Has anyone any experience / tips for carving into/through a melamine/fibreboard stock?
I have an Ikea kitchen cupboard door (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20298354/) that I want to carve a shaped hole through (a cat-shaped hole - for cat access to the litter box inside the cupboard).
Any thoughts (other than get a dog…
You could make catburgers.
I would guess the answer would depend on what you’re calling Melamine… One local store calls plastic coated MDF Melamine, another calls plastic coated particle board Melamine… I have carved on both… the plastic coated MDF carves detailed images moderately well with a down cut bit and nicely with a V bit… The Particle board variety is only really good for down cut spiral bits cutting shallow pockets…and then nothing to intricate or detailed…
However if you are cutting a through hole, you should be OK either way… you’re going to have to seal/finish the inside of the cut though…
I’d assume you would want to set your feeds for the wood portion. I haven’t cut any particle board, but I’d assume it’s close to MDF. That being said maybe pick up some particle board and do some testing.
I’d suggest a straight flute bit or I saw someone online mention using compression bits.
For the cut edge, I’m pretty sure you can get melamine edge banding.
P.S. is the hole going to be shaped like a cat, or a square?
Using a guide you can get it cut in seconds.
I have had lots of fun with this thing.
It cuts through pipe like butter
I too have one of these
I’m not renown for my accuracy or subtlety with it…
My ‘straight lines’ and ‘neat curves’, come out more like a map of South America…
Thanks for all of the insight people. I think I’m just going to get a fish instead.
You use a guide… The guide will help keep it from creating the wrong shape.
Same thing you do with a router.
Oh speaking of which… You could use a palm router on it.
Create a guide on your machine then use that to cut it.
I know this seems like extra work but with a good router you can use those 1/2" bits that will do some clean cuts.
Worse comes to worst you could design the shape on the computer, use your XCarve to cut out a template for that shape out of 1/4" thick hardboard or similar, then take that template off the X-Carve and double sided tape it to the door and use a handheld router with a guide bushing to cut out the hole in the door. This assumes that the door itself doesn’t fit in your X-Carve.
Success!!! Everything worked flawlessly. My trial piece (a spare internal shelf) was particle board inside, and I felt the 70 IPM was a bit fast for it, so I slowed it to 35 IPM, and just as well - the internals of the door were solid MDF, not particle board.
I used a 1/8 straight cut bit for crisp edges - and there was no chip out at all. I slowed the router speed down to 1 to avoid overheating, but I don’t think it made that much difference in the end.
I’ve attached image of; in progress carve, close up of edge, and installed door.
The cat had better be happy.