Pictures from the Solid Surface Class
We started with a large sheet of solid surface that we cut down to the sizes shown to make a small project (working in teams of two). Festool Guide Rails and TS5 were used
We placed a seam 2" from the corner. The setup for the mirror cutting operation is shown using the 2200 router
Glue up with Parallign clamp (the coolest of 4 or 5 clamps shown to us)
Template for cutting front edge
Front edge buildup, first layer
Front edge buildup, layer 2
Finished team project, front edge bullnosed with 3/4" radius. Project not completely polished out at this point
I had worked with solid surface on a very limited scale prior to this class. This formal training was excellent for expanding my use of the material on specialized small projects. We discussed, but did not practice the installation of a sink and the reinforcement needed for heat near countertop stoves and ovens. You do not get certified to buy materials from manufacturers/dealers requiring certification with this class. This was not my goal in attending the course.
1. Everything I wanted to learn was covered.
2. Festool tools are excellent for this type of work. Take the tool to the work, unbelievable dust control (this stuff is horrible for making shavings and dust)
3. I feel competent to do all sorts of small projects up to and including building L shaped desktops. I would be a little shy on doing sinks and stoves as mentioned above -- I might do my own, but not for a customer -- mainly the warranty issues. I would hate to eat the price of a job that was botched because of my fabrication
4. This is work. I now understand the reasons fabricators charge what they do. These pictures do not do justice to all of the steps involved (they don't even cover the back side seam, the buildups on the back to support the counter etc.
5. This material is HEAVY. You need a crew to maneuver a 10' by 4' L- shaped counter into a kitchen. You drop it --- you eat it!
Thanks to Steve Bace for doing a great job instructing this class. He used to be in charge of training and certification for the solid surface industry association (not sure of the exact name). If you have access to scraps from a larger scale fabricator, you can have alot of fun.