Stacked Edge Buildup Instructions

Tools Required

Adhesive and Dispensing Gun

Adhesive and Gun

Clamp Blocks

Stop Blocks

Glue Gun

Glue Gun

Clamps

Spring Clamps

Sanding Block

Sanding Block

Orbital Sander

Orbital Sander

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured Alcohol

Countertop Fabrication Techniques  

There are two main fundamental techniques to fabricating a countertop with edge buildups. 

Option 1

Technique 1

  1. Cut your countertop slightly over-sized
  2. Glue on edge buildups flush to edge
  3. Straight edge router cut countertop & buildups to size
Option 2

Technique 2

  1. Cut your countertop to finished size
  2. Glue on edge buildups slightly proud of edge
  3. Use flush trim router bit to trim buildups flush to size

 

Either option is acceptable and it is largely personal preference. The following instructions are applicable to either option, however both buildup location (flush vs slightly proud) and the final trimming method (straight router bit vs flush trim bit) will be dictated by which technique is used.

Stacked Edge Buildup Instructions 

  1. Use your excess material to cut 1" wide strips. A table saw helps expedite this process tremendously. 
    Cut Buildup Strips

    Cut Buildup Strips

    Prepped Buildup Strips

    Prepped Buildup Strips

  2. Cut corner treatments if required. Corner treatments are 6" x 6" square blocks placed in your corners. These blocks provide the necessary material to add radius corners. You will need corner treatments if have either-
    Inside Corner Top View

    Any Inside Corner

    Outside Corner Top View

    Outside Corner Radius > 2.5"

  3. Turn your countertop over and do the required prep work-
    Sand Away Any Seam Squeezeout

    Sand Seam Squeeze out

    Sand Out Print Ink

    Sand Out Print Ink

    Sand Edges with Sand Block

    Sand with Sanding Block

    Sand Edges with Sand Block

    Sand with Sanding Block

    Sand Corner Treatments with Sanding Block

    Sand with Sanding Block

    We advise using a sanding block rather than orbital sander on edges and strips to avoid mistakenly rounding over square edges which will need to stack flush in the next step.
  4. Place your corner treatments (if required) first. Measure edges that require buildup and cut required strips. Do a dry fit, setting your buildups into place typical to how they will be glued. 
    Place Corner Treatments First

    Corner Treatments First

    Measure Between Corner Treatments

    Measure Between

    Cut Buildup Strips to Fit

    Cut to Fit

    Place Buildup for Dry Fit

    Set In Place

    Repeat Around All Finished Edges

    Repeat on Finished Edges

    Complete Dry Fit

    Finished Dry Fit

    Note your strips will either sit flush with edge or slightly proud depending on whether you are using "technique 1" or "technique 2" as outlined above.
    You may need to adjust corner treatments as you set your buildups in place because of small measuring/cutting variations. It is not critical that buildup/corner treatment overhang be perfectly consistant as you will trim the edge after gluing.
  5. Once comfortable with your dry fit, hot glue plywood stop blocks behind the buildup strips. These will be used to locate strips during actual gluing step.
    Glue in Stop Blocks

    Glue in Stop Blocks

    Glue in Stop Blocks

    Glue in Stop Blocks

  6. Remove corner treatments and sand radius into the inside corner. This important step helps relieves pressure from a stress point that could over time be a fracture location if left as a sharp corner. 
    Sand Inside Corner

    Sand Inside Corner

    Radius Inside Corner

    Radius Inside Corner

  7. Remove all strips and treatments and wipe all surfaces with denatured alcohol to clean. 
    Wipe Clean with Denatured Alcohol

    Wipe Clean

  8. Using your adhesive dispensing gun and mixing tips, dispense 5-10 inches of adhesive onto a piece of cardboard or scrap. Note the below image showing the visible difference in adhesive consistency once properly mixed. This step is critical as it ensures the two part adhesive is properly mixed. 
    Confirm both parts of adhesive are flowing

    Confirm Adhesive Properly Flowing

    Dispense Adhesive to Ensure Mixture

    Dispense to Ensure Mixture

  9. 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.Clamp the strips against the countertop using spring clamps placed every 1"-2" across the entire length. Allow the glue to begin curing. 
    Two Part Adhesive and Gun

    Two Part Adhesive Gun

    Two Beads of Adhesive

    Two Beads of Adhesive

    Liberally Appy Glue to Corner Treatment

    Corner Treatments

    Apply Spring Clamps

    Clamp Every 1"-2"

    First Layer Complete

    First Layer Complete

  10. Monitor the adhesive squeeze out. After 15-25 minutes (depending on temperature) the adhesive will start to get gummy. At this point, it is recommended to scrape the excess adhesive off the top of the buildup. Do not remove the squeeze out on the sides as this will be trimmed out in a later step. If you miss this step and the adhesive fully cures, you must chisel the adhesive which is more time consuming. 
    Test for Gummy Texture

    Check Gummy Texture

    Scrape off Semi Dry Adhesive

    Scrape off Adhesive

  11. Remove clamps, wipe down edge and second buildup with denatured alcohol and repeat gluing step with second buildup. Allow 30-45 minutes to fully cure.
    Wipe Clean with Denatured Alcohol

    Wipe Clean

    Two Part Adhesive

    Two Part Adhesive

    Second Edge Profile Complete

    Allow to Cure

  12. Remove the clamps and stop blocks. Chisel the dry adhesive off the top of the buildup then sand the buildup with an orbital sander to remove any bumps to ensure you have a flat level edge to set against your base cabinet.
    Chisel Dry Adhesive

    Chisel Dry Adhesive

    Sand Away Any Bumps

    Sand Away Any Bumps

  13. Trim your edge with either a straight router bit or flush trim bit depending on whether you are using "technique 1" or "technique 2". 
    Option 1

    Technique 1

    Assuming you left your countertop slightly
    oversized, you can now trim down all 4 sides
    to size using a striaght router bit.

    Option 2

    Technique 2

    Assuming your countertop is final size, you can
    now cut your buildup overhang off using a flush
    trim bit with the bearing running against the top.

  14. Use an orbital sander to sand out any imperfections in your newly cut edge.
    Use Orbital Sander to Smooth Edge

    Smooth Edge

  15. Your edge is now ready to have a decorative finished edge applied.
    Route Decorative Edge

    Route Decorative Edge

FAQs

Can you glue both buildup strips at the same time?

You certainly can, however the process is a bit messier as there are more moving parts and more uncured glue. For one-off projects we generally recommend working one layer at a time to keep the process cleaner and more methodical. 

Can you add more than two buildups?

Absolutely! Simply repeat the process for as many buildup strips as you'd like to add. 

 

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