Corian table saw inserts

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I remember someone here saying that they used Corian as a material for their table saw inserts rather than wood. I came across some nominal 1/2" thick Corian and thought I'd give it a try. Are there any problems I need to watch out for? I've made one for my Powermatic 66 but haven't used it yet. I like the fact that Corian can be drilled and tapped for leveling setscrews.
 

creasman

Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I use this on my table saw. I made several sets at the same time using the original insert as a guide. I cut these close to the actual size, then used double-sided tape to attach the original guide and a trim router bit in the table to take them to the final size. For my saw (a Delta contractor model) I had to also undercut them so it leaves a 1/8" thick lip around the perimeter. This allows for the 1/2" thick material to still be flush with the top. Hard to describe, but I can send pictures if it helps.

As for the material it works great. It's very stiff and does not flex. It is also very durable. I don't think I've worn one out yet. I did take one that was getting worn and turn it into an insert for the dado blade set. I made mine solid, installed them and then cranked the blade slowly up through the insert.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I've been very encouraged by what I've initially seen. I think it will beat the heck out of my wood ones that get scored. Having leveling screws beats the heck out of masking tape. I'm thinking I'll put a little glue on the threads to hold the set screws in place. Some of today's experimenting reveals that a #8 drill is better for a 1/4-20 pilot hole than the standard #7 routinely used for metal.
The stuff sure is powdery when cut but I can live with that. I'll do a batch in the near future for the dado with some extra insert blanks. I think this stuff will work great for my bandsaw that uses a long strip for an insert.
 

Craptastic

Matt
Senior User
I made some for my old shop when I ran into some excess Corian doing a kitchen remodel. It works well. I had 4 different inserts for my saw (Delta Unisaw) that did most everything I was cutting at the time. Slick to pass wood by and easy to mark, erase and remark. When I run into some more I will be making some new inserts for the current saw. Not sure I'd run out an buy new Corian for this but there is plenty of countertop uninstalls happening that the Restore should have some pieces here and there.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have one Works nicely. But I do not use it for any angle cutting I make those out of ply.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Glad to hear all of this. Getting ready to do a kitchen remodel and replacing cabinet as well as white Corian tops. Going to try to salvage a lot of the cabinets and tops but some are cracked so this will make good material for that.
 

HITCH-

Hitch
User
The piece that gets cut out of the counter for the sink is big enough to make several inserts.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
We're going back with quartz. I'll have plenty of Corian to work with. With regards to sink cutouts, if someone can find a local solid surface fabricator, they would be glad to hook you up with those. Might even be good for TS sleds and such...
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Bob, you might want to coat screw holes with super glue. Be be sure it's dry before inserting the screws. DAMHIK! On my inserts (MDF) I use 10-24 set screws. A box of 100, along with tap and matching drill bit set me back less than $15 a few years back. When an insert wears out, I retrieve the screws for reuse later. Went by Restore and bought a couple Allen wrenches to fit. Cut one so it is just a straight section, which I can chuck in drill, or impact gun. A added a roll pin at rear of insert to prevent lifting. Using either Phenolic, or Corian ( I have both on hand,) I want to make an insert that uses the replacable wood insert.
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
I have been looking for Corian to use with my scroll saw, (think trivets, etc). I would love some! I don’t know where to look around here!
 

creasman

Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I've bought a lot of this in the past at the Habitat ReStores, mostly at the larger one in Raleigh near Capital Blvd. It's out of fashion currently so whenever a kitchen is refurbished it is replaced with quartz or granite. The old solid surface material ends up at the restore.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Here's some progress on my insert adventure.
1        corian - 1.jpg
Leveling the insert. The results sure beat a lot of my wood inserts for flatness. The setscrews were coated with Titebond. That seems to be holding well enough. We'll see. The surface sure is slick.

1        corian - 5.jpg
This is the table saw configuration for the insert. Five tabs are there for the insert to rest on. While they're close, they are not all exactly the same depth.

1        corian - 2.jpg
This is the bottom side. Routed the wrong end on this one. I cut a kerf on the sides for clearance. I routed the first one and that was an annoyance. The groove was faster and easier. The ends were profiled with a router as suggested above. It makes for easy duplication rather than back and forth on the disk sander.

1        corian - 3.jpg

The underside of some of the six I made. I drilled the pilot holes with a #8 drill on my drill press and then threaded with a spiral point tap mounted in a battery powered drill. It worked fine. I think the old fashioned hand tap would have made a mess of the threads.

1        corian - 4.jpg
The undersides of various inserts I've made over the years. Some I made in 1991 when I first got the saw. As crude and awful as they look, I managed to get by with them and probably still could, but I do prefer the nicer Corian inserts, at least for now.

An old friend has lots of cutoff sheets of 1/2" Corian (usually 30x48±). I felt ashamed for only taking five sheets because at the time, he would have liked to get rid of a lot more. Even those size sheets are heavy.
 

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zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I have been looking for Corian to use with my scroll saw, (think trivets, etc). I would love some! I don’t know where to look around here!
I found two large pieces from someone on marketplace. They were remodeling and sold the two pieces for less than a 4x8 sheet of plywood 3 years ago.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
I've bought a lot of this in the past at the Habitat ReStores, mostly at the larger one in Raleigh near Capital Blvd. It's out of fashion currently so whenever a kitchen is refurbished it is replaced with quartz or granite. The old solid surface material ends up at the restore.
Yeah, the problem is that Coiran doesn't take heat well. My tops had cracked over the dishwasher and in the corner. I'm just thankful they are an off white so they don't show scratches as well. As for availability in the ReStores, HGTV shows showing people taking sledgehammers to their cabinets and counter tops has set the bar for lots of re-modellers, leaving the ReStore outlets lacking in those resources. Even granite is falling out of favor because of its maintenance issues.
 

Craptastic

Matt
Senior User
If you want Corian go find a local countertop installer and see if you can get some of their scraps for a few dollars. Most of them toss backsplash pieces less than a foot or two long and may also have some countertop pieces available.

Give them a week and you will have plenty for a while.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I've done a couple of mobile potting tables for my wife using Corian for the top. Works great. A precaution for that application is to rout a small drip groove on the bottom of the outer edges. That detail has paid off well.

1        potting - 1.jpg

The lower shelf is a couple strips of PVC.
 

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