Cutting a melamine shelf


Old 11-19-13, 04:36 PM
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Cutting a melamine shelf

I have a melamine shelf (24" wide by 48" long) that I need to shave 4 inches off one end.

I have a table saw but with such a long board and the support only reaches out so far I decided not to use it but use a circular saw instead.

I heard from somewhere using masking tape over the cut line will minimize damages to the edge. So I did that.

Clamped a steel angle to glide the saw.

I moved slowly to try and get a nice smooth edge.

Only problem is, when I started the saw, for some reason the saw knocked off a little bit off the edge. The rest of the way no damage and it came out very nice except the starting point.

Any tricks on how to start the cut on a circular saw to avoid this?

Do you just put the shoe of the saw on the piece and slowly glide it in? I thought that's what I did...

Or do you tilt the circular saw at an angle, start the saw, then slowly pivot down the saw so it cuts from above and once it settles on the work piece then you push forward with it?
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Old 11-19-13, 05:09 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Tape does help, but here some more suggestions:

Use a saw blade that has a lot of teeth.

Install a zero clearance shoe on your saw. Here is a short video that will explain it better:
There's a Better Way: Minimize Circular-Saw Tearout - Fine Homebuilding Video
Old 11-19-13, 06:08 PM
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Thanks Tolyn, that video is very helpful.

Another thing I was concerned with when I started the cut, the shoe of the saw is only about half an inch on the angle that I clamped on. I wish there is some gadget I can attach to the front of the shoe that can glide more of it onto the angle to make sure the shoe is on the exact right position.
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