How can I save time fabricating sink cut-outs? That is what we at Sinai Marble & Granite asked ourselves two years ago when we where a small shop in a garage and were sick of making amateur sink cut-outs that were as lumpy as a camel’s back. I can do a sink cut-out without a hard template, but it takes a lot of skill and concentration. There were just too many little mess-ups that were a pain to fix. Ultimately, we came up with “the 10-minute sink cut-out” - an easy step-by-step system that will produce a perfect sink cut-out every time. Moreover, even the least-skilled workers in the shop will be able to successfully repeat the process over and over.
We start off with a hard template that we make in-house (see “How to make a sink template in six minutes,” November 2008 Stone World, page 72). First, I place the template on the stone. Then I line up the center sink line on the template to the center sink line on the slab. Next, I trace the outline, and remove the template.
For Step Two, I use an Alpha AWS-125 tile saw with a 5-inch contour turbo blade (Figure 1). I use the saw to “step cut,” meaning I take two or three passes before I cut all the way through the slab. This way, I don’t burn out my saw. We cut about ¼ inch inside the sink outline, so there are no mistakes (Figure 2).
For Step Three, I place the template over the sink hole and line up the edge of the template to the sink outline. Then I clamp the template to the stone, making sure it is very secure.
Then, for Step Four, we use the “Rubenator” Z Bit (patent pending). We run it on a Porter-Cable wood router with a Plexiglas base (made in-house) at about 5000 rpm (Figure 3). I guide the router around the template, making sure that the guide bearing is making contact with the template all the way around. It takes about two to three minutes to remove ½ inch of stone on an average sink cut-out. We designed the Rubenator with an oversized top bearing to leave 1/16 inch of stone, so we can come back with a clean-up wheel to smooth out the rough surface the Rubenator leaves behind (Figure 4).
The final procedure is Step Five, where we run a 30-grit drum wheel with a top bearing to get the sink hole ready for polishing. We keep this drum wheel attached to a separate router to save set-up time. I use the same move that I used with the Rubenator Z Bit, and it takes about 45 seconds to roll the router around the template and finish the job (Figure 5).
The whole job - from start to polish - is 10 minutes for an average sink cut-out. This step-by-step system will give you a consistent sink reveal every time and does not require a lot of skill. To see this system in action, visit: www.sinaimarbleandgranite.com/tools/videos.html