At joints, I apply acrylic adhesive to the spline and the
butting Swanstone edges. Some fabricators use suction cup
clamps to hold the joined panels snug while the glue dries, but
I prefer to use long pipe clamps. I also use swivel-nose
Vise-Grip clamps along both sides of the seam.
It takes about 30 minutes for the acrylic adhesive to set
up. Before removing the clamps, I check to see if the oozed-out
adhesive is dry and brittle. If it is, it’s safe to
remove the clamps.
Edges. At this point, I
flip the top over on its back to glue on the edges. I squeeze a
1/4-inch zigzag bead of acrylic adhesive along the built-up
edge of the substrate and another bead on the back of the
Swanstone edge strips. I use lots of spring clamps to hold the
edging while the adhesive sets up (Figure 4).
4. With the top flipped upside down, the edge
banding is attached with acrylic adhesive and spring
clamps (top). The edging fits tight against the bottom
of the overhanging top surface. After the glue sets,
the counter is flipped over and the top is routed flush
with the edging.
Once I’m confident the adhesive has set up, I trim the
edges with a flush-cut router bit. I finish the edges off with
an orbital sander and run a belt sander along the underside of
the countertop to flush up the edge with the bottom of the
Mounting the Sink
It’s relatively easy to install a Swanstone undermount
sink. With the countertop upside down, I center the sink in the
cutout in the substrate, and mark its final placement. Then I
pull the sink out and rough up the lip with 80-grit sandpaper.
I apply a bead of acrylic adhesive to the top edge of the sink,
set the sink back in place, and clamp it with Vise-Grip clamps
5. Deep-throat vise-grip clamps hold the
undermount sink in place while the adhesive sets (top).
After the top is routed flush with the sink edge
(middle), the author bores holes for the faucet with a
carbide-tipped hole-cutter (bottom).
After the adhesive has set up (I usually give it an extra 30
minutes), I remove the clamps and install retaining clips,
which provide additional support to the sink. Then I drill a
pilot hole through the drain opening into the Swanstone, flip
the top over, and rout around the sink edge with a bottom-mount
bearing round-over bit.