How do you cut melamine double faced chipboard?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Randomise_Skateboards, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Hi

    I have been working lately with double faced melamine chipboard (white and wood effects if it matters?)And have been cutting it with a jigsaw. I have used a blade specifically designed for cutting this wood but am still having trouble with rough edges. As the jig blade is moving up and down it seems to be ripping up the edges creating a very poor finish. I was wondering if anyone could help me and tell me what i can do to get a perfect cut without any rough edges?I will be very grateful for any help anyone can give.


    Chris Ford
  2. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Melamine is difficult to cut clean with DIY tools. The best you can get is one clean face and a chipped opposite. The logic is that the direction of the cutting blade will mean that on the exit side the blade will pull the surface off which is the chipping effect.

    Using a jig saw will give you a potential spoil on both edges due to the reciprocating action. A circular saw is better and you can minimise the chipping by putting masking tape along the cut lines.

    Another way is to undercut and bring down with a power planer. This is a bit hit and miss but I have got some good results this way.

    The panel cutter at B&Q does a good job and I would suggest getting big panel cuts, such as doors, done there to avoid spoiling the finish. You cannot really make it good, I used some tippex once (Harry Monk) to touch in but it is a bodge.

    Have a try with the masking tape idea and if you only have a jig saw clamp a batten on the work to act as a guide to prevent wander which is another cause for chipping.

    Good luck

  3. Thanks great help,

    I've just recently heard that a router can give quite a clean finish is this possible, as i am yet to purchase one

    Thanks again

    Chris Ford
  4. dewaltdisney

    dewaltdisney New Member

    Hi again Chris,

    Using the under cut method and cleaning back to the desired cut line a router will do much the same as a power planer. Planer blades are cheaper than router cutters to replace and chipboard knackers cutters quite quickly unless you are using expensive Trend professional cutters. For the rest of us, Nutool router bits work well for occasional use.

    If you are embarking on acquiring some tools then a router is a a very useful bit of kit to have. Start off with a £30 one and get the feel of it.

    You might wish to read through Coggy's posts on this forum where he is going through the process of acquiring tools at a professional level. The advice given will show you the various merits of each tool and it might help you visualise a tool buying plan as you move along.

    If you are working with chipboard then you might want to consider buying the dowel and cam fittings sold by Screwfix as they do make very strong joints. Another tip to help with putting the iron on edging is to seal the edge first with a watery PVA before ironing as this seems to help it stick on much more firmly.

    Hope this helps,

  5. WOLF

    WOLF New Member

    another method if all that you have is a jigsaw, is to clamp a thin sheet of ply/hardboard to the under side, to stop the melamine having anywhere to break out to, another method is to buy a laminate blade for a circular saw, as it has triple chip (angled) teeth, which score the laminate before actually cutting through it.and as a circ blade cuts from the under side then it works much better than a one way blade..
  6. woodsmith

    woodsmith New Member

    Yet another method is to mark a line all round the board then with a stanley knife score the melamine surface; don't cut too deep you are just scoring the surface and clamp a straight edge to the board to give you a straght edge;). Use the jigsaw to cut <u>just</u> on the waste side of the line (you can get anti chip inserts for some jigsaws which help, look like a small plastic horseshoe fits round the blade)then clean up with a block plane if you have one or glass paper wrapped round a block of wood.
  7. bodget&scarpers

    bodget&scarpers New Member

    wot u really want is a dimension saw with a scoring blade but they cost a few pennies (and homebase wont sell them)but try routing half way through then turn over and repeat on tother side lad.
  8. kesh

    kesh New Member

    Why turn over? a router will pull all chips outwards if using left to right whatever face is up.
  9. bodget&scarpers

    bodget&scarpers New Member

    might stop u routing a groove in ur workbench, or may b clients kitchen table.
  10. kesh

    kesh New Member

    OK I'm sorry, I just assumed it would overhang the workbench !
  11. bodget&scarpers

    bodget&scarpers New Member

    kesh go 2 bed ,im going now as got my fix, had the vino and wiffys asleep :)so chat 2 moro, nity nite xx
  12. kesh

    kesh New Member


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