Author Topic: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?  (Read 3655 times)

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Offline MarkF

  • Posts: 272
  • Concord, NC
I've promised of a room full of cabinets and shelves for my lovely and talented quilter wife.  It will be a combination of melamine covered MDF insides and laminate covered 3/4 birch ply outsides and I've never cut melamine panels.  Anyone have experience with the http://www.festoolusa.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProdID=439686&ID=3 "Special Blade"?  Worth $63.50?  Blue tape the cut lines?  Show surface down when cutting?
Thanks!

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Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2007, 11:21 AM »
Check John Lucas' excellent discussion on chip-free cutting at www.woodshopdemos.com

Dave

Offline Daviddubya

  • Posts: 704
  • Arizona, USA
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2007, 11:31 AM »
I have the older ATF 55 saw and several Festool blades.  I get totally acceptable cuts in melamine from the blade that came with the saw - 491952, 48 tooth "Fine Tooth Saw Blade".  I bought and have used the melamine blade, 439686, 56 tooth "Special Saw Blade".  While the Special blade does produce excellent results, I personally see no visible difference in the cuts using it or the Fine Tooth blade on melamine and veneer plywood.

I do get improved results from using an Amana 10" melamine blade on my table saw.  With the Amana blade I get absolutely no chipping or tearout, period.  The Amana is a high-ATB blade, similar in grind to the Forrest Duraline, but much less expensive.  None of the Festool blades offer a high-ATB grind.

Using the Fine Tooth blade with the Festool saw and placing the outside (show) surface down on the cutting surface, I think you will find you will be happy with the results.  Of course, the sharper the blade, the better the results.  Make the cuts with a fairly slow feed rate, and the top side will be nearly perfect.  Save your money for a Domino!!!

ps - I read the woodshopdemos pages referenced below, and John comes to the same conclusion - use the Fine Tooth blade.  John has some additional valuable recommendations, so I suggest you read his review.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 11:39 PM by Daviddubya »
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline fcraven

  • Posts: 68
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2007, 02:59 PM »
I'd be curious to know as well.
I would guess that for a short run, there might be no difference in cut,
but for longer runs the wrong blade would be prone to get dull faster, eventually cause cut quality issues. Moreover, the right blade should allow for easier cutting (like a ripping blade for ripping).

Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 482
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 03:07 PM »
The stock 48 tooth blade works very well for melamine. However, the downside to it is, since its an ATB grind, the blade will dull faster. The "special' blade will cut almost as good, but it will make far more cuts before going dull.

I've got the Forrest Duarline that David mentioned. Its a really great cutting blade. Since the angle is so high though, it wears down quite fast. Nothing makes a better cut than that blade when it first comes back from sharpening though. 

Having said all of the above, I use the stock 48 tooth blade that comes with the saw for melamine. Thankfully, I don't cut much of that stuff though. I absolutely hate working with it.

Offline LaserGecko

  • Posts: 161
  • Tools Smarter Than Operator
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007, 07:50 PM »
I've been meaning to ask John if the "Special Blade" was available at the time of his melamine blade shootout.

My first experience with building cages and shelves with melamine was with having the wood supplier cut it with their panel saw, then sizing and dadoing with a...get ready for this...ShopSmith. It was OK with the smaller pieces, but five dados on an 18" x 60" piece was a PITA.

can't...wait...for...truck...freight...delivery!
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 10:02 PM »
Jason,

John discusses blade choice at some length -- check out   http://www.woodshopdemos.com/fes-60.htm.

Dave

Offline LaserGecko

  • Posts: 161
  • Tools Smarter Than Operator
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2007, 12:58 AM »
Thanks, Dave. I had seen that one, but didn't realize that he did include the blade until I looked for the part number. My mind was set more on "melamine" than on "special blade".
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline MarkF

  • Posts: 272
  • Concord, NC
Re: Best TS-55FEQ Blade and Technique For Clean Melamine Cuts?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 10:26 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies!
I took my 491952 48 tooth blade to a saw sharpening service today and will give it a go with a sharp blade.