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So I have a rectangular hole in a laminate countertop that is very slightly too small for what I want to set into it. This is an extra kitchen that I'm not too concerned about but I'd like to be able to shave something off one edge of the hole without making a mess if possible. My question is, can I just sand this? It's particle board with the laminate surface. I just need to cut off about 1/8 inch maximum and I'd prefer to just sand it because it's such a small amount I don't think I can use a saw. Any suggestions?

  • Do you have access to a handheld router? – BrownRedHawk Mar 22 '16 at 16:13
  • The other tools to consider for this are a Roto-zip and a Router. The roto-zip is still fairly inexpensive but the router will cost more. You might be able to rent or borrow a router though which would make short work of this problem. – ArchonOSX Mar 22 '16 at 16:20
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I did exactly this to fit a slightly bigger sink into an existing countertop made from laminated chipboard. The difference in size was very little (perhaps 5mm)

I used a cheap jigsaw - it was a struggle and the line was not straight but I managed to keep the top edge of the cut within my marked rectangle. Part of the problem was finding a long enough blade that would cut on the downstroke (since I only cared about breakout on the top, from where I was cutting).

I finished up and straightened the edges of the hole with a surform, a rasp and a coarse sanding plate (like coarse sand paper only made of very long-lasting metal, I happen to have one I bought decades ago).

Sanding is too slow.

  • In retrospect, I probably should have marked the question as a duplicate of min – RedGrittyBrick Mar 22 '16 at 16:54
  • Actually, since you said you used a rasp to clean up the edges, I decided to try just using the rasp. Finished it off very nicely that way. It was such a small amount that the rasp did a great job. Thanks for your help. – concerned in Toronto Mar 23 '16 at 17:40
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Like RedGrittyBrick said. Or, you can use a Dremel or Roto-Zip with a Spiral Cutting Bit. Either one should be used with a straight edge clamped or taped down so you don't waver from your line.

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