Festool Owners Group

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Building Materials => Topic started by: mrFinpgh on June 04, 2017, 11:39 AM

Title: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: mrFinpgh 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
Title: Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: Oldwood 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
Title: Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: Holmz on June 04, 2017, 07:36 PM
How about Confirmat screws?
Those seem like they are made for MDF...
Title: Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: mrFinpgh 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

Title: Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: mrFinpgh 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
Title: Re: Melamine/Particleboard assembly/touchup
Post by: Oldwood 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