Cutting melamine/mdf

I'm building a new router table top out of 3/4 melamine covered MDF. I want to minimize chipout and am wondering if covering the cutline with blue painters tape will help. Any thoughts?
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TD Driver wrote:

It may work but I usually score the melamine first with a utility knife. Make sure your saw blade is only just cutting through the surface.
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The right blade makes all the difference. Last time I cut the stuff on my table saw, I had no chipping on either side. I don't know the exact model number of the blade, but it's a moderately priced Freud 50 tooth combo blade.
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TD Driver wrote:

What will help is cutting it so the show side is cut first, i.e., the force from the blade should be against the side you want chipless.
I cut melboard with a rip blade on my table saw...top surface is fine, chips on the bottom. If I want the bottom side to be chipless too I cut in two passes...first pass with blade ony 1/8 or so high, second with it high enough to cut off. You could score the chipping side with a knife too but rather hard to do so precisely where the saw blade will be. A zero clearance insert helps too as it helps support the downward force of the blade against the unsupported bottom melamine.
I also sometimes use a saber saw. In this case, the bottom is chipless, the top is not. That is because the saw is cutting on the upstroke...the mel on the bottom is supported, that on the top is not.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do if you want both sides chipless is to cut oversize and trim to size with a router. Since the router bit is applying no downward force against either edge it will cut smoothly (as long as the melamine hasn't been loosened by the saw). I find that I need about 3/16 extra to do this.
I use tape on plywood, no idea if it would help on mel board. I don't use the blue tape though, I use regular since it sticks more agressively. And when I remove it I pull it off *toward* the cut edge.
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dadiOH
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