Drilling melamine?


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Old 02-29-24, 11:36 AM
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Drilling melamine?

I need to drill melamine, and according to Google it is hard to work with. Another forum suggests:

"I am running 4400 RPM at 300 IPM with good results in melamine, VC, MDF and pre-laminated sheets. This may not be optimum for each material individually, but it seems to be a good compromise for all materials and bit diameters from 5 to 35mm, although I know I am pushing it on the 35mm in pre-lam. I strongly prefer solid carbide, for stiffness and durability, especially at the 5mm diameter, but the carbide tipped bits work well enough."

My old cheapo electric hand drill does not have any sort of RPM/IPM adjustment, so I want to look into buying one that does. Cheap as possible. I may use a drill maybe once a year! Looks like I also need a 5mm carbide tipped bit, again cheap as possible. Links appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-29-24, 11:49 AM
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What are you drilling? Melamine is used in many different ways.

I have never had difficulty drilling melamine. It's essentially a plastic. I just use normal high speed steel (HSS) twist drills (nothing special) and a hand drill. RPM isn't terribly critical. If you turn the drill slow it takes longer. If you turn the drill faster it drills faster. It's not like your drilling a difficult aerospace material.
 
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Old 03-22-24, 10:55 AM
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I'm making a sort of table that I will put the alleycat shelter under, then cover with a tarp. The cats like to climb all over the tarp, flatten a space out, then sunbathe...the cardboard shelter cannot take the weight of four cats. The table will be for support. I'm thinking two pieces of waterproofed melamine (one top,one bottom), and four 1 1/2" diameter dowel rods between.
 
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Old 03-22-24, 01:33 PM
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Melamine laminate is a hard plastic type overlay...... similar to Formica or other laminates.
Drill a smaller hall first and then a larger hole to eliminate splintering.
 
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Old 03-23-24, 04:37 AM
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That is not a great application for melamine because of it's brittleness and ease of cracking. Instead I would use fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) sheet. Most home centers have it with the paneling. It's completely waterproof and because of the fiberglass inside the plastic is much stronger and highly resistant to cracking. It's also inexpensive.
 
 

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