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The Straightedge (video) #1: Working with Melamine

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Blog entry by Brian Havens posted 12-09-2009 02:16 AM 5439 reads 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Straightedge (video) series Part 2: Router Inlay Basics »

This is a re-edit of the video that got me started doing videos. Unfortunately I knew very little about shooting and editing video at the time. In fact, I shot the video with a web cam, so the video quality is poor in parts. The re-edit gives it a nice face lift, but perhaps in the future, when I run low on topics, I can re-shoot the video. (Full steam ahead on Router Inlay!)

Here is the link: Working with Melamine

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com



15 comments so far

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2118 days


#1 posted 12-09-2009 02:51 AM

Nice job on the video Brian. I do have a comment on attaching the melamine, mdf or plywood. I have been using the confirmat screws and the drill bit that is required. I will tell you that I will not go back to regular screws when assembling sheet goods, especially mdf. The screws are easily instralled and pull the joint together really nice. I have not had 1 joint fail nor split when assembling. Using the confirmat screws is just like any other screw. The drill bit for the pilot hole has the correctly sized countersink built in. I purchase them from McFeeleys and yeah they are a little expensive but the plus is not as many screws are needed for assembling. There are different sizes for the different thicknesses of material to be joined. My experience is only with the screws for 3/4” material.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14752 posts in 2332 days


#2 posted 12-09-2009 02:52 AM

Now I know 20x more than I did about melemine ;-)) Nice video. What is the point about the screws? Use hardened steel because regular wood screws break too easily?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 2022 days


#3 posted 12-09-2009 03:18 AM

Brian – Great job on the video. Lots of good information and well presented. Regarding the sharp edges on the freshly cut melamine, I keep a small block of MDF with self-adhesive sandpaper handy to quickly run over the edges right after they’re cut. It can slow down the production flow a little but, it reduces the sliced fingers if you don’t wear gloves when your handling the melamine during assembly.

I’ll be looking forward to more of your videos.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow -- www.BarnhillWoodworks.com

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

194 posts in 1762 days


#4 posted 12-09-2009 03:41 AM

MedicKen: I was not aware that McFeeleys carries confirmat bits and screws. (I buy most of my fasteners from McFeeleys.) Either I just never noticed, or they have started carrying them recently (within the last year). Their kits and bits look reasonably priced compared to what I have been quoted by local suppliers. Perhaps I will give these a try. Thanks for the tip.

TopamaxSurvivor: Yes, because the drywall screws and the general purpose screws snap, not very often, only when it is most inconvenient. :-) I have yet to break one of the hardened steel screws. I also find that the philips head can strip and that it is easy to slip the driver. The hardened screws have a square drive, which does not strip easily.

Jack: Good tip on softening the edges. I used to use gloves when handling, but I forgot to take them off a couple of times before using the table saw (very bad!), so I quit wearing the gloves.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112096 posts in 2233 days


#5 posted 12-09-2009 04:21 AM

Hey Brian
Nice video good primer om melamine . I would add that melamine cabinets can be made with dado and rabbit joinery with out screws but screws are more common in production work. Rue glue is different than yellow glue in that it’s softer and more flexible than yellow glue.There are other brands of melamine glue such as Titebond melamine and Franklin melamine . Any gluing of melamine should be with a melamine glue yellow glue does not work any where close to as well

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2478 days


#6 posted 12-09-2009 02:08 PM

Brain, this is another nice video. I remember seeing the original version but it certainly was nice to see it again.
Thanks for taking the time and effort to produce these videos. I know that they tend to slow down production but they are helpful and informative.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jwicks's profile

jwicks

54 posts in 2264 days


#7 posted 12-09-2009 08:19 PM

Great video and great timing. I am using some melamine for a router table top in my table saws extension wing.

-- Jon

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

194 posts in 1762 days


#8 posted 12-09-2009 09:27 PM

Thanks everyone!

Jim: Thanks for mentioning dados/rabbets. I have used dados/rabbets before, for a tablesaw workstation (before I got my Saw Stop). I think that the reason dado/rabbet joinery is not used to often with melamine is that cabinet shops that use melamine are using “system 32” (Euro/framless) for fast production. One other thing that I have heard—and perhaps you know more that I do about it and can comment on it—is that the strength of a melamine panel is compromised by cutting a dado in it. The argument is that the melamine coating also adds strength to the panel the same way the skins on a torsion box do. On the other hand, it seems that if a box is constructed correctly that any loss in strength is regained when it is assembled.

One tip I did learn when making the workstation using dados/rabbets, is to do the edge banding before cutting the dados/rabbets. It is easier than having to trim by hand. Also be careful when inserting and removing panels into dados, as the melamine is brittle and can easily chip.

Thanks again.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112096 posts in 2233 days


#9 posted 12-09-2009 11:32 PM

Hey Brian
I thinks your 100% correct about “fast production” That’s kind of been the whole point in screwing them together and with melamine glue it’s an acceptable production cabinet . I’ve used dado and rabbit construction on a lot of melamine projects with out any structural issues. I was not trying to lessen the points you made in your great video just thought I’d add an alternative,even though a lot of folks like the quickest way to build cabinets. I really appreciate the time and effort put forth in making a well produced an very informative video. Good point about banding before dadoing.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1762 days


#10 posted 12-10-2009 12:40 AM

Brian, Thank you for putting this together! Very educational.
I sure hope this video stays on here for along time…so much to learn, so little time. I’ve watched this three times and each time I pick up more information. It stopped one expensive mistake before I commited it.
What an education this web site is! Thank you! Thank All of you! Rand

View Rj's profile

Rj

1047 posts in 2287 days


#11 posted 12-10-2009 04:41 AM

Great Stuff Brian! I liked the Ikea part, Its like a bad dream where your being captured by IKEA agents and you find yourself sitting up in bed Screaming NOOOOOOOOO.
Anyway I need a refresher course .

Thanks for posting this video you done good !

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#12 posted 12-25-2009 03:23 AM

Brian , all I can get is the audio portion of your video at this time …..The area where the video should be is a blank , white screen which at first I thought you were filming a sheet of Melamine LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#13 posted 12-28-2009 02:46 AM

Hi Brian , I received your PM and gave this another try and it worked perfectly today. The only thing I couldn’t do was make it go to full screen mode.Do I need to download that specific player for that feature to work ? Thanks….this was another informative video : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14752 posts in 2332 days


#14 posted 12-28-2009 03:57 AM

I think you need to be on U tube’s site to go full screen, not on the link.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TheBossQ's profile

TheBossQ

82 posts in 1349 days


#15 posted 07-18-2011 04:08 AM

God bless my wife, she hates IKEA more than me.

Nice vid!

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