Working with Corian

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The question was put to me: "What's the best way to work with Corian?" It's a very common material for studio furniture -- countertops mainly. Even the best furniture designs require modifications as time goes on, so it makes sense to learn how.

Mic stands are the most likely item to add to Corian countertops. Drilling the hole all the way through, and then putting bolts in, with washers and nuts on the bottom is the usual route. But what if circumstances prevent that? Can you just drill in to the Corian, without relying on going all the way through? Corian is plastic, after all. It is recommended not to use wood screws or sheet metal screws, because the material cannot expand around the screw, like wood or metal. It can easily crack if you try that. Emhart Teknologies makes the Heli-Coil, which is an insert that is installed in a tapped hole. To install a Heli-Coil in Corian, you would drill out a pilot hole for a tap; tap the hole; and then install the Heli-coil in to the newly tapped hole. The Heli-coil then provides very strong threads that can effectively hold items.

Emhart Teknologies Heli-Coil

Emhart Teknologies Heli-Coil

What about drilling holes to pass cables through? Larry Parr recommends cutting holes in Corian in the following manner:
■ Use masking tape or blue painter's tape to mark the location of the hole. Measure twice, of course.
■ Drill a hole just smaller than the pilot hole of the hole saw you plan to use.
■ Insert the hole saw's pilot bit in to the hole you just drilled. Use a sharp (perhaps brand new) hole saw for the work. Use slow speed, and don't use excessive pressure.
■ Sand the edges of the hole when complete.

iIrwin is RF engineer/project manager for Clear Channel Los Angeles. Contact him at

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