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Old 12-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #1
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Drilling a Hole in the Karadon Counter Top to Install a Filtered Water Faucet

I carefully measured and marked the location for the new faucet on the counter top, drilled a faucet mounting hole, and added a tee to the cold water source on the existing faucet. All other parts needed where included in the filter kit.

To drill the hole I used a Lenox diamond grit 3/4" hole saw. I placed the water wand near the hole as shown and let a small stream of water wash across the drill bit and into the sink. After an hour the hole saw was only a fifth of the way through. Leaning over the sink, I could not put much force on the drill so I balanced the two 10 pound weights on the back of the drill. The hole was completed after another hour of drilling; the plug of Karadon is shown near the hole. Just before the hole was completely cut I should have removed the 20 pounds of extra weight. I expected water to leak through the hole just before the drill broke through but that did not happen. The drill and weights hit the counter a good whack but there was no apparent damage.

A twist drill bit may cut the hole much faster. I could not find a 3/4" twist drill that would fit my small 3/8" drill and did not want to buy a larger drill. An email from FAMA Industries gave these instructions for using a twist drill bit: "Our fabricator said to drill a small pilot hole and step up such as 1/4", 1/2", then 3/4". No water or oil is needed on the drill bit."


The cold water source line on the existing faucet is the shortest pigtail shown here with the tee installed. The part is a Keeney K2040 Add-A-Tee Adapter: 1/2" MIP, 3/8" OD, 1/2" FIP available at Lowes. I decided not to include a shutoff valve.


Here is the new faucet on the left and existing faucet on the right.


John
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Drilling a Hole in the Karadon Counter Top to Install a Filtered Water Faucet

I carefully measured and marked the location for the new faucet on the counter top, drilled a faucet mounting hole, and added a tee to the cold water source on the existing faucet. All other parts needed where included in the filter kit.

To drill the hole I used a Lenox diamond grit 3/4" hole saw. I placed the water wand near the hole as shown and let a small stream of water wash across the drill bit and into the sink. After an hour the hole saw was only a fifth of the way through. Leaning over the sink, I could not put much force on the drill so I balanced the two 10 pound weights on the back of the drill. The hole was completed after another hour of drilling; the plug of Karadon is shown near the hole. Just before the hole was completely cut I should have removed the 20 pounds of extra weight. I expected water to leak through the hole just before the drill broke through but that did not happen. The drill and weights hit the counter a good whack but there was no apparent damage.

A twist drill bit may cut the hole much faster. I could not find a 3/4" twist drill that would fit my small 3/8" drill and did not want to buy a larger drill. An email from FAMA Industries gave these instructions for using a twist drill bit: "Our fabricator said to drill a small pilot hole and step up such as 1/4", 1/2", then 3/4". No water or oil is needed on the drill bit."


The cold water source line on the existing faucet is the shortest pigtail shown here with the tee installed. The part is a Keeney K2040 Add-A-Tee Adapter: 1/2" MIP, 3/8" OD, 1/2" FIP available at Lowes. I decided not to include a shutoff valve.


Here is the new faucet on the left and existing faucet on the right.


John
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
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Great Looking Job!
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:51 AM   #4
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John- Definitely nice looking work!
You could (for your next job) try a spade bit. They are cheap, can be bought by the each @ Ace Hardware, & you can cut the shank off short for close quarter work. When it dulls, you can easily sharpen these w/a flat mill file, tho it helps a lot if bit is held in the portable vice you carry for such jobs. Spade bits come now w/spurs on each outer corner of the cutting surface. When sharpening, take care to dress these up for cleanest work.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
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eMike, I'm not sure I know what you mean by a spade bit? Matt
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:10 PM   #6
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Your finished job picture looks exactly like our Grand Junction faucet area. Great job!
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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E Mike, I think drilling with a spade bit would be a real job. I drilled an extra hole with a Milwaukke diamond tipped hole saw and it took me about 5 minutes. The only thing that I did differently was I hot glued a 1/4" piece of plywood to either side of the Karadon just to insure that I would not chip it. John, I can't imagine what took that amount of time. Lenox makes an excellent bit.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
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I'm with Ted, use a hole saw for finish cuts, does not have to be a diamond or carbide tipped. I used a standard hole saw (Lenox brand) on our counter tops to install soap dispensers in both bath vanity tops. I would be leery of using a spade bit on anything other than wood, they are pretty aggressive, primary use is to rough-in holes and can splinter the wood on the exit side of hole.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:29 PM   #9
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The good thing about spade bits is that they are inexpensive, so I don't mind filing them to a custom shape, trimming the shank off short, etc. You can frequently find them cheap in broken sets at yard sales. They won't drill fast, but they will drill & they are expendable. And they are fairly neat if you keep them sharp.

Another tool I like to carry is a close quarter drill like the Milwakee or Craftsman.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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It has been awhile since I drilled any solid surface counter top material so I called my friend who has been in the counter top business (residential and commerical) for forty plus years. They worked with all the different brands as well as Karadon (Canadian). The solid surface shop used high speed bits for small holes like the 3/4", but used hole saws for kitchen faucets 1-3/8". The hole saws came from industrial tool supplier and have more teeth (finer) than the usual hole saw. Hole saws are available down to 3/4" and smaller also. So Ted and Bernie hit it on the head!

I ask him about using the 'spade bit' while he hadn't tried it, didn't see why it wouldn't work. Personally I have never liked spade bits, but hey that's just me!

Most know this tip, if your drilling with a hole saw as soon as your guide drill hole goes through, put the hole saw in from the other side (if possible) to cut a circle, then return to the top side to finish. This way you don't have a lot of tear out when it goes thru. Especially in wood.

Dan
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #11
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I didn't know about your hole saw tip, thanks! Hopefully now I will remember this and avoid splintering any more interior doors.
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