How to Make a Sink Template in Six Minutes
November 1, 2008
Sinai Marble & Granite has continually been striving to fine tune our fabrication and develop systems that will make us more efficient, produce better quality and leave less room for error. As part of this search, we have found that using a template for sink cutouts produces a very even sink reveal. At the same time, it makes a sink cutout so simple that you’ll even let the new guy do it.
The problem with using hard templates - made directly from the sink - is that they are expensive and take a long time to make. We asked some of the fabrication experts at StoneAdvice.com about this, and they came up with a really efficient method. Here is how it goes:
The tools you need are a wood router, a flush trim router bit (mine is from Freud America, Inc., as seen in Figure 1), a rabbeting router bit and bearing set, a roll of heavy-duty tape (we use Gorilla Tape), and a sheet of ¾-inch plywood.
First, you line the top edge of the sink with the tape to prevent any scratching (Figure 2). Second, you flip your sink upside down on the plywood and use the sink clips to secure the sink to the plywood (Figure 3). Third, you flip the plywood over with the sink attached and drill a pilot hole in the center of the plywood so you can start the finger bit. Fourth, attach the flush trim router bit to the wood router, selecting a bearing guide that gives you the right negative reveal. For example, if you want a 1/8-inch overhang, use a 1/8-inch bearing with the flush trim router bit. Fifth, guide the router around the sink so the bearing on the finger bit is rolling along the tape. Continue until you cut out all the plywood from inside the sink (Figures 4 and 5). Then you remove the sink, and you have a perfect template.
We are able to adjust the reveal of the sink to range from negative 3/8 inch to positive 3/8 inch in increments of 1/8 inch. This level of precision is especially helpful when dealing with sinks that have drop-in cutting boards.
To create a positive reveal, in which the top lip of the sink is exposed, we must take the template-creation process one step further. We use the rabbeting router bit and bearing set. First, select and install a bearing that will give you the proper amount of reveal. For example, if you want a fine positive reveal of 1/8 inch, you would select the bearing that is 1/8 inch smaller than the diameter of the rabbeting bit (Figure 6). Second, set the depth on the router to cut halfway into the thickness of the template. Then make a pass all the way around the template. Then you flip the template upside down. Install the flush cutting bearing and make a second pass all the way around.
We use the template - along with a “Z Bit” (we use the “Reubenator”) to produce a sink hole that’s ready for polishing in less than 10 minutes.