|Ask This Old House-Norm|
David: Question: Trimming a Raised Countertop Edge:
The laminate countertop on our kitchen island is edged with wood, which stands a fraction higher than the surface of the laminate. Is there a way to make it flush so we don't have to replace the countertop?
Norm's answer: If you try to sand the edge flush, you'll scratch the laminate, guaranteed. Better to put a flush-trimming, bearing-under bit in a small router and run it over the edge.
The bit has to be bearing-under-- with a bearing at the end of the bit, not at the base of the shaft -- so that the bearing will roll on the laminate and trim off only the wood that stands up above the surface. Before using this bit, however, carefully set its depth: You want to be sure its cutting edges do not extend past the wood-laminate joint.
If the counter were on wall-mount cabinets, a router could't reach all the way into inside corners or where the edging dead-ends at a wall. Those areas would have to be trimmed carefully by hand, using a sharp chisel. Luckily, you won't have this problem on your island.