Cutting Melamine

Page 1 of 2  

Dear experts,
Recently, I had some boards for shelves cut at Home Depot. They used their plywood cutter. A great invention.
They say that they are not supposed to cut melamine.
One place said that I won't get a smooth edge. Which was fine for my purposes. Go ahead.
Another place said that melamine ruins the blades.
Does melamine ruin saw blades, or not?
Thanks a lot
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dear experts,
Recently, I had some boards for shelves cut at Home Depot. They used their plywood cutter. A great invention.
They say that they are not supposed to cut melamine.
One place said that I won't get a smooth edge. Which was fine for my purposes. Go ahead.
Another place said that melamine ruins the blades.
Does melamine ruin saw blades, or not?
Thanks a lot
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
condor snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

is it really melamine?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Shouldn't a hacksaw go through that stuff? If not, a Dremel Mototool with the clay cutoff wheel will make easy work of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You're kidding, right? This is a joke, right?
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
condor snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

No, Melamine does not ruin saw blades. Some blades will not leave a clean cut in it though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
condor snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Long answer - which is harder, melamine (plastic) or steel/carbide? Steel/carbide.
Short answer - no
Saw blades will ultimately dull when cutting *anything*. They'll dull a bit faster when cutting particle board (on which is the melamine).
--
dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What follows is may sound different than some of the other opinions given above. The truth is that cutting is a very complex matter. I drove up to Langley BC last week to Cal Saw Canada to do some research. I met with a scientist from Forintek. The whole purpose was to see how science works in the real world. The answer is that it is not a perfect fit.
Having said that I would assume that melamine would rapidly wear out a plywood bade which doesn't mean that others haven't seen the opposite happen.
There are roughly five reasons why saw blades wear out; abrasion, adhesion, diffusion, fatigue and tribological considerations. Tungsten carbide is tungsten carbide grains in a cobalt matrix like rocks in cement make concrete. In addition tungsten carbide can have different additives to handle different chemical conditions. It can also have additives to make really tough grains to prevent wear. Really big grains are generally tougher and really small grains generally give better wear.
The shape of the fibers in the material being cut can change performance results. A saw tip that cuts particleboard really well may not cut fiberboard (MDF) nearly as well. Materials that are glued cut differently than solid wood. It also depends on what glue is used. In addition to glue and particles of wood there is typically a filler and that can make a huge difference as to how long a blade stays sharp.
The edge of a saw tip in wood can reach 1100 F very briefly. How the material being cut handles that heat greatly affects the life of the saw tip. The amount of acid in the wood tends to leach out the cobalt binder that holds carbide together. Dry wood is tougher but greenwood is more corrosive.
Saw blades are made differently for good reason. The hook angle or how the tip enters the material can greatly affect the quality of the cut and the life of the blade.
There is a great deal more and there are still a lot more questions than answers. If anyone is really interested I can forward some papers.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

[the rest of the excellent post snipped for brevity]
Complex indeed. In my quest for a 'perfect' blade for cutting solid surface products, I have gathered a lot of info over the years. All that info agrees on one thing only----> a complex matter indeed.
One thing I experimented with was blade speed. By using a power feeder so I could control one variable, and changing pulleys on the saw, I could make the same blade cut, grind and melt its way through acrylic.
I have often wondered why we don't insist on variable speed table saws, like we do on routers, shapers, sanders and drill presses.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

Speak for yourself. I don't want the extra cost of a variable speed TS. I don't need to slow the blade down, thank you very much.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You are so welcome, please don't mention it. How about if we make it an option, eh?
r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Acrylic is a bit of an exception in that it doesn't take well to hot blades. I find that using a bandsaw on acrylic allows the blade to cool before returning to the work. What I find odd is that more tools are not like scrollsaws, with blowers that remove the chips and perform at least some limited cooling of the blade and work. Similarly, hammer drills designed for drilling masonry and concrete would benefit from a small cooling water spray that would save the bit and also limit dust.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Robatoy" wrote

I
the
like we

Rob ... you just dug out my particular axe I like to grind upon occasion.
The cost of a VFD (variable frequency drive) that will allow you to use a three-phase motor on single phase 220 has dropped down to where it's almost silly to mess around with static converters. Even IF you have three-phase power, a VFD is helpful. Slow starting speed will reduce your belt wear beyond shelf-life (dry rot gets them before they wear out), no more dimming the lights on startup, the ability to use a 24 volt DC control circuit, and best of all, a braking system that will stop the blade quickly without causing the saw to jump (actually, let's just call it a very intense deacceleration ramp). It won't be saw-stop (tm) quick, but it sure will be close. Since YOU mentioned speed control, I don't need bother. PLUS, if you do have a power feeder, and IF it accepts an external speed signal (yep, another VFD!), you can slave the two together so that you keep your saw speed constant (as well as keeping the current constant) by controlling the feeder speed ... thus REALLY controlling the variables caused by density gradients.
Yep, you dug out my axe again. Thanks!
Regards,
Rick
BTW ... what IS it about those hammers, anyway?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

'Cause then someone would invent a Variable Speed Saw Stop and start the debate all over again.
V
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Uh-oh.. I was x-posting to other ng's... sorry 'bout that.
Variable Speed Saw-Stops, eh? Fully programmable to reduce 'The Nick' in your Knackwurst.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Any suggestions for a blade to cut MDF and plywood? It sounds like I should not be using my WWII on that stuff.
-Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

And plastic materials, same blade?
-Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Plywood and MDF 10" 60t tcg with a hook angle of about 10+ Although for plywood alone most atb blades and atb+r will work fine. Melamine is a bear, without a spiral downcut router or a scoring saw you will need a blade that has a HATB grind and a low hook angle -5 to +5 the downside is you need to fiddle with blade height to produce the best cut and the HATB grind is a trade off for a smooth finish but it wears quickly. For a 10" saw I rarely reccomend going beyond 60tooth, but for a blade dedicated to melamine you might like an 80t Systimatic made one called an LV blade and other manufaturers have their own.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Tradesmaster (a smallish offbrand, HQ'd in Canada I think) sells a quite economical 100t blade.
Works very well on composites. Awesome crosscutting blade.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The problem with going much beyond 60t on a 10" circular saw with carbide tips is it leaves little room for both a gullet and steel behind the carbide tooth. You can have 80 and 100 teeth but you had better be gentle with them. Usually when they fail the steel is ripped away along with the tooth. A little less of an occurance now with salt quenching and laser cut plates but still a factor worth consideration. Good practice is using as few teeth as produce an acceptable cut. This means fence and blade must be parallel.
Daily Grind Sharpening Service
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.