I just got off the phone with George from New York Metals – purveyors of the stainless steel edging to true to 40s 50s and 60s kitchen countertops.
The recent question on the table has been: How to bend my preferred “Snap-On Molding” (in photo above) for rounded edges – be they quarter-round cubbies or 180-degree/half-circle peninsula or snack bars. The news is ‘bad’ – but with solutions – George says:
- In the 50s and 60s, all countertop installers had special machinery to make these rounded bends with this edging. So it is, or was, do-able. But, he is very skeptical that any of this machinery is around today. You can try metal shops in your town to see if they have the equipment – but it’s unlikely, he thinks. If you do find someone who can do it, let us know!
- If you have already purchased this edging – need to complete your project – and want to make a rounded peninsula, I suggest: Butcherblock, as above. You will have to keep it sealed, but there are precedents, and I personally think that mixing and matching countertop surfaces is even more effective than just using the same material throughout.
- If you have NOT already purchased your edging, George says rounded countertops CAN be accomplished today with the aluminum TEE moldings that New York Metals sell. Please also talk to Thor at RetroTrims — he’s a current advertiser. Images are in the gallery below. BUT, you must use countertop installers – unless you truly have the DIY equipment and skilles – because the edges of the countertop need to be routed to take the tee-insert. The trick to getting a good round edge is to clip the tee…miter it…clip it like you would clip the selvage in sewing where you make a curve…which will allow the metal must bend.
- Can you mix and match the aluminum and the stainless steel? George says it’s all in the eye of the beholder…but if you have a discriminating eye, the finishes are slightly different. I would advise: Choose one or the other.
- My #1 preference remains: The stainless steel snap-on. I believe this was most common. The snap-on edge comes in a 1-5/8″ width – a profile I prefer to the max. 1-1/4″ for the aluminum. And, the snap-on edge comes right up over your countertop – whereas the aluminum edge ‘marries’ with it at the common edge. But all this said – either set of choices are good, an authentic. More than anything, this is an aesthetic preference.
My apologies to readers who may have purchased the snap-on molding with the goal to make a rounded edge — I think there may be two of you out there! — I hope the alternative of butcher block is appealing to you. As I’ve mentioned before – I am not an expert, rather an obsessed amateur – and I am learning as I go, too.
For more info on countertops: See my new Laminates and Countertop Edgings Page including:
Stainless steel / metal countertop edging: The #1 choice for sure!
- Stainless steel edging for your laminate countertop!
- Installing the stainless steel countertop edging
Important countertop design tips:
- Mixing materials– like laminate, butcher block and stainless steel to achieve mid-mod variety
- Installing corner shelves including in glass or w