Particle board upper cabinets

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Forum topic by Eric posted 02-23-2013 10:13 PM 2891 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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221 posts in 2533 days

02-23-2013 10:13 PM

I found a good clearance deal on a few melamine particle board sheets I’d like to use for garage workshop cabinets. I feel perfectly fine using this for the lower cabs. Any advice about using melamine with a particle board center for hanging workshop cabs?

-- Eric

8 replies so far

View Krudwig's profile


51 posts in 2035 days

#1 posted 02-23-2013 11:08 PM

If they never get wet your fine. Worlds of cabinets were made in the seventies with partical board shelves and floors and upper cabinets as well. If you use a back band behind the shelf and use no backs it can screw right to the wall. I don’t think I would try just the 1/4 back without a back under the shelves. This is just my opinion. Larry

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221 posts in 2533 days

#2 posted 02-23-2013 11:13 PM

back band? is that like a cleat spanning the back from which to hang the uppers?

I was planning on a full carcass (left, right, top, bottom, back) of 3/4 melamine. but your idea might save me some lumber and weight.

-- Eric

View mikethetermite's profile


597 posts in 3288 days

#3 posted 02-24-2013 04:09 AM

I found that these Funnel Head Screws are one of the best when using it on melamine particle board sheets

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1976 days

#4 posted 02-28-2013 01:02 AM

Confirmat screws are the definitive screw for particle board. There are lots of brands of them. You can get them at Woodcraft, Rockler, and lots of places on line. You need a special bit for drilling the holes for the screws, but you can buy it as part of a kit with the screws. Melamine doesn’t glue well with regular glues, but Titebond does make a Melamine Glue product. I’ve used it successfully. Melamine coated particle board is heavy stuff, but it makes good, cheap cabinets. Dust falls off pretty easy so they are really easy to clean. If you use the stuff for the doors, it can really brighten up your shop.

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51 posts in 2035 days

#5 posted 02-28-2013 12:11 PM

a back band is a cleat under the back of the shelf. It can be the melamine but I’d use pine or poplar 3/4×1 1/2 it gives the shelf strength, support and keeps the shelf from sagging. I also would put a small cleat behind the face stiles under the front ot the shelf because the edge grain of the partical board does not hold a nail well at all. You won’t be sorry you used the melamine if you take a little time to do a few extras to prevent tear out and sagging. Dados on the end of the carcass would be a plus too although the shelves wouldn’t be adjustable.. Again it’s just my thoughts on the topic.

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2255 days

#6 posted 02-28-2013 12:52 PM

Typical European frameless wall cabinet design is a 1/4 by 1/4 dado in 3/4” from the back edge on all 4 case parts. Case is assembled around a 1/4 back. Sides are attached to the top and bottom with dowels, biscuits or comformat screws. A 3/4” thick nailer strip goes behind the back from side to side at the top and bottom. If the case is taller than 36” I put an extra nailer across the center as well. I glue these in and either air nail or kreg screw them to the sides and top or bottom. Keep your interior width under 32” to reduce sag and give you 3 parts from a 8ft rip.
Assembling the case around the back with glue in the groove spreads any load out and helps keep the box square. Mount to the wall with screws in every stud possible, top and bottom and center in the case is tall.
I quit using particleboard for my cabinets but I still use the frameless system to build with plywood. You can buy pre finished plywood for just a little more than the cost of melamine and it lasts a lot longer. Use plenty of glue in every joint, allow no gaps when clamping and assembling.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

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11758 posts in 2401 days

#7 posted 02-28-2013 08:22 PM

Hang them with a french cleat. Simple, easy, strong.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


6894 posts in 3389 days

#8 posted 03-01-2013 08:46 AM

Wdwerker is correct as I just resize a European built cabinet. I was expecting some screws someplace holding the cabinet together but it was all doweled and the seems were hard to find under the Melamine. The only screws were the ones for the vertcal dividers.

Others have already mentioned the additional cabinet support, French cleat, and confirmat and screws so I cannot add any more useful information!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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