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  1. #1
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    Question How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    I'm about to remodel my 1959 ranch home's kitchen back to the 50s and have found a contractor to do my Aqua Boomerang Formica countertop and have found a company, NY Metals in Astoria, NY who sells the edging. The only question that has my contractor "intimidated" is on how to cut the stainless steel edging without it "curling" on the edges. We're doing sharp corners that will have to be mitered and need to know the best way to cut this stainless steel and make it look great! I'm totally open to any of your ideas and appreciate it as I'm ready to move forward! Thanks!
    Milster

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Generally speaking stainless steel is a nonferrous metal and makes it difficult to cut and drill with conventional tools .... different grades increases these difficulties as well the thickness of the stainless steel.

    Depending on what thickness and the shape of this edging ..... it might be possible to use a metal cutting disk on an angle grinder to make the cuts.

    However ..... because working with stainless steel is more difficult to work than regular mild steel ..... you need plenty of patience.
    If the stainless becomes over heated while cutting it will discolor ... turning a blue color from the heat tempering and if thin enough can distort the material .

    Adding to the difficulty .... chances are this stainless edging is polished with one of the varying degrees from high polish to a satin.
    Any rough edges and scratches are very difficult to machine out to match the original finish.

    This is not saying it can't be done but rather it is something that has to be done with patience and having the right tools and skill..... especially out in the field.
    Having experience working with stainless steel I can understand your contractor's intimidation .... considering this is a finishing touch that leaves no room for error.

    Perhaps the supplier of this edging can cut the miters at their facility .... it's likely they would have the tools to quickly and easily cut this. Besides .... the onus would be on them to ensure it's done correctly and finished to match.

    Just a thought.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusFarcus View Post
    You can use a heavy duty nibbler hand tool or power nibbler, grinder with fiber reinforced cutting wheel, a torch with a welding rod between the torch and the stock you want to cut - cut through both at the same time, a shear, or a metal cutting blade. Remember you wrap around outside corners and don't seam them. You can do your cut in however you want, then trim tabs for miter fold.

    You can finish the cuts with a grinder or file. Restore the luster with chrome polish.

    You using 304 or 316 SS?

    Shulter and others make similar trim profiles for tile, they are cut the same way. On the fabrication end in production they usually plasma cut it, not practical in the field.

    Despite Canuk's assertions, Stainless Steel is NOT nonferrous. Stainless steels are iron-based alloys containing 50% or more iron (by definition, ferrous) and 10% or more chromuim. Some (but not all) Stainless Steel have non-magnetic properties (look up austenitic). The austenitic stainless steels contain a significant amount of nickel. Its the chromium and nickel content that makes it more difficult to cut or torch than regular carbon steel.

    You can also download free information from the Stainless Steel Institute of North America. Start with the Stainless Steel Fabrication Designer Handbook. http://www.ssina.com/shopfabrication/index.html
    Ah ... Leslie/Dwarf / Yuk / Blue ... you just can't resist to try and discredit folks.
    Despite the assertion by Marcus Farcus ...... Plasma or water jetting would be more appropriate than using using a welding rod.
    Your welding rod suggestion just shows you don't have a clue working with stainless steel or metal in general.
    I highly doubt the technique described would be done within someone's house.
    And chrome polish won't restore the finish from scratches and cutting /grinding marks.
    At least from my experience working with metal not not blindly using Google .
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Not to mention that banding is generally profiled which makes it almost impossible to wrap around corners.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Thank all of you for your help and suggestions and I'll pass them on to my contractor. As far as to what grade of stainless steel the edging is, I'm not sure so I'll have to ask the manufacturer.

    I think I'm going to go with the suggestion of getting the manufacturer to make the cuts for us once my contractor has the exact measurements.

    Sorry to see that you guys tend to disagree a little but I'm going to pass this on to my local expert and see who he tends to agree with since I, am unfortunately, clueless when it comes to this.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Without having knowledge of the exact edging product you're describing, I'd defer this to my architectural sheet metal shop. That is to say, you should have an HVAC shop in your area that specializes in architectural detail metal, and it is a shop of this nature that could deal with such a beast. They would have the expertise to send someone to your site with the ability to cut and manipulate the edging and install it as to the manufacturer's specification.

    As to the disagreement amongst the members, Canuk, Jack, and myself offer real world experience, Marcus Farcus is a known "Googler of knowledge", that has been banned from posting on numerous occasions due to inaccurate and inflammatory posting. I would recommend that if you receive any information from ANY source that you don't agree with, that you strive to find local professional help to back the claims of that found on the internet. Ultimately, you'll be bound by what is locally available and allowable by code. Sorry to have diverged from topic, hope that it's helped in some small way.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    It is amazing that there is only one person that knows everything about home renovations. Perhaps they should start their own website to enlighten the rest of the world. Call it "ASK THIS OLD CRAB". You quoting John Wayne is an insult to a great American.

    I would be proud to be a member of Galactictally Stupid Club!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    For anyone who is wondering what is going on here ...... please see this thread-

    http://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showt...ewpost&t=10701
    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-02-2009 at 11:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusFarcus View Post
    Yes it a sorry state of affairs when so many in the Galactically Stupid Club climb on board and start spouting off what they know nothing about.

    Since most of the work I do is commercial I deal a lot with the 300 series SS. I haven't used NewYork Metals as a supply point.

    I did check them out, they are geared to the DIYer and Residential fabricator/installer market. ALL of their SS is 430, so it IS magnetic AND FERRITIC. Meaning it is not appropriate for exterior or marine applications, it WILL attract iron and rust, and for that reason I personally wouldn't use it in the "buisness" end of a kitchen, food prep or wash-up, I'd stick with 304SS or 316SS there are other resources of the trim mouldings in 300 series. You'd have to check to see if your electrical and plumbing inspectors would have an issue with it, residential rules might be more lax.

    You should have no problem cutting it using sharp tools for carbon steel just going slower. Even a hand saw will do with the correct blade. If you are pre-fabricating junctions such as those mitered inside corners especially compound inside corners, I'd suggest solder not welding, with the right flux (phosphoric acid based) for your waterproof/food collection resistant joints.

    The laminate and mirror/panel band/cap mouldings and snap mouldings are easy to pre-bend form also after you've nibbled or cut away the parts of the profile for the mitered wrap its done all the time (you just have to know HOW to do it).

    Basically everything the others said is meaningless to your application. You are worrying about nothing. Download the document I referred you to. New York Metals doesn't offer any secondary fabrication, and you don't need it.
    LOL .... so you do commercial work?

    What concerns would an inspector have ? .... dare I ask.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to cut Stainless Steel Edging for Formica Countertop

    Quote Originally Posted by milster View Post
    I'm about to remodel my 1959 ranch home's kitchen back to the 50s and have found a contractor to do my Aqua Boomerang Formica countertop and have found a company, NY Metals in Astoria, NY who sells the edging. The only question that has my contractor "intimidated" is on how to cut the stainless steel edging without it "curling" on the edges. We're doing sharp corners that will have to be mitered and need to know the best way to cut this stainless steel and make it look great! I'm totally open to any of your ideas and appreciate it as I'm ready to move forward! Thanks!
    Milster
    I'm curious, why are you going with stainless banding? Having actually been around in the 50's most of the residential Formica counter tops I remember had straight fronts and Formica banding with straight Formica covered back splashes. Stainless banding was primarily commercial applications like dinners.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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