You can complete the majority of solid surface projects using simple woodworking tools, such as a router, random orbit sander, circular saw, bar clamps, hot glue gun, adhesive dispensing gun and a straight edge/rip fence. Of course, many more expensive, professional-grade industry tools exist, but we’ve done our best to show you how to work with solid surface using basic tools. Here they are:
Circular Saw with Carbide Blade
An 18-volt cordless circular saw will cut 1/2” thick solid surface material. For anything thicker, a corded 7 1/4” circular saw is fine. For both, a thin 24 tooth carbide tipped blade will work for rough cuts and a 40 tooth for smoother edges.
A router is typically used for putting the finishing touch on edges that are to be seamed, for creating the final edge profile or creating a curved piece with a template used as a guide.
Choose a straight edge that is long enough to be clamped at each end to the material and is thick enough to easily guide the router. TIP: if you don’t have such a straight edge, you can use a long level or any other stiff, thick straight item.
Hot Melt Glue Gun
The hot melt glue gun is used to secure clamping blocks to the material during the seaming process.
Adhesives, Dispensing Gun and Tips
A color-matched adhesive, which also serves as a gap filler, is available to help make the seam invisible. The adhesive dispensing gun and tips are for applying adhesive to the material surfaces to be joined.
Random Orbit Sander and Abrasive Kits
Random orbit sanders are used for sanding the surfaces to the finish that is desired—flat through high gloss. An inline sander or belt sander will leave visible sanding marks and is not recommended for a final finish.