Fitting a Flush Sink

I’ve been looking for a decent single bowl sink that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. This Suneli 1815 undermount sink was just over $50. It’s about the right size and I like the 7″ depth. So as part of making the new counter top (the particle board “prototype” lasted 7+ years, which is waaay overkill), I thought a sophisticated undermount would be just the thing–it is fabulous. Definitely 18 gauge, very solid. Feels more like 16 gauge. As an undermount it will be a bit of a challenge, but otherwise it’s perfect. I might even be able to rabbit/inlay it as a top mount.

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When it arrived, the top flange looked so attractive I thought I’d try making it into a top mount.

Undermount sinks have no cleats for pulling the sink down to the counter. I used some resin left over from the Pygmy kayaks and glass to attach some homemade cleats. Making the cleats required some 1/8″ scrap, some 5/8″ X 3″ strips of 0.040, and a vise. Then the paint on the outside of the sink was roughed up with 80-grit and the cleats were epoxied on.

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The flange on the sink is so attractive [to me] that I decided to take a big gamble and expose it, flush with the counter top. This required making a template and using a pattern/template cutting router bit to relieve about 3/32″ into the plywood. The template was drawn using the sink, but was cut with a sabre saw and then filed/sanded to as perfect a fit as I could manage, manually.

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After that, installation was a snap. The relief area wasn’t perfect. There are gap variations of maybe 1/32″, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s easily visible if you look (that’s the risk of doing an inlay, I guess). On the other hand, for a first time using a router like this, I’m giddy happy. The J-trap, as in all my other sink installations, is recessed back towards the shell to allow for more drawer space under the sink.

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The slight “S” curve edging (cherry on the burch plywood), where the counter gets wider, was cut using the same template idea. Why not go to excess when you discover a new technique?

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