How to Cut Melamine Panels

Overview

Melamine panels provide homeowners or store owners an attractive option for making storage shelves or retail displays. Melamine consists of pressed board covered in a polished white or black veneer. It presents a professional appearance for retailers and turns a shop into an attractive place to work. Cutting melamine to custom sizes, however, can prove difficult. It chips and cracks, so you must use care when cutting it.

Step 1

Replace your standard circular saw blade with a melamine saw blade. Melamine saw blades have teeth specially designed to minimize the risk of chipping melamine veneer while you make the cut.

Step 2

Measure the panel, and mark the cut line using the T-square as a straightedge. Measure and mark both sides of the melamine panel because you will need to make two cuts.

Step 3

Set the blade to three-fourths the depth of the melamine panel: Put the melamine panel against the blade; release the blade lock, and drop the blade until the top tooth reaches approximately three-fourths of the way into the melamine panel.

Step 4

Reset the blade lock once you set the blade to the right depth.

Step 5

Cut one side of the melamine panel using your cut mark as a guide.

Step 6

Cut the other side of the melamine panel using the cut mark on the panel's other side as a guide.

Tips and Warnings

  • Chipping occurs when you attempt to make a single cut through the entire panel. The blade penetrates the bottom side of the melamine panel; the teeth spin down, push against the veneer and chip it. Avoid this by making a second cut along the bottom.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular saw
  • Melamine saw blade
  • T-square
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Tape measure

References

  • Fix My Cabinet: Make Clean Cut-Both Sides of Melamine
  • Wood Web: Minimizing Melamine Chip-out
  • Age Cutting Tools: Selecting Saw Blades
Keywords: cut melamine panels, melamine panels, cutting melamine panels

About this Author

Randal Thomas has been completing woodworking, gardening and DIY projects for over a quarter-century. A writer of career-related articles since 2003, Thomas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 10 years in printing and publishing and is currently working on several independent writing projects.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Cut Melamine Panels