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Author Topic: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback  (Read 2172 times)

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Arroyo

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Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« on: February 12, 2018, 02:56:02 pm »
Not an experienced wood worker, but I have done reading and came to the conclusion that I wanted my cabinet to be constructed of Birch Plywood, for lightness, and durability with threading and re-threading screws (if necessary), with a vertical grade laminate applied. 

Came across a post on Melamine, and it seemed like you could get the wood with a laminate like finish without having to apply the laminate.  Found out it is mostly made of particle board, so it didn't seem to fit, however I came across this:

https://www.cherokeewood.com/store/black-melamine/

Which if you select on the pull down menu under thickness has an option for 3/4" 2S-PRO ("Pro-Core").  I called the folks there and they told me it is a laminated wood with very small (veneer) MDF finish under the melamine exterior.  He said it has the same durability as Plywood.

So it seems that this is a reasonably priced and very similar alternative to doing the plywood with laminate covering.

Does anyone have any experience with this to know that is a good material to work with?

_Iz-

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 10:52:10 pm »
Iíve been a cabinetmaker for 25 years and this product is exactly what youíre looking for. I would use it without hesitation.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 12:15:54 pm »
Awesome. Thank you :cheers:

They are sending me a sample, I'll post pics of the cross cut so anyone interested can get a sense of the composition.

pbj

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 12:39:59 pm »
I think you'll find this stuff chips like crazy when you cut it.  Maybe not.  Good luck.

 :cheers:

_Iz-

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 12:51:17 pm »
Agreed, it will be pretty chippy with home tools - best bet is cut it with a CNC or a router. Or make a template of each piece, overcut a rough piece and use the template and router to bring it to final shape.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 03:14:50 pm »
I think you'll find this stuff chips like crazy when you cut it.  Maybe not.  Good luck.

 :cheers:

Thanks for the feedback.  You think it will be worse than vertical grade laminate?


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Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 03:16:57 pm »
Agreed, it will be pretty chippy with home tools - best bet is cut it with a CNC or a router. Or make a template of each piece, overcut a rough piece and use the template and router to bring it to final shape.

Thanks again.  Yeah I was planning on using a router as Iíve seen others do with laminate.  Sounds like I should do some test cuts before going crazy, assuming I order the material.


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_Iz-

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 03:18:52 pm »
If you cut with a router (or trim down to final size with a router) you won't have a problem. If you try and cut your parts with a saw, then it will be worse. make sure the router bit is sharp and good quality.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 03:58:36 pm »
If you cut with a router (or trim down to final size with a router) you won't have a problem. If you try and cut your parts with a saw, then it will be worse. make sure the router bit is sharp and good quality.
Really appreciate the guidance :cheers:


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Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 02:21:31 am »
Sample arrived:






Seems like good stuff.  The finish I would say was very similar to the Formica.  The laminate samples are standard thickness, so not exactly a comparison with the intended vertical grade.

As far as I can tell the ďcoreĒ seems to be a good plywood, and the MDF exteriors look to be about a little over 1/8Ē on each side which leaves roughly 60% to the plywood core.

Strongly considering this for the build Iím planning unless someone has had a bad experience to share.....

bad_boo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 11:11:44 am »
I like this idea, so you won't need to paint or anything like that.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 01:22:46 pm »
I like this idea, so you won't need to paint or anything like that.

Yup, and you won't have to apply laminate!  As PBJ and _Iz- mentioned it looks you will need to use sharp higher speed machines (router) to avoid chipping.  I imagine it would be the same as working with laminate, but I don't have any experience with it.  A co-worker who has done a lot of wood working also suggested using a metal blade (finer teeth) on a jig saw if a router wasn't an option, and I also saw this online:

https://www.curbly.com/how-to-cut-melamine

At $81.50 for a 8ftx4ft sheet, that's a lot cheaper than laminating two sides of Plywood which by the quotes I got at Home Depot for $44 for the Plywood and $1.83/ft for vertical grade laminate, that same 8ftx4ft sheet would be $161.

At half the cost and not having to apply laminate it seems appealing to me.

smass

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 03:01:45 pm »
If the sample doesn't need to be returned try some test cuts with different tools to see if you get a feel for it.

Many commercial arcade kits use regular melamine, and cuts are chip free using a cnc router, so achieving similar results on this stuff with the right tools would seem likely.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 03:03:30 pm by smass »

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 03:10:06 pm »
If the sample doesn't need to be returned try some test cuts with different tools to see if you get a feel for it.

Yup, exactly what I was thinking. 

Quote
Many commercial arcade kits use regular melamine, and cuts are chip free using a cnc router, so achieving similar results on this stuff with the right tools would seem likely.

Check out Vidiot's build with regular melamine:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,145188.0.html

shaolindrunkard

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 11:06:00 am »
Do you live near that place because it appears they only offer local pick up for that stuff? Otherwise you would have to find it elsewhere. I would be highly concerned with the cost of shipping if you cant find it locally.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2018, 12:50:35 pm »
Do you live near that place because it appears they only offer local pick up for that stuff? Otherwise you would have to find it elsewhere. I would be highly concerned with the cost of shipping if you cant find it locally.

Yeah, you nailed it.  I got off the phone with the folks right now.  Looks like depending on the size of cuts you need you could get it down to $70-$90 (read 2x4), but to get in full sheets would be a few hundred dollars (southern to northern California).  Good catch shaolindrunkard :applaud:, that may mean back to the drawing board.

Edit: So at Home Depot a 4ftx8ft of Birch Plywood (3/4") cost is $45, and vertical grade black Wilson Art laminate is $1.83/ft (Home Depot), so if you were to buy 2 sheets and laminate both sides it would be $324.  For this stuff at $81/ sheet it would be $162 + $200 shipping, so you are at a higher cost depending on how many sheets you order.

For folks in Upland CA it could be a viable option.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 01:04:31 pm by Arroyo »

shaolindrunkard

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2018, 02:48:37 pm »
Do you live near that place because it appears they only offer local pick up for that stuff? Otherwise you would have to find it elsewhere. I would be highly concerned with the cost of shipping if you cant find it locally.

Yeah, you nailed it.  I got off the phone with the folks right now.  Looks like depending on the size of cuts you need you could get it down to $70-$90 (read 2x4), but to get in full sheets would be a few hundred dollars (southern to northern California).  Good catch shaolindrunkard :applaud:, that may mean back to the drawing board.

Edit: So at Home Depot a 4ftx8ft of Birch Plywood (3/4") cost is $45, and vertical grade black Wilson Art laminate is $1.83/ft (Home Depot), so if you were to buy 2 sheets and laminate both sides it would be $324.  For this stuff at $81/ sheet it would be $162 + $200 shipping, so you are at a higher cost depending on how many sheets you order.

For folks in Upland CA it could be a viable option.

Do you have Lowes in CA? Black Formica brand laminate sheets are 53 bucks at Lowes. Actually I think my local Lowes has Wilsonart sheets for around 45. But lets say they don't. So 45 + 53 = 98x2 = 196$

Thing I always warn people about when shipping that kind of thing is that its so big that it rarely shows up in perfect condition. So you may wind up with damaged portions that are unusable. At least when you go local you can pick and choose your pieces to make sure they are free of defects. Also doing laminate is really not that hard. You could just paint, but I actually think laminate is quicker and easier than paint.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2018, 05:11:22 pm »

Edit: So at Home Depot a 4ftx8ft of Birch Plywood (3/4") cost is $45, and vertical grade black Wilson Art laminate is $1.83/ft (Home Depot), so if you were to buy 2 sheets and laminate both sides it would be $324.  For this stuff at $81/ sheet it would be $162 + $200 shipping, so you are at a higher cost depending on how many sheets you order.
For folks in Upland CA it could be a viable option.

Do you have Lowes in CA? Black Formica brand laminate sheets are 53 bucks at Lowes. Actually I think my local Lowes has Wilsonart sheets for around 45. But lets say they don't. So 45 + 53 = 98x2 = 196$

Thing I always warn people about when shipping that kind of thing is that its so big that it rarely shows up in perfect condition. So you may wind up with damaged portions that are unusable. At least when you go local you can pick and choose your pieces to make sure they are free of defects. Also doing laminate is really not that hard. You could just paint, but I actually think laminate is quicker and easier than paint.

Yeah the math I was doing was on two sides laminated as the Melamine was double sided, but to your point you could just laminate one side and paint the rest.

Great point about the local pickup vs. shipping, I think after this discussion I'll probably just go the traditional plywood and laminate route.  Gotta decide if I want to paint the interior or spend the money on the laminate... :dunno

shaolindrunkard

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2018, 06:29:09 pm »

Edit: So at Home Depot a 4ftx8ft of Birch Plywood (3/4") cost is $45, and vertical grade black Wilson Art laminate is $1.83/ft (Home Depot), so if you were to buy 2 sheets and laminate both sides it would be $324.  For this stuff at $81/ sheet it would be $162 + $200 shipping, so you are at a higher cost depending on how many sheets you order.
For folks in Upland CA it could be a viable option.

Do you have Lowes in CA? Black Formica brand laminate sheets are 53 bucks at Lowes. Actually I think my local Lowes has Wilsonart sheets for around 45. But lets say they don't. So 45 + 53 = 98x2 = 196$

Thing I always warn people about when shipping that kind of thing is that its so big that it rarely shows up in perfect condition. So you may wind up with damaged portions that are unusable. At least when you go local you can pick and choose your pieces to make sure they are free of defects. Also doing laminate is really not that hard. You could just paint, but I actually think laminate is quicker and easier than paint.

Yeah the math I was doing was on two sides laminated as the Melamine was double sided, but to your point you could just laminate one side and paint the rest.

Great point about the local pickup vs. shipping, I think after this discussion I'll probably just go the traditional plywood and laminate route.  Gotta decide if I want to paint the interior or spend the money on the laminate... :dunno

Most people just paint the inside. Usually when you put together a cabinet you put the entire thing together with glue and or screws so that it is permanently built and solid. Then you paint the inside with black Usually just the part that will be exposed in front of the monitor and then do your laminate on the out side. Doing laminate on the inside is certainly possible but may make assembly a little nerve racking because you could damage the laminate while your assembling it. Once laminate is on there its pretty much permanent, so if you crack or chip it, you gotta live with it. This is generally why people do laminate on the out side last.

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 06:34:50 pm »

Edit: So at Home Depot a 4ftx8ft of Birch Plywood (3/4") cost is $45, and vertical grade black Wilson Art laminate is $1.83/ft (Home Depot), so if you were to buy 2 sheets and laminate both sides it would be $324.  For this stuff at $81/ sheet it would be $162 + $200 shipping, so you are at a higher cost depending on how many sheets you order.
For folks in Upland CA it could be a viable option.

Do you have Lowes in CA? Black Formica brand laminate sheets are 53 bucks at Lowes. Actually I think my local Lowes has Wilsonart sheets for around 45. But lets say they don't. So 45 + 53 = 98x2 = 196$

Thing I always warn people about when shipping that kind of thing is that its so big that it rarely shows up in perfect condition. So you may wind up with damaged portions that are unusable. At least when you go local you can pick and choose your pieces to make sure they are free of defects. Also doing laminate is really not that hard. You could just paint, but I actually think laminate is quicker and easier than paint.

Yeah the math I was doing was on two sides laminated as the Melamine was double sided, but to your point you could just laminate one side and paint the rest.

Great point about the local pickup vs. shipping, I think after this discussion I'll probably just go the traditional plywood and laminate route.  Gotta decide if I want to paint the interior or spend the money on the laminate... :dunno

Most people just paint the inside. Usually when you put together a cabinet you put the entire thing together with glue and or screws so that it is permanently built and solid. Then you paint the inside with black Usually just the part that will be exposed in front of the monitor and then do your laminate on the out side. Doing laminate on the inside is certainly possible but may make assembly a little nerve racking because you could damage the laminate while your assembling it. Once laminate is on there its pretty much permanent, so if you crack or chip it, you gotta live with it. This is generally why people do laminate on the out side last.
As I donít have a lot of wood working experience I am sure this advice will come in very handy.  Thanks much. :cheers:


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shaolindrunkard

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2018, 06:37:10 pm »
No prob.

Charles Kline

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2018, 04:59:21 pm »
This thread is a few months old, just curious what you ended up going with.

Your post prompted me to check with local (Denver) lumber suppliers for the Melamine for my Midway Cocktail project.  One of the local companies has one that looks promising.  Requested pricing!

Arroyo

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Re: Melamine "Pro Core" - Feedback
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2018, 09:40:30 pm »
This thread is a few months old, just curious what you ended up going with.

Your post prompted me to check with local (Denver) lumber suppliers for the Melamine for my Midway Cocktail project.  One of the local companies has one that looks promising.  Requested pricing!

Iím going with the good old plywood and matte black laminate....but if you could buy local and avoid shipping Iíd probably explore it.  Avoids the need for researching and buying contact cement, which at least for me in California was a real pain.  Also laminate isnít cheap.

  
 

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