Right tool for butcher block cut out

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Forum topic by chicagotom posted 10-29-2015 05:27 PM 1222 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1423 days

10-29-2015 05:27 PM

I’m putting in some 1 1/2” butcher block in the laundry room. Not a lot of space so planning on doing a positive reveal on an undermount sink so I can drop in a cover panel that effectively makes the counter bigger.

The niceset-looking way to do that would be to cleanly cut out the sink opening so that the “scrap” can be used as the cover panel – blending in perfectly except a small seam.

The issue is that i’m not sure the best way to do this. My first thought was a router, but it seems impractical to do something smaller than a 1/4” cut through the 1 1/2” material. I then looked for alternate bits or tools and came up with a metal cutting 1/8” end mill bit (these are readily available in long lengths and 1/8” shank) with some sort of adapter in a regular router. I’ve even seen some folks try using a dremel with a “router” accessory as 1/8” bits are the norm for it. Other option is just being very careful with a jig saw (maybe combined with circ for straight parts). Finally, I could just accept that making such a narrow, precise cut in something so thick and hard isn’t well advised, so just make the sink cutout letting the scrap be scrap and use another piece of butcher block to make the cover even though the grain and coloration won’t match…

What would you do?

3 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2431 posts in 2280 days

#1 posted 10-29-2015 06:57 PM

Making a precise narrow kerf cut in something thick is going to be difficult.I woulndnt even bother trying.
But if you have your heart set on trying a jig saw seems to be your best bet.Be sure to get your hands on a decent one,with a new blade.
So whats to lose by trying,You can always make a piece to fill the space if your cut wasn’t to your liking.

-- Aj

View IHRedRules's profile


116 posts in 1958 days

#2 posted 10-29-2015 07:53 PM

This is an untested thought, so use with caution. If it were me, I would use a jig saw, cutting just a hair shy of your line. Then, knowing that it won’t be perfect, use a drill with a sanding wheel to sand to the line. I think you could get it to look pretty good.

View HokieKen's profile


10752 posts in 1620 days

#3 posted 10-30-2015 08:53 PM

You could drill thru with 1/8 drill then use 1/8 router bit and take a couple of passes just to about 1/4” depth or so. Then use the jig saw starting in the thru hole and use the edge of your router cut to guide the blade. That’s basically how I did the cutout in my router table and it worked well. Of course, I wasn’t trying to salvage the off-cut as an appearance piece though.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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