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Old Oct 10th, 08, 10:36 am   #1
GunnerMcGrath
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How to attach/install Pragel countertop with 45 degree angle connection?

Hi,

I've got a corner where I want to install a Pragel countertop, and rather than butt them up to each other (ugly, and the rounded corner in front makes this unthinkable), I want to cut each at a 45 degree angle and connect them together that way.

Has anyone done this who has tips on how to connect the two counters together more securely?

Also as a side note, what do you use to seal the connection? I saw they have something in the seam in the IKEA displays but don't know if that's something they sell...

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Old Oct 10th, 08, 3:11 pm  
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Re: How to attach/install Pragel countertop with 45 degree angle connection?

The cut you are talking about is one of the most difficult things you can attempt as part of a kitchen installation. How difficult? If you were to hire me as your installer, I would flat out refuse to do it, even if meant losing the job.

However, if you insist on trying this, you need to layout and measure your cuts perfectly, keeping in mind that even a 1/8" differential is going to totally throw off your cuts, angles and joint. To make the joint "better", you need a biscuit joiner and biscuits at a minimum. The better bet is a series (3-4) of butterfly toggles, which require a particular cutout under the counter.

As far as sealing the joint, you'd want a clear caulk, like AlexPlus acrylic latex or GE II silicone. The former is easier to use and clean up, but a little less permanent; the latter is more permanent, but messier, harder to use, and a little more difficult to clean up.

Have I dissuaded you from this idea yet?

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Old Oct 10th, 08, 3:19 pm  
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Re: How to attach/install Pragel countertop with 45 degree angle connection?

Well, not quite, but it's food for thought. Can you give me more specifics about why this is so difficult? Neither I nor my father-in-law are professionals but we both know enough to be dangerous.

First, we've traced out a template of the top of the cabinets and figured out the exact angle and length that each cut would need to be in order to fit. Second, we do have the option of giving ourselves some breathing room, either by trying the cuts further down the length of countertop (leaving enough room on the end to do the cut again once or twice for the final runs), or just cut it a little shallow first, put it in place, and mark exactly where the cut should go.

Ultimately I'm not terribly worried about getting the angle right. I'd be a little more concerned about the possibility that an angled cut might come out less than perfectly smooth from the material they use for these counters, though we've had no trouble with it so far.

Just to play the other side of the argument though, if you were just going to install the counters flat against each other, what would you do about the front corner where the two rounded edges meet? You'd have quite a messy looking seam there, wouldn't you? If they were perfectly square corners I would probably be more inclined to do it that way to avoid the risk of bad cuts.

Your input is definitely welcome and I look forward to seeing your response to this post, so thanks!

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Old Oct 13th, 08, 9:57 am  
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Re: How to attach/install Pragel countertop with 45 degree angle connection?

The difficulty in the miter cut is in the angle of the two cuts - if they aren't the same angle, then not only is the angle not 90*, but the length of the cuts change, and the front and back edges aren't going to line up. With 90* cuts, you still have two pieces of equal length to line up. You're also dealing with a longer cut - 35+" over the 90* instead of a 25" straight cut.

I don't think you're any more likely to "damage" the material if it's a straight or angled cut - the Pragel particle board has no grain to it, so it's not like cross cutting a piece of wood. The "smoothness" factor shouldn't come into play here.

As for how to butt joint the two pieces, there a few possibilities, though they are most likely what lead you to consider the 45* cut in the first place. First is the IKEA cover strip choice; second would be to fashion your own cover strip, or use caulk in that gap (yeah, I know - really ugly); third would be to make a cut like they use in pre-fab stone tops, which starts with a small (1-2" - just enough to get you past the rounded over edges) miter cut, then turn and finish with a straight cut the rest of the way. In this last example, the two pieces kind of nestle together, though the preciseness of your cuts comes into play, as they do in the regular miter cut.

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Old Oct 13th, 08, 1:58 pm  
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Re: How to attach/install Pragel countertop with 45 degree angle connection?

I'm with Chuck - I don't mitre the Pragel (or Numerar) tops. The FIXA joining strip takes care of the rounded profile - and it can be spray-painted to blend in.
The Pragel c'top is what it is - an inexpensive alternative to custom tops.

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