Adding a Stacked Edge Buildup
May 26, 2023 7 min read
How to Add a Stacked Edge Buildup
Adhesive & Gun
Countertop Fabrication Techniques
There are two techniques for fabricating a countertop with edge buildups. The technique you will use is dependent on the size/state of the countertop surface piece at the time in which buildups are added. If your existing countertop surface piece has been left slightly over sized from its final dimensions, you will use "technique 1". However, if it has already been cut to the final finished dimensions, you will need to used "technique 2."
The major differences between implementing either technique is how the buildups are positioned on the surface:
Edge treatments should sit flush (even) with the edge.
Edge treatments should sit proud (overhang slightly) with the edge.
Once you decide on a technique, you will use your router for cutting/trimming the excess accordingly:
Cut excess away from all layers. This final cleanup cut is made with the countertop face up using a straight router bit and a straight edge to cut your countertop to the finished size.
Cut excess away from buildups only. This final cleanup cut is made with the countertop face down using a flush trim bit that runs against the top of your countertop and trims off the overhanging edge buildups.
Either option is acceptable and selection is largely driven by a combination of personal preference, material yield out of a sheet and available tools.
3. Turn your countertop over and do the required prep work.
Key Tips: 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.
Key Tips: 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.
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.
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 a 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.
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.
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".
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.