Cutting Laminate Counters

As we prepare for our new gas range delivery tomorrow, two things needed to happen today: 1) convert a 220V outlet to a 110V outlet, and 2) cut a wider hole in the laminate counter to fit in the new, slightly-larger-than-the-old-one range. This was slightly intimidating – we feel like our grasp of electrical systems has improved dramatically since we moved in 7 weeks ago, but we decided to hire out the electrical.

I was glad we hired it out. $105 well spent, IMHO. It wasn’t that it was hard, it was that it was new to us. And if I haven’t said it yet, electrical work gives me the heebie-jeebies. Because we’re converting to a gas-only from a dual fuel range, we couldn’t use the 220V outlet already there.

The process:

  1. Shut off the power & gas to the stove
  2. Move the stove out of the way to access the electrical box behind it
  3. Disconnect the old 10 gauge wire and remove the old box
  4. Feed the old 10 gauge wire down through the hole in the floor to the basement
  5. Run the new 12 gauge wire down the same hole (you use 12 gauge for a 20 amp appliance circuit)
  6. Install the new electrical box in the same place as the old one (pretty easy for us, just on the floor)
  7. Hook up the new wires
  8. Go down to the basement and disconnect the old 10 gauge wire running out of the junction box (we left everything else intact in case we ever want to run another 220V outlet somewhere)
  9. Staple the new wire in place on the way back to the main panel along the joists
  10. Strip a good bit of the wire and insert it through the panel opening
  11. Fix the ground & neutral wires to the neutral bar
  12. Insert the 20 amp breaker and fix the hot wire to it

Done and done! I have to add, though, that the guy didn’t switch off the main breaker, and that sort of freaked me out. He assured me that if you’re careful and don’t touch the hot part of the panel, then you’re fine. But next time I work in there, I’m definitely flipping it off.

He also ran a wire for us for the range hood we’re planning to get soon. I was also glad he did this and not us, because the snake kept getting snagged on all the insulation on its way down the wall innards! I am NOT the best at not getting frustrated in situations like this.

The State of Things

Now, it all looks like this:

wire poking out of the wall, eager for its new hood!
wire poking out of the wall, eager for its new hood!
never mind the hot pink duct taped clumsily insulation-filled vent to the outdoors!
never mind the hot pink duct taped clumsily insulation-filled vent to the outdoors!

I’m hoping that tomorrow the delivery guys will be able to remove the old gas line. I don’t have the tools for it, nor am I particularly inclined to mess with that.

So, with the electrical all taken care of (what you see in the photos above is after quite a lot of shop-vac action) it was time to cut the laminate counters to fit the new range. I only needed to shave off a little bit, but this gave me a reason to bust out the new jigsaw.

Cracking Cutting the Counters

Well, I learned a lot about laminate counters… Namely, that they like to crack. I scored the first line beforehand, but apparently not deep enough:

note the serious grime... and the cracked laminate! whoops...
note the serious grime in the back under where the old range sat… and the cracked laminate! whoops…

The score lines were cut deeper on the other side and it came out much cleaner:

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I finished the ends (the jigsaw couldn’t cut all the way back) with a hacksaw, and now we wait!

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