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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Default Miter lock bits & Melamine

I got an order for a reather long toy box, and the customer wants it to be easy to clean, so I was thinking a sheet of melamine.

At first I was thinking about using dados to hold the assembly together, now I'm wondering if I can use the miter lock bit for the four corners, and a dado around the bottom of the sides and ends to hold the bottom. (it has to sit above the floor on short legs.)


Anyone use a miter lock bit on PB/Melamine? I was also thinking I could cut a 45 degree peice, and glue that into each corner (Melamine facing out) for added support.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
Danny
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 05:42 PM
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Hi Danny,

This should be doable.

Ken

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 06:23 PM
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The only concern I would have is that the mitre lock joints will be clearly visible and if there is any chipping along the edge it will also be clearly visible. But worth a go. If you can get good cuts with the mitre bit it should work quite well, and be strong enough without the addition of the internal bracing.
Another option would be to dado the corners as well so any chips can be hidden in the rebate, or use harwood corner posts. It would make the project easier and adds visual interest. Just a suggestion...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd99 View Post
I got an order for a reather long toy box, and the customer wants it to be easy to clean, so I was thinking a sheet of melamine.

At first I was thinking about using dados to hold the assembly together, now I'm wondering if I can use the miter lock bit for the four corners, and a dado around the bottom of the sides and ends to hold the bottom. (it has to sit above the floor on short legs.)


Anyone use a miter lock bit on PB/Melamine? I was also thinking I could cut a 45 degree peice, and glue that into each corner (Melamine facing out) for added support.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
Danny
Hi Danny:

Ok, you don't have to use melamine to have something stay clean. I've used varathane on a kitchen counter and spar varnish in another situation. Both stand up very well. How old is the child? I'd be more concerned that the toy box would take a real beating and I'm not sure that a mitre lock would address the problem. I'd opt for a corner post with a rabbet that can also be your legs and round the corners to reduce wear on the corners. Set the bottom in a dado and don't be afraid to add support under the bottom.

If you choose to used the mitre lock, make sure you read lots of different manuals. I've not been able to find complete instructions for the lock mitre for you. LeeValley's instructions are OK, but not great; MLCS, ok; CMT, better than others but still not complete; Infinity, same as all the others; Whiteside, ditto;

What I'm trying to find is examples of the support that you should use when cutting the joints. MLCS sort of shows what you should do in their tips section but it's not really clear. I'll keep looking.

Allthunbs
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 07:33 AM
 
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Interesting...I've run at least 2,000 sheets of melamine thru my shop over the years but never as something like this. All garage and utility cabinets. I would be concerned, I guess, about the edges. Even minute chipping leaves an "ugly", and even of more concern would be that it can cut you (or a kid) like a knife. If the customer wants an easy to clean surface, I'd also consider building the box out of whatever sheet good then laminating a countertop veneer onto it. Edge banding the top is up to you, but you have a number of choices including the veneer or even t-banding with pvc.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting...I've run at least 2,000 sheets of melamine thru my shop over the years but never as something like this. All garage and utility cabinets. I would be concerned, I guess, about the edges. Even minute chipping leaves an "ugly", and even of more concern would be that it can cut you (or a kid) like a knife. If the customer wants an easy to clean surface, I'd also consider building the box out of whatever sheet good then laminating a countertop veneer onto it. Edge banding the top is up to you, but you have a number of choices including the veneer or even t-banding with pvc.
That's something I didn't think about (Sharp edges)
I was going to use the plastic edge band with the heat glue. Now I'm thinking about something like as shown in the corner should make it plenty strong, and get rid of the sharp corner.

If ya have any other ideas please feel free to let me know.


Thanks
Danny
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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I'm not a big fan of heat glue/edge tape especially in a "high traffic" area like a kid's room/box. Only takes one small spot for a kid's shirt or whatever to hang up on it and start pulling it away.

If you are set on using melamine, I'd go back to your original plan, but add corner moulding to cover edges. Trimmed out like that takes care of all sharp edges and would add a nice touch to it as well. Matching color or a contrasting color...either would look nice.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not a big fan of heat glue/edge tape especially in a "high traffic" area like a kid's room/box. Only takes one small spot for a kid's shirt or whatever to hang up on it and start pulling it away.

If you are set on using melamine, I'd go back to your original plan, but add corner moulding to cover edges. Trimmed out like that takes care of all sharp edges and would add a nice touch to it as well. Matching color or a contrasting color...either would look nice.
Another good idea; thanks, pertty much set on Melamine, she doesn't have a lot of cash for this and I first started out doing a quote to laminate the box but it got out of her price range, and she doesn't like the painting idea since I showed her the melamine on my bench top, and how easy it cleans up.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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OK I'm going back to my orignal design with dados ... LOL

Guess I'm trying to think about this too much.

Here is the design, it's 75" long 16" high, and 15" deep (Her Dimensions).

Thanks all for you help and insight.

Danny
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 03:26 PM
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An option that you may not have considered. If you get the really thin melamine and round all of your edges, you can heat the melamine and it will conform to the substrate like a kitchen counter. I've tried an iron, a heat gun and I couldn't get anything to work. Later I found out that the vendor had supplied me with the wrong stuff. Too thick to bend. Make sure you check that you get the thin stuff. It's cheaper too. However, there is a downside to this "miracle" and that is that bending laminate may take a bit longer until you have the learning curve completed.

Good Luck

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