screws when sink is installed after countertops are fastened to cabinets. Mark distance with pencil in several places and connect lines with a straight edge. This only needs to be done in general area of sink cutout. Now position back edge of template along this line, while maintaining centerline position. Once these two dimensions are established you are ready to trace around template (Fig.3). Check and double check measurements, a mistake here may ruin the countertop.
- Use a power drill and drill bit (twist drill or spade bit), sized a little larger in diameter than the jig saw blade (Fig.4) to make a pilot hole for jig saw blade. Drilling hole from under side of countertop will cause the laminate to crack around hole, make pilot hole well inside of sink outline to allow for cracking.
- Use jig saw, with a jig saw blade that has a cutting length of at least 1-1/2". Use pilot hole to start cut. Follow line and cut toward the front (nose) of countertop. As you get closer to the nose you may find there is not enough clearance for the base of saw to follow line. In this situation you can place a scrap piece of 3/4" thick material along the inside of line. Place base of saw on scrap material and nose stick (Fig.5) following line until you no longer need the scrap piece. The sink cutout is heavy and needs to be supported as cut is completed, so it doesn't crash to the floor.
- Check sink in cutout. If it fits you are done. If it doesn't fit, find the area that is binding and remove more material. You could use; belt sander, jig saw, sanding block, wood rasp or coarse file. Sand or file in direction toward the particle board to reduce laminate chipping. Remove material untill sink fits loosely in cutout.
Tip: After fitting sink to cutout and the countertop is scribed and ready for installation, it is easier in most circumstances to install the faucet and sink into the countertop while it is sitting on the saw horses. Exceptions would be a heavy sink, such as cast-iron. Other exceptions are posible, each installation can have unique problems that need to be thought thru.
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