Author Topic: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy  (Read 1966 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline webpp

  • Posts: 52
Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« on: November 01, 2017, 12:19 AM »
Hello all,

I know this board has been over this problem some time ago. However, I need a refresher on the issue and perhaps people also have come up with new ideas to cut melamine chip free. I have 2 ideas I want to share and need your opinion on them.

IDEA #1

Use good grade melamine (TFL) such are Egger or Uniboard, etc and not the cheap stuff sold at the big box store.

Using the TS-75 and the Seneca Parallel Guide, score the melamine 3mm on one side pulling the saw backward then flip the board over and score the second side 3mm pulling the saw backward using the parallel guide, and finally cut the entire depth. Will this give chip-free cut on both sides of the melamine? Will the cut be accurate on both sides since we are using the parallel guide?

IDEA #2

Cut the melamine 2mm more than needed using the TS-75 without scoring. Then clamp a straight guide such as the Woodpecker Story Stick and using a straight router bit with bearing guide and the OF1400 to make the final cut. I know it’s a 2 step process, but will this result in a chip-free cut on melamine?

Your opinion and thoughts are highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline #Tee

  • Posts: 785
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 01:03 AM »
I normally use the highest tpi blade for cleaner cuts, run a 2mm backward cut like you said or use some tape on the cut. Never do a full cut on 3/4 thick boards.
When youre feeling depressed just treat yourself to a systainer even if its a mini systainer its ok.

IG: tee212

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 162
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 03:12 AM »
I ALWAYS tape the cuts, if I need good quality.
Might be superstition, but I tell myself it helps. ;)

I also bought the melamine/chipboard blade for my TS55 and was astonished by it’s cut quality.
I did NOT score. Just cut straight through on 19mm melamine MDF.
Finish was good enough for me.

I always fear of making a „ding“ into one of the edges with the second cut by slightly holding the saw the wrong way. [emoji33]


Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 68
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 12:06 PM »
IDEA #1

Use good grade melamine (TFL) such are Egger or Uniboard, etc and not the cheap stuff sold at the big box store.

Using the TS-75 and the Seneca Parallel Guide, score the melamine 3mm on one side pulling the saw backward then flip the board over and score the second side 3mm pulling the saw backward using the parallel guide, and finally cut the entire depth. Will this give chip-free cut on both sides of the melamine? Will the cut be accurate on both sides since we are using the parallel guide?

Melamine is not prone to chipping on the opposite site.  I'm not saying it cannot ever happen but I do think scoring the down side is overkill.  Use a blade rated for melamine.  Some give quite good cuts with no scoring when they are very sharp.  Try scoring and/or putting painters tape on the cut line too.  See what works for you.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3345
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 01:55 PM »
We always used a sliding table saw with a scoring blade when I worked in the semi-custom closet industry because of the cleanliness of the cut quality. 
- Willy -

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

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3992
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 06:36 PM »
I highlighted the important point.

Hello all,

I know this board has been over this problem some time ago. However, I need a refresher on the issue and perhaps people also have come up with new ideas to cut melamine chip free. I have 2 ideas I want to share and need your opinion on them.

IDEA #1

Use good grade melamine (TFL) such are Egger or Uniboard, etc and not the cheap stuff sold at the big box store.

Using the TS-75 and the Seneca Parallel Guide, score the melamine 3mm on one side pulling the saw backward then flip the board over and score the second side 3mm pulling the saw backward using the parallel guide, and finally cut the entire depth. Will this give chip-free cut on both sides of the melamine? Will the cut be accurate on both sides since we are using the parallel guide?

IDEA #2

Cut the melamine 2mm more than needed using the TS-75 without scoring. Then clamp a straight guide such as the Woodpecker Story Stick and using a straight router bit with bearing guide and the OF1400 to make the final cut. I know it’s a 2 step process, but will this result in a chip-free cut on melamine?

Your opinion and thoughts are highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!


The same Concepts should apply when using a deWalt or any other saw, it is mostly about the blade, unless the saw also scores.
(plenty of teeth are better then fewer.)

Even using my rainbows&unicorns MT55 with the scoring function the cheap stuff will chip, and the good stuff does not need scoring. The TS75 also has no special magical powers to overcome cheap boards.

Whether adhesive tape is worth using requires trying it to see if it helps. Might be faster(cheaper) to use better boards.

Offline JBag09

  • Posts: 173
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 09:51 PM »
I just cut some a few weeks ago for a project I did at work. We ordered a few sheets of the GOOD melamine. I think it was Uniboard actually.  Now we do nothing as far as cabinetry at my employer, we have a panel saw for cutting the sheet goods we use. However it isn't big enough for the 10' sheets we ordered. So I took my TS55 in to do some rip cuts. I used a 28 tooth blade and stacked 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
When I cut the shelves and dividers I used the panel saw with a scoring blade, 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
So my take is it has more to do with the material than anything else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 2974
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 10:58 PM »
I just cut some a few weeks ago for a project I did at work. We ordered a few sheets of the GOOD melamine. I think it was Uniboard actually.  Now we do nothing as far as cabinetry at my employer, we have a panel saw for cutting the sheet goods we use. However it isn't big enough for the 10' sheets we ordered. So I took my TS55 in to do some rip cuts. I used a 28 tooth blade and stacked 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
When I cut the shelves and dividers I used the panel saw with a scoring blade, 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
So my take is it has more to do with the material than anything else.

Do you mean 48 tooth blade?

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3345
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 07:48 AM »
So my take is it has more to do with the material than anything else.

Material used is a significant factor, but it also requires a VERY sharp blade that has been trued to remove as much runout as possible.  We had our blades sharpened and trued every week without fail. 
- Willy -

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

Offline JBag09

  • Posts: 173
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 07:33 AM »
I just cut some a few weeks ago for a project I did at work. We ordered a few sheets of the GOOD melamine. I think it was Uniboard actually.  Now we do nothing as far as cabinetry at my employer, we have a panel saw for cutting the sheet goods we use. However it isn't big enough for the 10' sheets we ordered. So I took my TS55 in to do some rip cuts. I used a 28 tooth blade and stacked 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
When I cut the shelves and dividers I used the panel saw with a scoring blade, 2 sheets and had zero chipout.
So my take is it has more to do with the material than anything else.

Do you mean 48 tooth blade?

No, it was a 28 tooth blade


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline JBag09

  • Posts: 173
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2017, 07:37 AM »
So my take is it has more to do with the material than anything else.

Material used is a significant factor, but it also requires a VERY sharp blade that has been trued to remove as much runout as possible.  We had our blades sharpened and trued every week without fail.


That you are correct about sharp blades. I am a huge believer is finding a good company to service our tooling at work. And I also have them service my own tooling.  Much cheaper than buying new blades and router bits constantly.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3351
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2017, 07:53 AM »
I've had excellent results using the laminate blade for the TS75 (they also make one for the TS55), though I've only ever worked with decent quality melamine: https://www.festoolproducts.com/festool-495382-solid-surface-laminate-blade-for-ts-75-plunge-cut-saw-60-tooth.html

No scoring was needed, nor worries about chipout on the underside.

You can cut melamine with a sharp standard blade a few times with good results, but it will start to dull the blade pretty quickly in my experience.   
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3992
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2017, 10:19 AM »
I've had excellent results using the laminate blade for the TS75 (they also make one for the TS55), though I've only ever worked with decent quality melamine:
...

And I used the best saw currently on the market, with a scoring function, and using a special melamine blade... and on cheap melamine it is still pretty ordinary looking result...
And on good stuff I do not need to score it.

So I conclude it is primarily more about the material than the scoring or blade.
(But those both help)
Basically the magical saws help, but a sow's cannot easily become a silk purse... the magic is just not that strong.

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 349
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2017, 07:14 PM »
I do not cut a lot of melamine, but when I do, I use higher quality goods and I tape both sides.  No scoring cut and the cut is darn good.  A sharp/laminate grade blade is always used as well.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2346
Re: Cutting Melamine Chip Free Strategy
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2017, 07:28 PM »
I use Forrest DURALINE HI-A/T blades for sheet goods only and keep them sharp.  Silvers Mill has a very good supply of Forrest products;

https://www.sliversmill.com/category_6_Duraline_Hi_AT.html

Jack