Author Topic: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup  (Read 1279 times)

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Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 228
Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« on: June 04, 2017, 11:39 AM »
I'm curious what the fastener of choice is these days for assembling particleboard/melamine boxes.   I talked to a cabinet maker who uses coarse pocket screws for everything.   Some folks mention Spax MDF screws.   I've seen a couple mentions of Zip-R screws, which sound like a type 17 screw with coarse thread.   The better equipped shops are using dowels/confirmats but I don't have the tooling to make that work out so well.

In the past, I've just drilled and countersunk butt joints through the gables, but that was in plywood.   I figure there might be some new ways to get it done that are more effective.

Also, I've got a good amount of touchup to do on the edges.   The cuts off the saw were actually quite good, but the edge taping process seemed to create a bunch of tiny chips.   I think it may have been the glue from the banding pulling off the melamine face when I trimmed it.    [unsure]  I used a new to me banding, which seemed a little heavier duty than the stuff I've picked up in the past.

Do the wax pencils work well enough?   

Thanks,
Adam

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Online Oldwood

  • Posts: 292
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 12:29 PM »
If you drill the gables to set the location of the holes on the drill press with a fence and then just pin tack the pieces together when assembling then pilot drill using the holes as a guide. I found #8 X 2" screws with a type 17 point work well.

The wax pencils work well. We use a solvent to wipe down to prevent shinny spots where the wax is left on the surface.

HTH
Gerry
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 07:36 PM »
How about Confirmat screws?
Those seem like they are made for MDF...

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 228
Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 07:52 PM »
Thanks, Gerry. That was helpful.

I did a couple tests today on some cutoffs.

First I tried just drilling a pilot hole with a countersink as long as the screw.   Those went in fine and held ok.  It didn't really feel like it was getting much purchase on the particleboard.

Then, I tried something similar to what you suggested - I drilled a pilot hole + countersink through the gable end and used a Spax #8 1 3/4" mdf screw.  That seemed to hold a bit more firmly than with a pilot hole.  I think if there is something with a deeper thread, that might go even better.

Last, I tried pocket holes.  These held well, but like my other experiences with pocket holes, there is a strong tendency to pull the joint about 1mm or so out of alignment unless very thoroughly clamped.   Unlike with the butt joints above, where a few spring clamps were sufficient to keep the joint aligned.

I think any of these probably would be enough in a kitchen cabinet situation - particularly when using a full 3/4" back.   The pocket holes take a fair amount of fussing around though, and using the kreg clamp usually leads to chewing up the melamine even more (I know it's hidden, but I still don't like it).

Any suggestions for 2" type 17 screws?

Thanks,
Adam


Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 228
Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2017, 09:07 PM »
How about Confirmat screws?
Those seem like they are made for MDF...

Confirmats are extremely strong and I think they are still considered the standard unless using dowels.  My few attempts at using them (outside of assembling IKEA furniture) have been hit or miss.  Mostly, I think it's due to the size of the hole needed for them.  I think it's something like 5mm, which doesn't leave a lot of margin for errors in terms of blowout. 

-Adam

Online Oldwood

  • Posts: 292
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 09:33 PM »
Thanks, Gerry. That was helpful.

I did a couple tests today on some cutoffs.

First I tried just drilling a pilot hole with a countersink as long as the screw.   Those went in fine and held ok.  It didn't really feel like it was getting much purchase on the particleboard.

Then, I tried something similar to what you suggested - I drilled a pilot hole + countersink through the gable end and used a Spax #8 1 3/4" mdf screw.  That seemed to hold a bit more firmly than with a pilot hole.  I think if there is something with a deeper thread, that might go even better.

Last, I tried pocket holes.  These held well, but like my other experiences with pocket holes, there is a strong tendency to pull the joint about 1mm or so out of alignment unless very thoroughly clamped.   Unlike with the butt joints above, where a few spring clamps were sufficient to keep the joint aligned.

I think any of these probably would be enough in a kitchen cabinet situation - particularly when using a full 3/4" back.   The pocket holes take a fair amount of fussing around though, and using the kreg clamp usually leads to chewing up the melamine even more (I know it's hidden, but I still don't like it).

Any suggestions for 2" type 17 screws?

Thanks,
Adam

Hi,
I don't pilot the full screw length. I just drill in enough to insure alignment and that gives a better purchase. You can drill a 5mm hole in the gable and use that to pilot a confirmat but they need to be drilled full depth plus clearance.

These are the screws I was using.
https://www.richelieu.com/ca/en/category/screws-and-fasteners/wood-screws/plain-wood-screw-flat-head-with-nibs-quadrex-drive-coarse-thread-type-17-point/1196700?nf_1026851=%281592755%29&nf_1026852=%281592768%29&nf_1026853=%28%280%2C2%2C%2Cpo-f%29%29

Gerry
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius