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Cutting Tools & Router Bits

Solid surface is a durable material that is best cut and shaped with carbide-tipped woodworking tools. Carbide-tipped router bits keep their sharp edge longer, providing a chatter-free cut for a smooth edge. All router bits listed on SolidSurface.com are carbide-tipped unless noted as solid carbide or solid carbide insert. Amana Tool is one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality wood cutting tools.  Below is a very basic guide to selecting router bits.

If the router bit has a bearing, it is imperative that it be kept in like-new condition. More than a few projects have suffered setbacks due to malfunction and disintegration of a bearing, which often results in a gouged surface. It is worth the investment of a few dollars to replace bearings frequently. 

For projects that do not involve a sink, a straight bit and a corner-rounding bit are usually sufficient.

The straight bit (item #57186) can be used for cutting curves. Clamping a curved template under the solid surface provides the surface for the bearing to run against so the solid surface is cut to the shape of the template, like the inside or outside radius of a countertop corner.

The edge of the countertop (which may be built up to 1-1/2” thick) is cut to a straight edge using the straight bit and a rip fence that the base of the router is run against (see figure to left). 
  A common next step is to round the finished edge (item #57147). In this step, the bearing is run against the finished surface of the edge to round the top corner. The bearing can be run on the curved surface or a straight surface to round the top edge.

For the project that involves an undermount solid surface sink...

two different bits are generally used in combination to produce a finished edge where the undermounted solid surface sink joins with the solid surface countertop. The first bit to be used is shown at left . It is a straight bit with a Ultra-Glide™ non-marring Delrin® sleeved ball bearing guide (item #57153). It is used to rough out the sink cutout.
The image at left shows the sink cutout being cut with the straight bit. Once the cutout is removed, the next step is to round the edge while trimming the edge of the countertop flush with the inside of the sink bowl.
The second bit to be used is the round-over bit shown at left (either item #57128 or #51730).

The figure at left shows how the bit removes material to provide a smooth transition from the countertop to the sink bow.