Melamine

Im a novice at cabinet making but I try building things before buying. Is melamine a good option for use in a laundry room that is in an unheated or airconditioned garage? Im looking to make a cabinet that my wife can store her soaps and such in and also have a big enough top for folding and ironing. Any suggestions?
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Should work just fine for that. You could spiff it up some by putting a hardwood edge band on it if you like. Jim
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Melamine seems practically perfect for a garage application, as long as it stays reasonably dry. Especially the base. Not sure I'd want to iron on it, though. Tom
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They sell a matching Melamine banding which you glue to the edges. The wooden trim mentioned looks nice. I would be shy of it in a situation where it might be getting wet with damp clothes and spillage. On the bottom, where the melamine sits on the concrete, I'd use some metal feet - you know, they have a nail that drives into the wood and the other is usually a round chrome disc about 1/2" high. That would prevent dampness and spills from wicking into the wood.
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I thought melamine was only for cheap prebuilt junk until I was planning on building a set of cabinets for my garage workshop. After reading the two books listed below, I changed my mind. I planned on building the cabinets out of baltic birch plywood, but as the authors point out, plywood is not a perfectly consistent thickness. Also, melamine is easy to clean and does not need to be sealed or painted. I ended up using melamine for the cases, 1/2 in. baltic birch for the drawer boxes, and edged 3/4 in. baltic birch for the drawer fronts. I also faced the melamine cases with 3/8 solid birch strips on all front surfaces. I used finger joints for the drawer boxes, which, in retrospect, is time-devowering overkill (see some pictures at http:// www.bolesky.com/garcabs/garcabs.html ). Drawer joints would have been fine (http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/orderstatus/html/smarthtml/pages / katbt9.htm ). So far, I have completed 5 base cabinets and 6 wall cabinets. I modified plans I found in Piontkowski's book. If I were starting over, I would use the conformat screws and bit from McFeely's ( http://www.mcfeelys.com/subcat.asp?sid99 ). I ended up drilling every screw hole twice-once with a regular pilot/counter sink bit, and again with an extra long bit. I found that the 2" screws occasionally split the melamine unless they had a full-length pilot hole.
I also decided to seal the small exposed ends of melamine on the bottom and backs of the cabinets with polyurethane just in case there was ever a leak in my garage. This was probably another case of overkill, but sealing all the edges was easy compared to finishing the entire insides and outsides of the cases with a smooth finish of polyurethane.
If you decide to go ahead with your melamine cabinets, let me know and I'll give you a few other tips I learned, like how to get square cases and how to nail and glue birch facing strips before cutting out pieces.
Books I used:
The Complete Cabinetmakers Reference (Spiral-bound) by Jeffery Piontkowski
The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker: Shop Drawings and Professional Methods for Designing and Constructing Every Kind of Kitchen and Built- In Cabinet (Paperback) by Robert W. Lang, John Kelsey (Photographer)
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I would make a plinth base (?) maybe 3 or 4" high , that way if you do eventually damage the melamine board by having a wet floor , you can just unscrew it and make a new one .
You might need some reinforcing on a top got folding and ironing.
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On Jan 30, 8:53 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes, I had to make a plinth because my garage floor is uneven and slants toward the door at 5! Making the plinth was harder than I thought it would be. By the way, one of the modifications I made to the designs in the book I mentioned was to leave the toe-kick off. The toe-kick on top of the plinth would have been...wrong.
jermB
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Use the glue designed for melamine. Nasty, sticky stuff, but holds well. And the good screws. As mentioned, isolate from sources of accidental water. Should be adequate to make a base frame at right angles to a melamine bottom, limiting any wicking, but with the price of plastic so low, wouldn't hurt to put an extra thickness between the frame and the cabinet like they do for the foundation on a house.
Ironing. I did a lot of ironing on a GI blanket and desk, so I suppose anything's possible. Had a hell of a time figuring my angles and steps on my wife's ironing board when we set up house. I'd probably get a board that accepted a standard mat and cover and hinge it or clip it, hiding away when not in use,.
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Yes..works well in laundry or garage with a few "watch out" ideas.
(1) Melamine is particle board and does not care for "any" moisture (2) Melamine is heavy, slick, and has very sharp edges. (3) Melamine is cheap to buy. (4) Melamine is a major pain in wazoo to cut and NOT get chip out, so a "melamine" blade is "highly" recommended for clean edges. A Freud LU98 is the preferred blade of choice for this type of stuff. (5) Solid wood edging or wood veneer tape adds a much better look to generic melamine.
(6) Confirmat screws are the preferred method for melamine but I have had excellent results with predrilled holes and 2" screws.
Predrill to FULL depth to prevent split out. Do not use a screw any closer than 2" to an end joint.
A really great look is build the carcase out of melamine and then cover the entire box with a frame and panel of higher end hardwood/plywood panels.
a34655 wrote:

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Thanks for all the tips Ill let you know how it goes.

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