how to cut melamine

Can I use my table saw to cut melamine? I'm talking about tileboard like you'd get at the home center, which I want to use for a whiteboard. I'd guess it's 1/4". I have a Forrest Woodworker II blade (and a cheapo Delta that came with the saw).
If yes, good side down, correct?
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THIMK!!
Which way do the teeth go through the wood??
Are you going to get tear out from the teeth entering or exiting the stock?
If you're -really- good at positioning the fence, you can improve things by soring a line on the surface at the edge of where the sawcut will be.
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good side down, bad side down, doesn't matter. What *does* matter is that you use a blade that's *made* for cutting melamine.
jc

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It appears that you have little experience using table saws, and none whatever using table saws to cut melamine, as this statement is incorrect in all respects.
Always cut good side up on a table saw. Period.
When cutting melamine, there will be more tearout on the bottom surface of a piece cut with a blade designed specifically for cutting melamine than there will be on the top surface of a piece cut with a quality combination blade such as a Forrest WW-II.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug,
I have loads of experience using table saws and enough exp cutting melamine.
You are right (duh), there will always be more tearout on the bottom of the workpiece. My point (missed, maybe too subtle) was that if you put it correct side up, it will still have more tearout than face side down with a *brand new* melamine blade since the op obviously doesn't have one. Since when do any of us need any more of an excuse to go out and buy a new shiny than that???
Since I also own both a wwii and a decent melamine blade, i'm going to disagree with your second statement. I base this on recent personal experience, as I just walked out to the shop to try it. However, no need to tell me i'm wrong, you already have. Let's just agree to disagree on that point, ok?
jc
wrote:

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Thanks to all for your responses. It sounds like face down with a good melamine blade would be best. However, I'm probably only going to do this once, so would hesitate to buy a new blade. JC, did you try it with your WWII? Will I get a reasonable cut with it, and will it damage my WWII at all?
Looking more closely at the product I want to cut, it's 1/8" thick hardboard with one side coated with melamine.
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still think you should have good side up .. not down as you stated above
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snipped-for-privacy@dodgit.com wrote:

NO. Face UP with a good melamine blade would be best. Face UP with a good combination blade is next best. Face down with any kind of blade is worst.
You always position the stock so that the teeth enter the good face, and exit the "bad" face. This means good side up on stationary saws such as table saws, radial arm saws, and compound miter saws (which cut with the teeth moving downward), and good side down with portable saws such as circular saws or saber saws (which cut with the teeth moving up).

The stuff's pretty hard -- I wouldn't make a lot of cuts in it using a WWII. If you have only a small number of cuts to make, go ahead and don't worry.

You *definitely* want to cut that with the melamine side UP. Don't believe me? Make a test cut in scrap, and see what kind of edge you get on the melamine.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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No, face up no matter what blade you use. I would recommend buying a melamine blade. You will immediately be able to gain an appreciation for how much tooth geometry makes a difference in different materials. For example, the points on your wwII are most likely very sharp to the touch. On a tc melamine blade however, the individual teeth will actually feel quite dull, but they cut melamine beautifully.
Since your product is only faced on one side, you can get away with a non-melamine blade. BUT, if you have any amount of it to cut at all, I would save the wear and tear on your WWII and go ahead and buy one anyway.
jc

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If the teeth on your melamine blade feel dull, it's time to have it resharpened.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Joe wrote:

You can also use a high-angle ATB blade for melamine. These often have a hook of 0 degrees, or even a negative hook.
Forrest calls theirs the"HI A/T" but other manufacturers have an equivalent.
Chris
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On Wed, 05 Sep 2007 08:24:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@dodgit.com wrote:

Read again, face UP. You are thinking of circular saws where everything is upside-down from a table saw. It sounds like it doesn't even matter what the back side looks like for your application, so just cut it face up with any blade you like.
-Leuf
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snipped-for-privacy@dodgit.com wrote:

In case you don't see my other post, tileboard isn't melamine. Neither it nor real mel board is going to screw up your blade. Unless you cut lots and lots and lots...
I don't recall if the coating on tileboard chips or not (doubt it) but you can always cut a bit over size and trim down with a plane. Or router. Heck, just cut the damn thing with a router :)
--

dadiOH
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Before, you said it doesn't matter which side you put up.

But that's not correct.

My experience has been the complete opposite of yours; I get essentially no tearout on the top surface, either with a WWII or a Freud melamine blade. The big difference I see is on the bottom side. Perhaps you need to check the alignment of your saw.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@dodgit.com wrote:

Tileboard ain't melamine.
--

dadiOH
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On Sep 5, 12:48 am, snipped-for-privacy@dodgit.com wrote:

Make sure your blade tracks it's own kerf freely so that the teeth don't hit the material on the ^up motion at the back of the blade. When that is working well, ALWAYS cut with the good side ^UP. Always...even with a scoring blade.
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