Melamine is the usual name because that particleboard it is coated through a thin layer the plastic finish. The melamine end up is similar to the plastic laminate on countertops, however it’s no as thick. The benefits of building with a melamine-coated product space its durable finish and its relatively low cost. Yet it have the right to be frustrating to job-related with. The particleboard have the right to be tough to fasten, and also the brittle finish is tricky to cut. Below are some an excellent tips to make your following melamine task a success.

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Cut without Chipping

Making a scoring cut prior to the final one will result in a chip-free edge. First, use a straightedge as a observed guide. Without the straightedge, the saw could wobble slightly together you cut, and this twisting will contribute to chipping. Clamp your straightedge overview in position and set the experienced to reduced 1/8 in. Deep. Operation your witnessed along the straightedge and also cut a groove in the melamine panel. This shallow cut shouldn’t produce any chipping.

Now reset the experienced so the tongue extends about 1/2 in. Previous the bottom side of the panel and also make one more pass. The resulting reduced will be perfect chip-free on both sides. You have the right to use the same method on a table saw. Do one shallow cut. Then operation the panel with the witnessed a 2nd time to finish the cut. If just one next of the panel will certainly be visible in the finished project, girlfriend don’t should use this method because chipping occurs only on the side whereby the saw blade teeth exit. Just make certain to ar the “show” side down if you’re cutting through a circular saw and also up once you’re using a table saw.

Pin Panels, Then add Screws

The melamine finish is slippery, making it complicated to organize the panels in alignment while you drill pilot holes because that the screws. Solve this difficulty by very first pinning the panels with each other using an 18 gauge brad nail gun. The tiny holes left by the brads are nearly invisible, and also you’ll conserve yourself a many time and also frustration.

Drill and Countersink because that Screws

Particleboard, whether it has a melamine finish or not, doesn’t hold screws as well as solid hardwood or plywood. Plus, it often tends to split if you journey screws there is no drilling first. The an essential to fastening it with screws is come drill pilot holes because that the screws and countersinks because that the screw heads.

Dedicated Countersink Bit

A combination bit the drills and countersinks in one procedure saves time. Choose a countersink bit that’s labeled because that use with No. 8 screws.

Strengthen Shelves through Nosing

Melamine shelves will sag over time, particularly if they’re an ext than a couple of feet long. Combine shelves through gluing a solid hardwood nose come one or both edge of the shelf. Here we’ve slotted the nosing and also the melamine shelves through a biscuit joiner to enable the use of wood biscuits. The biscuits include strength and help align the edging perfectly. No nails needed; just use wood glue, insert the biscuits and also clamp the edge to the shelf until the adhesive sets.

Prevent Splitting

The particleboard main point is rather brittle and can split if you journey screws too close come the edge. Avoid this by placing screws at least 2 in. From the sheet of panels when possible. Drilling a pilot hole additionally helps protect against splitting.

Repair Chips v a one-of-a-kind Filler

SeamFil plastic filler paste comes in a tube and also is commonly used by pros who job-related with plastic laminate to fix chips. And since the surface ar of melamine panels and shelves is additionally a type of plastic laminate, the repairs mix in well. SeamFil dough is accessible for around $5 per 1-oz. Tube online or whereby plastic laminate (used because that countertops) is sold. It’s obtainable in 20 typical colors that deserve to be blended to produce custom colors.

To usage the SeamFil paste, an initial clean the area through the special SeamFil solvent (available for around $9 per fifty percent pint wherein the paste is sold). Then spread a tiny amount the the dough on a scrap of wood or plastic laminate. Occupational the paste roughly with a refined putty knife until few of the solvent starts to evaporate and the dough starts come thicken. Then push the thickened paste right into the area to it is in repaired and smooth it v the putty knife. It may take a couple of coats to gain a flush surface. Clean turn off excess paste using a rag dampened with the solvent.

Hide Screw Heads

To conceal screw heads, you have actually a pair of options. You deserve to buy plastic caps the snap ~ above or over your screw heads. These work fine but leave a protruding cap. The other alternative is to cover the screw through FastCap self-sticking plastic screw consists ($3 to $5 for 56 1/2-in. Covers). This are obtainable at part retailers, online or directly from FastCap. Walk to to see the huge selection of sizes and colors. If you’re yes, really picky and want to download a practically invisible, do the washing up screw cover, you can buy a distinct FlushMount drill little bit system that makes a perfect-depth recess for the plastic screw covers.

Finish life Edges with Edge Banding

When the leaf of a melamine panel is visible but you don’t want to add solid lumber nosing, use edgebanding tape. You have the right to buy iron-on edge banding in ~ most house centers. Yet an even easier solution is to apply self-adhesive or peel-and-stick sheet banding. FastCap is one company that supplies peel-and-stick sheet banding in a wide selection of colors, widths and lengths. Called Fastedge, it’s obtainable online and also at woodworking stores.

Move a warm iron quickly over iron-on edge-banding tape to melt the glue. If you’re using self-adhesive sheet banding, you have the right to skip this step and simply peel turn off the file backing and stick the sheet banding come the particleboard edge.

Trim the tape to complete the Edge

Trim the overhanging edges of the tape do the washing up to the melamine surface ar with a distinct tool referred to as an edge-banding trimmer. You’ll find edge-banding trimmers at house centers, woodworking stores and online for around $20.

Buy Shelving through Edges Finished

You can skip edge banding altogether if you simply need shelves. Shelving with finished edges is readily obtainable at residence centers and hardware stores. The only drawback is that the color choice may it is in limited.

Melamine basics

Look around and you’ll find melamine furniture, melamine shelves, melamine wall surface panels, and also even melamine slatwall. It’s commonly labeled as melamine, however you may also see state such together thermally fused laminate or merely prefinished panels or prefinished shelves.

You deserve to buy 4 x 8-ft. Sheets that melamine in 1/8-, 1/4-, 1/2-, 5/8- and 3/4-in. Thicknesses and also melamine shelves in assorted lengths and widths. Residence centers may only share 1/4-in. And also 3/4-in. Thicknesses. Melamine sheets cost around 60¢ to $1.25 every square foot. Shelving costs about $1.40 come $2 per direct foot depending on the width.

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Learn how to build the can be fried Garage Cabinets with melamine here.

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