How to join flatpax benchtops

How do you customise and join vinyl laminate benchtops together from the flatpax range. I was thinking of getting the corner benchtop but I need to attach a long piece to one end. Are the holes already pre-drilled in both the long and corner benchtops. Also, what if I need a shorter benchtop length than provided. Will I have to cut it myself and if I do how do I get that edge strip to look the same as the top of benchtop.
 
How do you customise and join vinyl laminate benchtops together from the flatpax range. I was thinking of getting the corner benchtop but I need to attach a long piece to one end. Are the holes already pre-drilled in both the long and corner benchtops. Also, what if I need a shorter benchtop length than provided. Will I have to cut it myself and if I do how do I get that edge strip to look the same as the top of benchtop.

Not sure what you mean by customise and join vinyl laminate but....

Laminate benchtops are usually joined with a "mason's mitre". When ordering you should specify which run you want the join on and it should come pre cut so all you need to do is use the toggle bolts to tie them together, 2 per join.
You generally put the joins in a place where its going to make life easy to install the b/tops and also away from sink and h/plate cut outs.


When I've had the need to I order my b/tops oversize so I can scribe them to fit. If your walls are square and plumb you should be ok to order you exact measurement, especially if your putting a tiled splashed back as you can hide a few mm's gap with the tile.
You cut the back to the bench top to suit so you don't have to worry about re-edging



Example of a masons mitre
Woodworking-joint-masonsmitre.gif


The bolts sort of look like this ( I'll see if I can find a pic of the ones I've used)
8750.jpg
 
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From what I understand with the Flatpax range at bunnings is that they only come in set sizes off the shelf. So as an example, I purchase the corner edge which is 900*900mm. Then I also purchase the longer straight benchtops, say 2400mm. I then cut the 2400mm down to size, say 1800mm. Then how do I join the 2 pieces together.

Is this how it usually is in the flatpax range or do I have it all wrong.
 
Is this how it usually is in the flatpax range or do I have it all wrong.

I'm not familiar with Bunnings 'flatpax' range of bench tops. I've only ever used normal kitchen bench top manufacturers. The way I have described above is what is used to join a 32mm HMR laminate bench top.

Here's a video I found on the bunnings web site and it says that you should find a company that specialises in postformed bench tops. It doesn't mention anything about getting bench tops from bunnings.

http://www.bunnings.com.au/learn-how-to-DIY_kitchen-bench-tops-video.aspx
 
Right e o, I found the flatpax website where it mentions bench tops

http://flatpax.com/Content/Kitchen/Products.aspx?rel=3

But it doesn't have any technical info.

As per the Flatpax website

Installing benchtops

We recommend having bench tops cut by a professional benchtop cutter or post former for any joining. A benchtop post former has the correct tools for cutting to avoid any chips or damage on the joins. The post former can also cut the bore holes and supply the benchtop joiners for easy assembly. Speak to your Bunnings Team Member for information on bench top cutting. Use glue and silicone on the join and tighten using benchtop joiners.

To cut benchtops for cook tops and sinks, use masking tape to protect the area from chipping and scratching. Mark the cut out from the appliance / sink manufacturers specifications and use a jig saw to cut. Fix all benchtops using the L shape brackets supplied to the cabinets.

I dont really no what their story is.

I'd suggest just getting your yellow pages out and doing a search for b/tops, laminate benchtop, postforming benchtops et el.
 
Mr

Joining benchtops on site by cutting the mitre is a very complicate task even for experience cabinetmaker. The tools required are very specific, expensive and not very common in Australia in recent years. You can always do 45% cut and joint them but this isn’t very professional and appealing finish. I believe that your cheapest option would be to call few cabinetmaking workshops around your area and ask how much will they charge you to do the cut for you (including the cuts for the bolts). They usually have the machinery in place to do the job. Chose the cheapest one and get the tops to them for that cut. This will be a lot cheaper than getting someone to do it on site. You will have to mark the angle of the walls on the benchtops to ensure that you’ll get the perfect fit. And apply good quality silicone on both surfaces before tighten the joist.
 
don't cut the join

If you look at the underside of these benchtops they will have a set of 3 holes bored into them about 10mm from the edge of the join.
This is where the toggle bolts that cashy explained and has shown, go into.
The problems can occur when you have a "U" shaped Kitchen, then you may need to re-cut a masons mitre.
You need to lay the tops in position and scribe against the walls if they are too far out!
Next lift each top and seal the end grain with paint or silicone. These flatpax come from China and their HMR tops do not have the same qualities as that which you get from local top suppliers)

Replace the tops into position and insert toggles into the holes (May need to cut part of the carcass out to access holes)

As you slowly start to tighten the toggles, place a bit of timber on the tops and tap firmly with a hammer to get the join level with eachother. You are trying to ensure there is no lip at this point!

Once you are happy there is minimal lip (you will hardly ever get a perfect join) tighten the toggles the remainder of the way.

Hope this helps you

cheers

Adrien Mamet
www.mametconstructions.com.au
 
If you look at the underside of these benchtops they will have a set of 3 holes bored into them about 10mm from the edge of the join.
This is where the toggle bolts that cashy explained and has shown, go into.
The problems can occur when you have a "U" shaped Kitchen, then you may need to re-cut a masons mitre.
You need to lay the tops in position and scribe against the walls if they are too far out!
Next lift each top and seal the end grain with paint or silicone. These flatpax come from China and their HMR tops do not have the same qualities as that which you get from local top suppliers)

Replace the tops into position and insert toggles into the holes (May need to cut part of the carcass out to access holes)

As you slowly start to tighten the toggles, place a bit of timber on the tops and tap firmly with a hammer to get the join level with eachother. You are trying to ensure there is no lip at this point!

Once you are happy there is minimal lip (you will hardly ever get a perfect join) tighten the toggles the remainder of the way.

Hope this helps you

cheers

Adrien Mamet
www.mametconstructions.com.au
Hi My name is eden and im a hire a hubby in semaphore and woodville in adelaide

you can buy a jig to do this cut and it is used with a plunge router ,, it is similar to the diagrame above but the bend in the cut is curved not angled

not many kitchen benchtop manufacturers are willing to cut other brands of benchtop and this is the reason for the reluctance and also the "i want it now but i want it cheap" attitude of the diy customer

there is a jig available to do the mitre cuts ( but its not flatpax,) if you have benches (in the flatpax range) that are over 2.4 and need a mitre join to get the extra length or the accuracy needed to change the angle for a corner that isnt 90 degrees ( not that that ever happens )

good luck as it isnt for the feint hearted at $250 approx but depends if your local maintenance fellas are worth their weight in cocky poo or not

hire a hubby semaphore
 
And this is why we decided against flatpax in the end - we wanted a corner.

Flatpax works best if you can lay your kitchen out so you don't cut any of the standard sizes - galley style I think this is, with the benches parallel. If you look in their brochures you'll find most of their pictures are galley style, but it is quite subtle.
 
the basic jig CMT650 is about $250 and the router bush needed is 30mm and a cutting bit @12.5mm that can plunge at least 2mm deeper that the thickness of your benches is used.

you could buy the router
and the jig and 30mm bush with a 50mm x 12.5mm cutter
and 2 clamps

use them and then ebay them

instructional tips are on youtube
eg.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUTLTZYpjtE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09YYc9Bxqy8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl0AQfthafo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZkx4w1eeTY

the money you would save with 2 cuts made is well worth the time and trouble

i have installed flatpax and ikea

one main diff in quality i have noticed is ikea use thin masonite backs compared to the flatpax and the flatpax is mush more resilient to water swell than ikea

ikea is something i would use in smaller spaces as unit sizes are smaller and there are more minor variations in design to suit smaller kitchens

flatpax i would use for longer lifetime and better durability and larger areas suit flatpax as in my opinion flatpax achieve a "professional kitchen look" easier and faster in larger kitchens

even if i had to order over the 2.4m length benchtop that bunnings supply in flatpax from another source i still use the flatax bases, shells, doors,handles etc

one reason that is overlooked is if there is a mark or dent or chip in any of the pieces i can walk back into bunnings with my clients invoice and plan and walk out 30 mins later with the new or correct item and be back at it within the hour ,,,,,,,usually !!!!

cheers eden
 
Following the instructions

Having the need for a new kitchen and quickly I found this option to be the easiest, although I it's not the cheapest.
To mount the benchtop the instructions say:

" For a perfect join between two sections of benchtop, it is recommended that you use a post-forming outlet, who specialise in Benchtop joins and cuts. "

The difficulty here is finding this type of outlet, I called many joinery places and they are either all busy with xmas rush or outsource their benchtops from somewhere else.

I ended up finding a bloke down inner west, gerald st marrickville, he did a ok job with a ok price. Best thing was he could do it the day I called him.

Hope this helps anyone else taking this option.
 
also, forgot to mention, what JackVassi said is so true, this is not for the faint hearted. after watching this bloke perform this cut in the workshop on huge jigs I can't imagine someone trying this on site and getting it right.
 
Quite a few companies do bench tops only (look in yellow pages). You give them the size and what you want and they will supply or in some cases fit. I've used one of these companies in Queanbeyan and it was simple to install and fairly inexpensive.

Mystery
 
masons mitre cuts

also, forgot to mention, what JackVassi said is so true, this is not for the faint hearted. after watching this bloke perform this cut in the workshop on huge jigs I can't imagine someone trying this on site and getting it right.

Gee thanks
Would you like some photos ?

cheers eden
 
here are 2 of my first ones

after the first few its quite easy

cheers eden
 

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Hi Eden,

I'm embarking on the same job with bamboo benchtops at my sister's place after xmas. Can you advise who cut the benchtops? If you did the cutting, what tips/tricks can you offer on cutting the mason's mitre joins?

My sister has had trouble finding a specialist willing to cut another companies benchtop.

This will be the first time i'm attempting this and benches ain't cheap so want to take the time to get it right. Any assistance you can offer would be appreciated.

Regards,

Project 1080
 
Hi 1080

spoke to your sister today and will do the benchtops for you between xmas and the new year

happy to help ,

cheers eden
 
How do the joins work on a u-shaped kitchen? I have the oven on the left against the wall, the sink and breakfast bar are at the top and then a right side bench. Is the only way to avoid a clipped corner between the top bench and right hand side bench is to have straight edges. If I have the join running parallel to the top on the left hand side, can I then have the join running parallel on the right hand side making it all equal and tidy or is there a reason why the right hand side would be cut at angle to the corner on the right hand side?
Cheers:confused:
 
is this the sort of thing that you are getting at

the left bamboo top is 2.4m plus the 560mm ( the dogleg (masons mitre)) left after cutting into the back benchtop gave a 2.960m bench

the back bench cut into the right hand one allowing a longer than 2.4 bench and the right hand one ( shortest ) was fine as it was less than 2m in length anyhow

so cutting into the side of any bench removes approx 40 mm from the face of the bench being cut


hope that helps in some way

sorry if i cant explain things well

i am self taught and proud of my lack of trade background

all ive got is great mechanical aptitude and the desire to get it right the first time

ive worked in MANY industries and if you show me once ill do it the next time

( THANK YOU YOUTUBE !!! )

cheers eden
 

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