Author Topic: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage  (Read 4827 times)

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Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 733
Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:09 PM »
Hi,

I built a built in bookcase that I am working on finishing.  One bay of the bookcase is intended to be an audio/video case with junction boxes for electrical outlets and TV connections.  The shelves for the case are baltic birch sprayed with Target EM 6500 and 9000 clear coat.

When building the case I didn't think hard enough about routing the cables between components on each shelf.  I'm considering cutting out some sort of recess in the back of the shelves to allow cables to pass from the different components.  I've considered clipping off shelf corners at the back, or notching the back in some manner.

I'd like to keep the paint chipping to a minimum when I do this.  I've considered using a table saw with a dado head, a router table, or a handheld router for notching.  Alternatively, I can use my Kapex with a new blade to clip the corners.

Any opinions on what method would allow me to modify these with the least amount of paint chipping?

Thanks!

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 03:53 PM »
A plunge router?
Or a template and route it?

Or a template and a Zobo/forstner. One would need a sacrificial piece of the hole is mostly cantered off the edge. A holes saw also works.

Offline fuzzy logic

  • Posts: 337
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 04:59 PM »
Is the finish fully 'cured'? 
If so, try some electrical / masking tape over the area to be cut. 

Richard (UK)
Decent people do the right thing - always?

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1983
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 05:06 PM »

Is the finish fully 'cured'? 
If so, try some electrical / masking tape over the area to be cut. 

Richard (UK)

You can also do "blue" (or green) painters tape. If you are cutting, score the visible surfaces with a knife or sharp blade and cut to that line.

Cheers. Bryan.
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 03:52 PM »
So as a follow up, here's what I did - I created a template that had about 3/4" by 3" cutout.  I added painters tape to both the template, and both sides of the shelf.  I hot glued the template to the shelf, with the hot glue on the painters tape.

After waiting a few moments for it to cool, I ran the shelf and template through the router table using a bearing guided bit.  When finished, I peeled off the tape and template.  The cuts were nice and smooth.  No chipping or harm to the finish otherwise.

Thanks all!

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1054
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 12:55 PM »
@Kodi Crescent
Glad it worked out for you!  Did you route the recess so it is open on the back edge or like a slot in from the edge? 

This is timely as I will soon be doing something similar with some melamine covered shelves.  I was planning on using my MFS with a hand held router.

Thanks, Mike A.

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cutting painted shelves with minimal damage
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 08:04 PM »
I created a template that was about as wide as my hand spread, and about 3/4" deep.  I used tape on each piece, and hot glued the template to each shelf.  I used my router table to rout the back edge, in a blind corner.  It worked very well.