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I just received a new range, and it turns out that it's just the tiniest bit too large for the cutout (see photos). I need to shave off a little bit of the countertop to fit the range, and I'd rather avoid using an angle grinder for such a little bit of removal.

Would an orbital sander with a diamond pad work for this? And if so, how hard would it be to keep the edge straight? And other than protecting against dust (water, respirator, plastic sheets, and vaccuum) are there any other pitfalls to watch out for?

Right Side ![Left Side](https://imgur.com/hz5vIqT)

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  • The best solution may not involve that edge. Please show a photo of the entire scene.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 13 at 18:04
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    @isherwood I'll try and get a picture later today. But what do you think other solutions might be?
    – BTWick
    Commented Jun 13 at 18:08
  • Probably by moving it over by a 1/4" if you got room on the other side
    – DJ.
    Commented Jun 13 at 19:31
  • Or cutting the other end (where it's less conspicuous) if you don't.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 14 at 12:52
  • If you can't simply shift one or both counters by whatever distance would get you enough room, you obviously need to grind some material down. It doesn't look like you need a lot more clearance—you might be able to get that by wet sanding with some heavy paper in a palm-style power sander. Wet sanding and dry sanding will both make some mess, but I feel like the mess from wet will be more contained.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 14 at 14:30

1 Answer 1

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This is one of the few places a belt sander is the right tool. They're too aggressive for most household jobs, but this material is so hard you need that. It would take half a lifetime to do the job with a gentler sander, and it would be difficult to maintain a flat plane.

Assuming that you have overhang on at least one side, a medium-coarse grit would grind away enough material in a controlled fashion to make this possible. Finer grits will just clog and overheat.

  • Prepare by taping heavy cardboard or thin sheet goods to the cabinet face under the counter top as protection.

  • Secure the sander against your hip or torso for stability with the direction of the belt motion upward. This will make any walk-out slips happen down where incidental damage is hidden.

  • With the sander off, move against the end of the counter. Look at the angle (slope) you want to achieve. Bias toward the bottom. Get a sense of how you'll hold the sander so it can't "climb" out of position.

  • When ready, start the sander away from the workpiece and move into position slowly, making light contact. Start away from the front edge, where the modification will be most visible. You'll want to do that last, once you've dialed in your technique.

  • Slowly remove material while keeping the sander moving horizontally. You don't want to stop or move too slowly or you're likely to cut edges into the face. Keep high speed and light pressure.

  • Frequently compare your progress to the original edge line. Avoid cutting into the radius more than necessary, and stay parallel.

  • Finally, work your way out to the front face. Take care to keep the final line appropriate (probably vertical).

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