I feel as though the past week has been an episode of Man vs. Wood. I am installing butcher block countertops in my kitchen. The first 3 pieces I cut went so fast. Literally cut and sanded in a couple hours. I think because of how smooth all of my projects have been lately, I started to get a bit complacent. All along I was going to cut the undermount sink hole with my router, but a jigsaw was suggested and I read a few other blogs that used them for this purpose so decided to buy/use a jigsaw on my butcher block for the first time, without testing it! In hindsight, That was a ridiculous decision!! Anyways, cutting an 1.5″ piece of wood with a jigsaw doesn’t work if you are trying to cut along a line as the blade will bend, it can’t recover, and you will end up with a sink hole larger than you want on the bottom side (yes, this is what happened to me). Sinks don’t come in half inch increments and I was pushing the size of the sink to the limit already. So another sink wasn’t an option. Last Sunday was….a rough day. Thankfully, my wonderful husband picked me up off the floor (no, not literally) brushed me off and told me to go buy another piece of (150$) wood. So after swallowing my pride and absorbing the blow, that is what I did.
The second time around was going to be different. I was NOT going to ruin another piece of butcher block! However, at this point, my ego is a little deflated and I feel like a skater during the Olympics who knows she can land the triple axle but just having fell, is psyching herself out. Maybe I need beta blockers. Anyways, I may have been overly cautious, but I now have a fool-proof method of cutting a sink hole!! First, make a template! AND make sure your template is like a half inch thick!! The first I made was on thin hardboard and it wasn’t thick enough for the router bit bearing to glide on. So yes, I spent nearly half a day making 2 templates!!
I didn’t trust my ability to make two corners that were identical, so I made 1/4 of the sink pattern, marked the middle of the front and side and used this for all 4 sides. Secondly, I cut a decent hole in the middle of the butcher block where the sink will be, but stayed very far from the line!! Then with the jigsaw, I cut reliefs about every 1/2″.
I then, very carefully, cut close to the reliefs and checked the curve of my blade after every other block. This got me close, so all that was left to do was clamp my template onto the board and rout it out! I must admit, I did pray a little beforehand, which isn’t a normal thing for me. In today’s episode of Man vs. Wood, (Wo)Man Wins!!
Some events in your life make you realize what is important. Being the day before Valentine’s, I’d really like to show my affection to what made this countertop possible and I just wanted to say, “I love you!”
Yes Triton router, today, I salute you!! Let’s not forget Freud either… your 1.75″ top bearing router bit was paramount!!http://www.freudtools.com/index.php/products/product/50-118
In all honesty, I couldn’t have done it without my husband who jumped through hoops last Sunday to get me out of my failure funk!! I love you hun!! Happy V-Day to us!! We have countertops!!!