American Woodworker
Contact Us | Help | Report a Bug
Sign in | Join
 
» » »

Working with Melamine Windsor CT

Melamine has found a home in many a woodshop. The durable, slick surface is perfect for jigs, fences, outfeed tables and router tables. I use it in my shop as an assembly table cover. Glue drips pop right off and the slick surface makes it easy to slide around heavy assemblies.

Moore's Sawmill
(860) 242-3003
171 Mountain Ave
Bloomfield, CT

Data Provided by:
Woodcraft - Manchester/Hartford, CT
(860) 647-0303
249 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT

Data Provided by:
Connecticut Wood Group's Hardwood Outlet
(860) 253-0444
18 Mullen Road
Enfield, CT

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(413)731-9700
179 Dagget Drive
West Springfield, MA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(860)496-8620
1580 Litchfield Tpke
New Hartford, CT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(860)286-0300
55 Granby Street
Bloomfield, CT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-7:00pm

The Home Depot
(860)231-1919
503 New Park Ave
West Hartford, CT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 9:00am-6:00pm

Woodcraft - West Springfield
(413) 827-0244
239A Memorial Ave
West Springfield, MA

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(860)828-9440
225 Berlin Turnpike
Berlin, CT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(860)582-5329
1149 Farmington Ave
Bristol, CT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Data Provided by:

Working with Melamine

Working with Melamine

It's dirt cheap, it's practical, and best of all, there's no sanding and finishing!

by Dave Munkittrick

Melamine is the professional cabinetmaker’s best friend. Build a cabinet with it and you have a complete, durable interior that requires no sanding (yes!) and no finishing (oh, yeah!). Pros often build whole kitchens out of melamine and then dress the boxes with plywood end panels and solid-wood fronts. The bright melamine cabinet interiors are easy to search, stain resistant and tough as nails. Entertainment centers and home office, laundry-room or mudroom cabinets are also made with melamine. Most home centers carry melamine shelving with the edge banding already on. Just buy or make shelf supports and you’re in business. 

Melamine has found a home in many a woodshop. The durable, slick surface is perfect for jigs, fences, outfeed tables and router tables. I use it in my shop as an assembly table cover. Glue drips pop right off and the slick surface makes it easy to slide around heavy assemblies. It’s not as durable as plastic laminate for high-wear surfaces such as countertop and desktops, but it’s plenty tough for shop use.

Still not sold on melamine? How about saving money? It’s about half the cost of birch plywood. Not only that, but you get better yield from a sheet of melamine than from veneer sheet stock. That’s because you don’t have to worry about grain direction. Better yield at a lower cost—you save both ways.

Here are some tips on how to make this staple material of the modern cabinetmaker work perfectly for you!

Go Beyond Basic White

White melamine is by far the most common, but basic colors, like black, almond and wood grain, can be special-ordered from most home centers or lumberyards that carry the white. Melamine comes in a wide range of thicknesses. Home centers not only carry 3/4-in. and 5/8-in. sheets for cabinet construction and shelving, but they often have 1/2-in. for drawer parts and 1/4-in. stock for backs and drawer bottoms.


Wear Gloves! 

Gloves are a must when handling large sheets of melamine. We recommend a pair of Kevlar® gloves. Kevlar is designed to protect the user from slicing cuts. Surprisingly, they’re inexpensive ($5) and the rubber dots or stripes help you get a grip on the slippery melamine surface. 


Stop the Chip-Out Monster

Chip-out on the bottom edge is a common problem when you use a general-purpose blade to cut melamine. Sometimes one rough edge doesn’t matter, but when you need a perfectly clean edge on both sides, you have a couple options. The first is to make a 1/16-in.-deep scoring cut on the bottom of the piece (see photo, below). Turn the saw off and crank up the blade to finish the cut. The result is a perfectly clean cut on both surfaces.

The second solution is a laminate-cutting blade (above), whic...

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker