Forstner bits and melamine

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Forum topic by Dunelm posted 08-30-2012 02:14 AM 1549 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 1523 days

08-30-2012 02:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: forstner melamine drill press

Before lowering a good quality half inch forstner bit into melamine covered mdf, I’m wondering whether I should expect any issues. I’ll be using a drill press.

-- Bruce -- Canada

3 replies so far

View rance's profile


4196 posts in 2197 days

#1 posted 08-30-2012 03:10 AM

If I needed it done, I’d do it. If I had 100 holes to drill and it dulled the bit, then I’d sharpen it. You can sharpen forstner bits yourself with a simple diamond hone. IMO, tools are meant to be used, sharpened, used, sharpened, and used up.

Go slower than you normally would, and when it breaks through the melamine, then retract and remove the little disk. Then continue on into the MDF. You might want to clamp the board down too.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View bruc101's profile


815 posts in 2578 days

#2 posted 08-30-2012 03:34 AM

A standard on our cabinets is to line the insides with 1/4” white melamine. We use 1/2” melamine for the floors in the cabinets. I would suggest that you use a backer board on the bottom side of the melamiine when you drill through it.

We use forstner bits and hole saws in the melamine. We’ve not found where the melamine dulls the bits no more so than a hardwood does.

We also don’t use a scoring saw on 1/2” and above thickness in the melamine. We use a 60 tooth thin kerf blade and get no chip out. We’ve also uses a WW2 blade and got no chip out.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Dunelm's profile


27 posts in 1523 days

#3 posted 08-31-2012 01:58 AM

Thank you Rance and Bruce for your replies—especially the comment about removing the disc of melamine from the bit before proceeding further. All went well.

-- Bruce -- Canada

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