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Make Clean Cuts Both Sides of Melamine

August 20th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you are in the process of a “do it yourself” project and the cabinets or shelving that you are working on are being built out of melamine board, here’s how I make a clean cut on both sides of the material. I always use a 10” triple chip saw blade that has sixty teeth. A new one fresh out of the package or one that has been re-sharpened, but not yet used will yield the best results.

Method One
-How to cut Melamine clean on both sides

1) Lower the table saw blade so that it is just cutting through the top of the board.
2) Make a test run with a scrap piece of material. When making the cut, the two sided Melamine board should be pushed at a very slow pace. At least half of the normal cutting speed.
3) Check the top and bottom side of the material very closely. If the blade is too low it will chip the topside of the Melamine material. Experiment with the trail board until you’re satisfied with the results. You will not get a perfectly clean cut on the bottom side, but it will be acceptable.

Cutting Melamine Clean on Both Sides

Method Number Two-Getting a clean cut on the bottom side of Melamine.

1) Lower the table saw blade so that it is only about an eight of an inch above the table saw’s surface.
2) Using a scrap piece of wood again, make a test cut. Run the board through at normal cutting speed. This is called a saw cerf cut.
3) Raise the blade up to cut all the way through the material and run it through at half of the normal cutting speed again.
4) Check the bottom of the test piece of the two sided Melamine. If the lower side chipped out you may have to make the first cerf cut a little smaller. If the board’s width is to be twelve inches set the cerf cut at eleven and fifteen sixteenths, plus a little more. You want the cerf to be about one thirty second of an inch smaller than the actual finish cut dimension. This will produce a very clean cut on the bottom side of the board.

Many of the professional cabinet companies use saws that have two blades. There is a small blade that extends just above the saw table’s surface in front of the regular sized cutting blade. The little blade is set so that it cuts a little wider than the big blade. Because the cut of the smaller blade is wider, when the big blade makes its cut there is now way that the Melamine will tear out.

The double bladed saw is excellent for cutting Melamine cabinet parts. It takes a little time to get the blades aligned perfectly. Once you have them locked in correctly, you can cut a bunch of laminated wood clean on both sides. These saws are very popular in cupboard manufacturing plants where there is a large volume of parts that are cut daily.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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