Drop Edge Buildup Instructions

Tools Required

  • Router
  • Flush trim router bit
  • Color matched adhesive
  • Adhesive dispensing gun
  • Stop blocks
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Spring clamps
  • Sawhorse (or workbench, stand/support alternative) 

Consider Color/Pattern

This method does not work great for patterns with a grain direction...

Drop Edge Buildup Instructions - (Straight Countertop)

  1. Determine the required height of your drop buildup piece. This will always be 1/2" less than your desired total edge thickness as you will be adhering to your existing 1/2" thick top. (i.e. - if you wanted 1 1/2" tall finished edge you will need to cut a 1" tall drop)
  2. Determine the required length and cut your buildup strip to your required dimensions. For information on cutting solid surface, please view our "Cutting Solid Surface" article.
  3. With the countertop upside down, do a dry fit. Set your buildup on edge typical to how they will be glued into place. Hold your buildup strip roughly 1/16" back from your edge. You will trim this 1/16" off in the next step to ensure you have a consistent straight edge. Set plywood stop blocks behind the buildup strip. Once comfortable with the dry fit, hot glue your stop blocks into place.
  4. Using a sanding block, sand both the edge of the buildup and the underside of the countertop edge. This serves two purposes - First it preps the surface for better adhesion. Secondly, it allows you to feel and remove any obvious imperfections in your cuts (dips, bumps etc.)
  5. Wipe your buildup strip and the countertop edge down with denatured alcohol.
  6. Apply a generous amount of the adhesive to the seam area taking care to ensure there is an even coating. Place the buildup in position pressed hard up against the stop blocks. Do not wipe away the excess glue that presses out of the seam.
  7. Clamp the drop edge against the countertop using spring clamps placed every 1"-2" across the entire length. Allow the edge to cure for 30-45 minutes. 
    When clamping the buildup strip in place, it is critical to ensure it is straight (i.e. perfectly aligned at a 90-degree angle)
  8. Remove the clamps and use a router and flush trim bit to clean up your edge. Your flush trim bit barring will run along the buildup strip and your bit will remove the 1/16" overhang from the top. This will ensure your edge is perfectly straight.
  9. Your edge is now ready to have a decorative finished edge applied. 

Drop Edge Buildup Instructions - (with corners)

    1. Determine the required height of your drop buildup piece. This will always be 1/2" less than your desired total edge thickness as you will be adhering to your existing 1/2" thick top. (i.e. - if you wanted 1 1/2" tall finished edge you will need to cut a 1" tall drop)
    2. For every corner of your countertop with a buildup (both interior and exterior), you will need to fabricate a 6" x 6" square block the same thickness of your drop height. Cut multiple 6" x 6" squares and sand to ensure a consistent surface. Wipe with denatured alcohol and liberally apply adhesive. Apply an even layer to both sides of all blocks being seamed. Clamp the layers together and allow to set. 
    3. With the countertop upside down, set your radius corner blocks into place. Measure and cut the remaining required buildup strips to fully finish out your edge.
      For long term stability of interior corners, it is important to cut additional strips to run behind your corner block and span the seam where the block meets your buildup strip.

      Inside Corner

      Sits 1/2" in on either edge so bulk of square
      extends into corner giving plenty of material
      to route away for radius.

      Outside Corner

      Sits flush with the sides such that corner overhangs
      and provides material to route away

    4. Do a dry fit. Set all of your strips on edge typical to how they will be glued into place. Hold all of yourbuildup strips roughly 1/16" back from your edge. You will trim this 1/16" off in the next step to ensure you have a consistent straight edge. Set plywood stop blocks behind the buildup strips. Once comfortable with the dry fit, hot glue your stop blocks into place.
    5. Using a sanding block, sand both the edge of the buildup and the underside of the countertop edge. This serves two purposes - First it preps the surface for better adhesion. Secondly, it allows you to feel and remove any obvious imperfections in your cuts (dips, bumps, etc.)
    6. Wipe your buildup strip and the countertop edge down with denatured alcohol. 
    7. Apply a generous amount of the adhesive to the seam area taking care to ensure there is an even coating. Place the buildup in position pressed hard up against the stop blocks. Do not wipe away the excess glue that presses out of the seam.
    8. Clamp the drop edge against the countertop using spring clamps placed every 1" - 2" across the entire length. Allow the edge to cure for 30-45 minutes. 
      When clamping the buildup strips in place, it is critical to ensure that they are straight (i.e. perfectly aligned at a 90-degree angle)
    9. Remove the clamps and turn your countertop right side up. Use a router and flush trim bit to clean up your edges (up to the corners). Your flush trim bit barring will run along the buildup strip and your bit will remove the 1/16" overhang from the top. This will ensure your edge is perfectly straight.
    10. Once you have trimmed away all edges except the corners, you will need to clamp and use a radius template to finish out your corners. View our article "cutting radius corners using a template" for additional instructions on cutting with templates.
    11. Using sandpaper, feather in the cut made by your radius template.
      Because solid surface tends to run a hair under 1/2", It is not uncommon for the corner buildups to be slightly shy of your buildup strips. Typically this transition is slight enough that it can be sanded together and not noticable.
    12. Your edge is now ready to have a decorative finished edge applied.
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