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Saw blades for melamine chipboard

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George_N

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I've had a search through the archives and it seems like Trend, Freud and CMT blades come out well in the opinion of most forum members. After Christmas I'll be starting to refurbish my kitchen and intend to make my cabinets out of melamine faced chipboard. I will be cutting the panels on a Triton Workcentre 2000 equiped with a Makita saw (190 x 30). Is a blade like a 60t Trend panel trimmer really worth the extra (£60 vs £24 for a 40t Freud blade) in terms of minimising chip-out at the edges? Or would I be better off cutting oversize and doing a final trim with the router.

cheers

george
 

Scrit

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George

You'll get a better edge by trimming with the router afterwards. Just make sure that your router cutter is either brand new or freshly sharpened - dull carbide will cause chipping-out. The best finish of all is obtained using a compression bit where the top part of the cutter is a down shear and the bottom is an upshear (available as carbide tipped or solid carbide spiral) - but for a one-off project I'd thibk twice about spending that sort of money.

Panel sawing in a pro shop involves a panel saw with a contra-rotating scoring blade and we use either an ATB (alternative top bevel) cut main blade with the scorer or occasionally a high-angle triple chip without the scorer - sadly you'll never reproduce this (or the quality of cut) with a hand held power saw no matter how good the blade.

If you intend doing the worktops at the same time and need to put in a mason's mitre joint I'd recommend going to a replaceable-tip carbide tip cutter for the worktop and using that for your edges - the RT tips seem to be a lot sharper, but you'll need to keep one solely for the worktops - and worktops do require a 1/2in collet 2HP router. The KWO cutters sold by Wealden Tool work very well, although the tips are a bit pricey, albeit double-sided.

Scrit
 

les chicken

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Scrit
I think you miss read the post unless it is me. Although he mentions a hand held saw, he has it mounted in a triton workcenter. From my experience when I owned a T2000 when the saw is mounted it is very much like a table saw. I am sure that existing Triton owners will be along soon with their comments.

Les
 

Scrit

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Les

The problem is that using the Triton is effectively the same as using a standard table saw but with a more vibration and run-out (less mass to absorb vibration :( ). Either way unless you can get a triple chip high angle saw blade designed for MFC (melamine faced chipboard - the industry term) on a portable saw you experience a varying amount of chip-out on the underside of the cut, or the top side if hand power sawing conventionally. Even were you to find such a blade you'd probably still experience chip-out (because lightweight set-ups do tend to vibrate), especially if sawing poorer DIY grades of MFC such as Contiboard (note to George: try to get a better quality board such as Egger, Sonae, Caberdecor, Finsa, Kronospan, etc from a trade outlet - they tend to chip-out less). It is for this reason that the trade moved to scoring blade saw benches many years back. Personally, I don't know of any blades which fit the bill for use on a portable saw. I've tried various combinations of blade (Freud/CMT/B&D - not impressed by Trend, a bit overpriced IMO) on my pair of hand power saws (Elu MH265 and Bosch GKS85B). The best solution to date has been a fine tooth Freud triple chip blade on the Bosch GKS86B saw running on the Bosch rail system, but even that generates a certain amount of chip out despite the rail system with its polyurethane insert strip being, in effect, one half of a zero-clearance insert :? . The best one-tool solution I've seen to date is Maffell's self-feeding saw/track system , the PSS 3000, which can be used to make a reversed scoring cut before making the main cut, but that really costs :roll: . To my mind this means that using a router will ultimately deliver a better quality edge at an affordable price, especially if care is taken to utilise a very sharp/new cutter and make all the cuts from the same face of the material. The issue is not really one of whether or not a Triton is used, it is one of the tooling solution required, IMO.

As to not understanding the problem of chip out - with respect I'm on my second Altendorf, an F45 (sort of like a grown-up Felder, only bigger and heavier) and I still do the occasional bit of MFC machining (about 40 or so jumbos - 2600 x 2000mm sheets this year to date - mainly for drawers :roll: ). When absolutely pushed I'll even get involved installing the finished product ](*,) . Even so, chip-out on MFC is one of the greatest bugbears when working the stuff, even for those in the t(ir)rade, like myself.

Scrit
 

George_N

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Scrit,
thanks for the detailed response. This is going to be a DIY kitchen and I will have to pretty much use the tools I have to hand. Even so, I will have to produce a couple of convincing prototypes for inspection by the boss before she gives me the go ahead to build the rest of the units. I do intend to source cabinet grade board as I've never had much success with Contiboard. I have had a look at the replacable tip router cutters at Wealden and it might be worth getting one for this project (£40 - £50), depending on cutter diameter x 50mm cutter length. I do also need a new saw blade...I'll have another look at the Freud range and see if there is something suitable for this particular job.

thanks again guys

George
 

Freetochat

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George

My advice to you would be to source your mfc from a trade supplier who will do some cutting for you. It also makes the boards easier to handle.

If you measure up standard cabinets they all have a constant width for base or top cabimets. The visual edges are obviously the fronts. If you have the boards cut to (Please check) 285mm and 570mm in strips, you only then have to cross cut. That way all your cuts will be top, bottom or less seen horizontals.

I use this method solely because a 10' x 5' (6') sheet is too heavy to manage on my own for cutting.

I use the Trend blade, whilst not perfect is good.
 

Scrit

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George

Freetochat":2gzxl8kg said:
My advice to you would be to source your mfc from a trade supplier who will do some cutting for you. It also makes the boards easier to handle.
Too right! Personally I hate large sheets of MFC. Depending where you are in the country there are trade outlets who supply pre-banded strips in various widths. In Oldham/Sheffield there's Hills Panel Products so I'm sure that there will be other suppliers out there doing the same sort of service. Given a choice of 15mm and 18mm I'd plump for 18mm. I'd also suggest that you buy your edge banding at the same time as you get your boards to ensure a match in colour and texture.

If you haven't figured out a way of joining your carcasses together I'd suggest you look at the trade favourite - black phosphated carcass screws. These don't need to be pre-drilled or countersunk - they have a bugle head and can be driven straight through two pieces and sunk in by a cordless screwdriver. Generally only available in a couple of sizes like #7 x 1-1/4in (32mm) or 1-1/2in (38mm) and you'll need to cap the ends to hide them unless you are going to hang end panels on your carcasses.

Scrit
 

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