cutting melamine topped particle board

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • cutting melamine topped particle board

    i topped my router table with 3/4 melamine covered particle board over 3/4 mdf. very solid--very satisfied. then i cut the slot for the plate and got chipping all around. when i cut the top to configure how can i avoid chipping the super hard melamine?

  • #2
    If I read the thread correctly, you are attempting to cut an opening for your router plate in 1" thick material.

    Is your router bit sharp and are you doing the cut in the right direction? Are you using a template to guide the cut?
    Live sex
    Last edited by newbie2wood; 09-15-2011, 05:53 AM.


    • #3
      I too used 3/4' melamine over a 3/4" MDF for my router table top. I had no chipping however so it must be your router bit. If it's new then I don't know what it is. I know you were asking for help and not that I didn't have a problem when I did it but I thought I'd mention that it is suppose to work. Hoping this info alone may help you figure out what the problem is. I know that melamine is extremely easy to chip and I always get some degree of it when using either the table saw or circular saw but didn't the one time I used a router - with a brand new bit I might add. Hopefully a more experienced person will come by and render help.
      May you die and go to heaven before the Devil knows you're dead. My Best, Mac


      • #4
        I used a spiral downcut bit for a template and there was no chipout. Perhaps an upcut bit for what you are doing?


        • #5
          Originally posted by regis f. mcnicholas
          When i cut the top to configure how can i avoid chipping the super hard melamine?
          Draw round the plate, then score just inside the line with a new craft knife blade. Hold back 1/2" from each corner on all sides. Do this several times to ensure a good line. Do it slowly and be careful that the craft knife doesn't skid off the first cut line.

          Select a suitable bit of the same radius as the corners of your plate. Drill the corner radius so that you only just break through the melamine.

          Now, when you run a good sharp bit along the edge of the cut-out, you should be chip-free. HTH

          Did I offend you? Click here.


          • #6
            One of the WW rags did a test of straight router bits a few years back. Their test consisted of routing many linear feet of dados in melamine, presumably because the melamine edge would easily show poor cuts due to cutter wear.

            Obviously, they weren't trying to show the best way to cut melamine, but it's clear you can really benefit from a good, sharp cutter.

            +1 on Ray's advice to score the line first, BTW, and/or using a spiral "into the stock" bit (up or down depending on which side your router is).



            • #7
              Sometimes something as simple as putting masking tape along the cutout can help.

              Scoring the melamine is a good idea, too.


              • #8
                I bought my template from Woodpecker and it came with a CMT bit. I can't remember which bit it is but it cut completely clean. I even just now went out to see if there was any chipping at all and there's not. Not any! period. Maybe CMT is a really good bit and is the reason Woodpecker gives that bit to you when you buy their template. Just a thought.
                May you die and go to heaven before the Devil knows you're dead. My Best, Mac


                • #9
                  Mac, do you mean they really did "give" you the bit? They wanted to sell it to me for $24 or $25. I think it is 5/8 inch as I recall. I haven't put my insert in just yet though.

                  I've got the 1/8 inch thick hardboard with the white plastic top on it that I am going to put on my router top. It's not the melamine. Does anyone know how good that works? I also used it on my work bench/table. I think they call it handy panel at the BORG where I got it?

                  Frank, "Still the one"