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Melamine Faced Chipboard


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sammie10/10/2011 18:23:46
3 forum posts
As i am newbie to woodwork,well since school way back i was younger and then i only half made a chair (four legs) and some sort of abstract insect.
Can anyone give me a tip on cutting Melamine Faced Chipboard with out it the edges chipping?
Big Al10/10/2011 18:28:15
1599 forum posts
73 photos
The only way to cut MFC without chipping is to use a dimension saw that has a scoring blade attachment.
Kevin Higgins10/10/2011 20:51:09
54 forum posts
5 photos
Hi Carl ,
If you dont have a saw with a scoring attachment , the best you can do it get a really good triple chip blade , one with as many teeth as possible , one side will then be fine with minimal breakout on the other side . The blade needs to be new or really sharp . The chipping will increase as the blade loses edge . Freud do a good range of blades and a good supplier should be able to advise you on the best blade for your requirements . Obviously , it depends on whether you are using a bench saw or a circular saw .
BillW10/10/2011 21:00:20
711 forum posts
21 photos
Hello Carl and welcome,
I have cut MFC with a circular saw by cutting each side with a Stanley knife and cutting over size by a 1mm then planing the edge (could use a router and strait edge) the results were very inconsistent.
Big Al10/10/2011 21:12:48
1599 forum posts
73 photos
If using a router cutter then you would need a compression cutter to minimalise chipping. Wealdon sell these cutters, click here for more info.
Bearing in mind the severe abrasive nature of MFC they wont last long. I used to work for a shop fitting company that use a lot of MFC, and the only cutters that they use in their CNC machines are PCD (diamond carbide tipped) turbo compression cutters.
John Kinch11/10/2011 12:58:20
206 forum posts
91 photos
I have often cut mfc on a cicular saw by sticking masking tape on melamine surface,marking the required line in pencil on the masking tape and cutting on the saw melamine face up. Give it a try on some scrap to see if satisfactory first.
John k.
sammie11/10/2011 16:52:08
3 forum posts
Thanks for all the tips.
Simon Reeves13/10/2011 13:32:29
622 forum posts
227 photos
I've had reasonable success with MFC by making a zero clearance guide for my circular saw. Just a couple of lengths of ply screwed together as below, the top one being perfectly straight and used as a guide for the saw. Make the base piece wider than the base of the saw and just run the the saw against the guide from left to right on the diagram for the first cut. The cut edge is now exactly in line with the edge of the saw blade and creates the zero tolerance support.
Just clamp this to your workpiece with the newly cut edge against the required cutting line (measured from the back of the guide as you see it here) and run the saw over (again from left to right). This stops the top edge of the workpiece from tearing out where it's underneath the support, but you still get breakout on the other edge of the blade (which may or may not be acceptable). This also works quite well when cross cutting plywood, which is notorious for break out on the top edge when using a circular saw.

Cedric Wheeler13/10/2011 23:07:27
154 forum posts
31 photos
Hi Carl
You haven't said exactly what you are cutting and how much. It seems to have been assumed that you will be cutting by machine, however, if you consider cutting by hand I have cut many sheets of MFC by hand and found that a Japanese pull saw gives a very good result, but even these saws blunt fairly quickly.
Regards Cedric
Toothy14/10/2011 17:41:22
458 forum posts
67 photos
Hi Simon, About 35 yrs ago I was given the same design for cutting sheet material. If used carefully one can cut to less than 1/4 mm.
If at all possible to cut MFC cut through the facing on both sides and only then cut the board, ie the first cuts are just fractionally deeper than the thickness of the melamine.
Good luck with the project.
sammie14/10/2011 19:43:48
3 forum posts

I had to cut up one sheet for a bookcase. At first I used a jigsaw then with a hand-mire saw and finally finished off using a table saw. All seemed to chip to a varying degrees.

I decided to use this material is cheap and I’m a novice it seemed an ideal material to start with and learn skills on how use router and other tools and gain experience while completing projects around the house. I am thinking of using MDF instead but was a bit worried about the dust creates what with having kids who can help but mess.

Sam14/10/2011 21:46:00
386 forum posts
110 photos
Hi Carl , I think a fair question is what tools and machines do you have to carry out cutting and trimming ..
I have used Simons recommendation of the Jig to be very useful in the past and as said , slightly over cut . I also find over cutting by a mm with a saw then trimming back with a router to be very effective as the router cutter is not trying to lift the melamine face up .Just take the cuts slowly and use a very smooth faced guide .
Kind regards Sam
Rod Roberts09/11/2011 23:08:16
3 forum posts

Hi Carl

I'm fairly new to serious woodwork so am a little shy of putting my head above the parapet. A method I've used in the past with some success is to clamp scrap off cuts of the same material either side of the workpiece and then use the circular saw through all three thicknesses.

Well it’s worked for me

Best of luck


Phil Temple09/04/2012 17:31:54
7 forum posts

Look up ts55 plunge saw by festool this is the industry standard for portable panel cutting or the larger one if you have the budget. i think sheppach do a budget copy of the plunge saw at £175 ish retail which i presume does the same job but is not as well engineered.

Otherwise as said above, score your finish line, then cut close to it and then fine finish with either a planer or if close enough, just sand the edge back to the line.


Eric Harvey 110/04/2012 10:59:10
221 forum posts
81 photos

use a hand panel saw with fine crosscutting teeth and cut down through the facing on the woodchip,(facing up woodchip under),and you should have no problems with chipping at all,regards,


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