Author Topic: Bending Melamine  (Read 5780 times)

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Offline roblg3

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Bending Melamine
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:10 AM »
I might be getting job working with melamine.  I've never worked with it before.  I'm wondering if Imake the appropriate cuts on the reverse side, will I be able to make the melamine curve on the opposite side?  Will it just crack?  Can i heat it and help it bend? Any help with mealamine would be greatly appreciated
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

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Offline GreenGA

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 07:53 AM »
Not knowing anything specific…  I guess it would depend on the radius of the curve and in which direction; concave or convex.

I am certain that many of us, while surreptitiously walking through the aisles of a BBS (Big Box Store) [embarassed], have seen sheets of Melamine draped over the sides of shelves or hanging from shelf standards and the material, in many instances, and was just fine.  If it did not break under those conditions, it may work in yours.

My thinking is that once you get past the “will it work” stage, your biggest concern may be application.  Once those two sides are prepped and ready to be bonded together, you have limited time and you get only that one chance to bring them together properly oriented and without air pockets.  [scared]

Never use a 2x4, when a 2x6 will do just as well.

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Offline roblg3

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 08:07 AM »
What i'm thinking of doing is making a 10-12" radius outside "corner" for a case for a hair salon.  I was then thinking i could remove the wood from beneath the melamine on the front edge of the panel to cover the side of the radius piece.  Then  glue up the face to the side piece covering the side radius panel with the curved cut front.  Does that explanation make sense?
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 08:38 AM »
My experience from the semi-custom closet industry is that melamine is very brittle and doesn't take well to being bent. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline E30Mark

  • Posts: 76
Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2014, 09:16 AM »
You don't say how thick the door needs to be, anyway, you'll never bend melamine to the radius you want. You can make a former and layup thin sheets of MDF or ply, and then apply a final finish sheet of melamine. All in my opinion!

Offline GreenGA

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 09:46 AM »
Having never done anything like that myself, that sounds a bit tight.  Then again, that may just mean it’s a bit more difficult, not impossible.  Here is a thread about something along the lines of what you are attempting.  The radius not as severe, but…

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/a-hard-week/

What i'm thinking of doing is making a 10-12" radius outside "corner" for a case for a hair salon.  I was then thinking i could remove the wood from beneath the melamine on the front edge of the panel to cover the side of the radius piece.  Then  glue up the face to the side piece covering the side radius panel with the curved cut front.  Does that explanation make sense?
Never use a 2x4, when a 2x6 will do just as well.

SYS-Lites, CMS/GE, TS55, KAPEX, MFT/3, CXS Kit, C15 Set, C12 Set, T18 Set, Ti15 Set, CT48 w/Boom Arm, Carvex PSBC, HL850, HL65L, RO90, RTS400, DTS400, LS130, DX93, RO150, ETS 150/3, RAS 115/4E, RS2E, Domino 500 & 700 Sets, MFK700 Set, OF1010 EQ, OF1400, OF2000E+, MFS700, FS3000/2, LR 32-SYS+97" rail, 2011 Centrotec Set, Metric and Imperial Zobo Forstner Bit Set, VS600 Dovetail System, Guide Rail Kit, Parallel Guides, Tradesman Cleaning Set, Shinex, lotsa 'tainers (Sys, Sorts, Minis, Midis, Maxis. Attics, Classic, New and Blue).
Coming Attractions: Workcenter, NAINA when available.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 10:37 AM »
This application is what plastic laminates are designed for - not melamine.  Use bending ply or one of the bending products and then skin with plastic laminates.  Melamine also does not wear well in retail commercial environments.

Peter

Offline Loren Woirhaye

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 11:48 AM »
I don't think it will kerf-bend well.

You can however buy MDF "corner" stock... some sort of extruded MDF pattern for rounded casework.  I've bought it in the mail.   Then it's a matter of figuring out how to bond plastic laminate to the outside  or paint it.    There are other ways of building a curve as a substrate for plastic too but the MDF corners don't require filling to fair the curve and look good from the back side too.

Offline rst

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 05:21 PM »
Most plastics need to be heated in a consistent manner to at least 212 degrees to as much as 450 degree to bend properly.  Most of my experience is acrylics. polycarbonates and ABS and they need to be in the 250 -300 degree range, I suspect that melamine needs to be much hotter.

Offline andyman

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 05:33 PM »
That's too tight a curve I think unless you have the proper equipment even with laminate that is a tight curve

Offline Tim Morris

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 05:55 PM »
Ditto everything Peter said. Melamine is too brittle and will snap.

Offline roblg3

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2014, 07:52 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys$. I'll be looking into some other materials for sure!
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2014, 08:07 PM »
Oh, and if you are not familiar with plastic laminates and want to go that route, there are vertical and horizontal grades.  The vertical grade is thinner and more flexible.

Peter

Offline h.gil

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Re: Bending Melamine
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 10:28 PM »
I did something similar a couple of years ago, a reception desk for a business in Downtown Vancouver.




IIRC, It was 8" and 6" radii. I built it out of 3/4" MDF cladded with hi-gloss white hp-laminate. The top is a single piece of laminate all the way across, bent using a heat gun and hi-temp contact adhesive. The underside is three pieces, flat and radii, the radius corners are removable laminate covers for wiring.  I had to bake (at 450º) the corner pieces in order to bend them, then put them in a form and bake them a bit longer to hold the shape.