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Unread 09-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #1
babbo
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enlarging cutout in granite countertop

Friday the 13th the new stove arrives, a 30" gas slide-in, and the Missus is pleased as punch. Trouble is, the cutout in our granite countertop is exactly 30" wide and the new stove won't fit, so I need to remove a small fraction of an inch from one of the unfinished edges of the granite. What's the best way to go about this? Many thanks.
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Unread 09-14-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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I suspect the piece behind the slide in stove is separate from the “wings” on either side. Can you just shift one piece over 1/8” or so? That would be the best easy way. The hard way would be to grind the stone down with a diamond wheel or disk. You have to be careful to use the rotation to have any chip out on the bottom. Most slide ins have some overhang on the top that would cover any roughness on the edge. Either way it’s going to be a mess. Call the stone folks and let them have the fun.
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Unread 09-14-2019, 10:28 PM   #3
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Jeff, you're right. I drew lines on my picture to show the seams (joints). Do you suppose I could get one of the side pieces out and take it to a shop? Are the joints typically glued or mortared?

I am so p..sed off I thought about putting a jack in the cutout and forcing the cabinets apart 1/16th.
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Unread 09-15-2019, 07:40 AM   #4
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Apparently the stove hides the granite edge if it's not polished. I would cut the edge using a vacuum as much as possible. It's still going to be a mess. Or, remove one side and take it outside to cut it.
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Unread 09-15-2019, 07:51 AM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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The joints are typically joined with something like Akemi epoxy. To separate, most installers will lay heat tape over the joint until it’s at a high enough temperature that the Akemi softens and the joint is broken apart.

Was this installed by pros? I ask because one of the most important things the fabracator needs to do is establish what appliances are being installed so that they produce proper-sized cut-outs with the proper amount of size tolerances. So, unless you told them what size to make the cut-out and it’s that exact size, it’s time to call them back.

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Unread 09-15-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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Countertop installation was done 12 years ago and the old 30" stove fit just fine. Most stove manufacturers' 30" stoves are 29 & 7/8 wide but for some reason GE made this !$&(^#$#@% one exactly 30".

So it comes to this: could I remove 1/16th - 1/8th using an angle grinder? I'd make a tent out of plastic sheeting to try to control the dust. What sort of disc would I need and how long would it take?

The stone guys in my town don't want to come out for a little job like this.
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Unread 09-15-2019, 12:41 PM   #7
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The stove hides the edge, correct?
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Unread 09-15-2019, 02:04 PM   #8
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If only. I'm afraid a wavy edge will be visible, but since the granite is black, I'd just caulk it. This ain't Martha Stewart's house– I'll just do the best I can with your advice. It might be possible to buy some sort of trim kit to hide the edge: I'll check that out.

Thanks again to all. Keep the info coming please.
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Unread 09-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #9
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If that's the case and you're holding the bag for this modification, time for me to cover different advice.

I might suggest a turbo style diamond cup wheel instead of an ordinary cutting disc. (Something like this el-cheapo one from Horror Freight) You'll have a lot more cutting surface to work with than an ordinary cutting disc. Whith the turbo style diamond cut, the diamond segments are aligned as such where they fan over each other and covers a lot of surface (unlike some cutting cup wheels with skinny arc segments that are all aligned with each other (like Sand People from Star Wars) that can more easily dig/gouge into the surface. The turbo style floats better without dig-ins. It will help you get a smooth and flat surface. Since you want the blade to be spinning down into the surface of the countertop to minimize chipping at the top edge, I'd suggest trimming the granite on the left side of the stove cut out. The blade of a grinder spins clockwise (as you look down upon the working tool), so you'll be able to grind almost 100% of the left side with the downward arc. Depending on how close the diamond segments are to the edge of the wheel will determine how close you can cut to within that back piece. But more segments are relatively close or even touching the outer edge of the wheel.

Because you want the downward arc during cutting, I'd suggest starting at the back left and working your way to the front. Concentrate on lifting the left face of the wheel from the granite ever so slightly. The closer to flat you can make this cut, the sweeter the cut will be...but the closer to disaster of the front face touching. One advantage of starting towards the back and working forward is that if you do make a mistake and the left side nicks and chips the granite, you're still working towards the left and will be cutting (hopefully) any chips you make away.

I'd likely clamp a 1"x12"x23" piece of oak or maple or some other relatively hard wood to act as a guide. It will serve as a positive and distinct edge to grind to. The moment your grinding wheel touches the wood, you'll see and feel it (probably smell it, too ). Plywood would work as a guide, but it's not as hard...so you'll dig into the plywood more easily if you're not careful.

I'd make medium-speed passes from right to left. Maybe 10ish seconds to do a pass. Whatever feels good and smooth to you. Keep making swooping passes until you just touch your 1x guide.

Yes, set up plastic containment, Get a vaccum hose inside the containment with the vacuum outside to create a negative pressure.....and wear what you need to protect your breathing and eyeballs.

When you're all done, you could use some cheap hand-held diamond pads to gently break over the sharp top edge of your countertop. If you use a few grits, you can bring up a polish. It'll look snazzy when you're done. Oh, and you're not allowed to caulk anything. The Tile Ranger....no, wait....the Caped Caulking Crusader would have a conniption fit. And no trim kit.

You're gonna do great on this. You'll look back and say, "Dang...I'm good".
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Unread 09-15-2019, 05:29 PM   #10
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.......In case you thought I was kidding about The Caped Caulking Crusader.










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Unread 09-15-2019, 09:56 PM   #11
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What you need is a saw that will cut straight through granite which means a portable wet saw modified to be a track saw. I made one by machining delrin to make a slide for a handheld wet saw. It works great. You could also probably just slide a handheld wet saw against a straight edge.
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Unread 09-16-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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Tool Guy / Tonto,

Thanks for the thorough advice. Everything you say makes perfect sense to me (and I had already thought of the direction of rotation and the clamped guide). I know this is a tough question, but how many 10-second passes do you think I'll end up making? 100? 300? Your answer will help me understand how much pressure to apply.

Thanks again to all.
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Unread 09-16-2019, 10:10 AM   #13
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One last question... Do you think I could achieve results comparable to Tool Guy's method with a dry blade in my skillsaw?
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Unread 09-16-2019, 10:14 AM   #14
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Doubtful. Blade rotation wrong for chipping and you'll still need grinder for back near wall.

As an aside, I've "clamped" guide to countertop at wall with killer double sided tape.

Where's the face of cabinets figure into all this? Is there wiggle room?
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Unread 09-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #15
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Oops. One more. Tool Guy you write "I'd make medium-speed passes from right to left." I'm confused by this. Do you mean back to front?
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