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Thread: Saw Blade Choice Help

  1. #1

    Saw Blade Choice Help

    Good morning. I hope y'all can help me with some suggestions.

    I have a Ridgid 3650, 1.5 hp contractor saw. I've got two blades, a Ridgid R1060c (60 tooth, ATB, thin kerf) which is a little dull and a Freud LU87 (24 tooth, Flat grind, thin kerf) which is almost brand new.

    I'm going to build a simple make-up table for my kid using BORG white melamine shelving, exactly like this Lumberjocks project:

    I realize an LU96r (80 tooth, TCG, thin kerf) is the correct tool for the job, but a new saw blade is not in the budget.

    Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have enough waste material to make practice cuts. Which of my two blades would y'all recommend? Any tips or tricks for cutting melamine?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    david more teeth is better for melamine, the frued 24 tooth blade sounds to me like a good rip blade i use 30tooth for ripping, as for the ridgid 60 tooth goes dont use them so can justly rate it, but you can got the frued diablo series for a reasonable price. and a bad blade isnt worth spoiling a project..ask for a junk piece of melamine to practice on they must have a broke piece some where.

    David read this first before cutting LINK
    Last edited by larry merlau; 12-28-2012 at 05:04 PM.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    What about getting the 60 tooth blade sharpened? A triple chip tooth grind is preferable for melamine, but a sharp blade is a must. Check this site for blade sharpening. I used them on my 60 tooth triple chip Systimatic blade and they did an excellent job! I'll use them again, next time I need a blade sharpened. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Depending on your definition of "a little dull", the 60-tooth Ridgid blade may be fine as-is. I've found the pre-made melamine shelf material is pretty easy stuff to cut. You might be able to get a smaller piece of the melamine shelving (like a 2' shelf) to try the cuts on if you think it'd help.

    That said, from the looks of the desk plan, it appears all the the cut surfaces will be somewhat hidden in the joinery. A minor amount of chipping of the melamine will likely never be seen.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Get it sharpened if you can, but use the Ridgid and make sure you cut with the good side up to minimize chipping. If a perfect edge is required, you could always cut it a bit over-size and finish it off by taking a final cut with a router.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    Melamine can be chippy. An old trick I learned was to tape the cut line (masking tape is fine), draw your line, and cut. So the blade is cutting on the tape. Just .29 cents worth.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
    Thank you for all the suggestions.

    Turning lemons into lemonade - it turns out the 8' material, even though it's labeled as "Edge Banded on 3 sides for durability!" is only banded on the front. Therefore, I've got 4" of waste I can play with before having to make a good cut.

    I'll attempt manually scoring it w/ a utility knife, then tape over it. See how it goes w/ the ATB blade.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Shorewood, WI
    Of those two, the ATB blade is definitely preferred. If it's not sharp enough, and you need to keep the price down, keep in mind the blade need not be 10". A 60 tooth 7 1/4" Diablo D0760X is about $20 at Amazon, and would be useful for cutting sheet goods either in the tablesaw now, or with a circular saw and guide after you have your tablesaw blade sharpened.

  9. #9
    Budgets were meant to be busted, right?

    I couldn't get any good results on my test cuts. Not horrible, but tiny chips, every 5"-6". I think every time I paused pushing the work through, it chipped. It's white melamine and will be mating at a 90* angle to same... no matter how small, those chips are gonna show unless I caulk the finished piece, which I'm not going to do.

    So, $70 later, the aforementioned "right tool for the job" a Freud LU96r made perfect cuts. Perfect.

    Kreg holes are drilled, I'll be assembling in situ. I've got a little electrical and painting to do then this baby will be done.

    Lesson learned... again. Use the right tool for the job.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    only thing better than the right tool for the job david is to make extra parts in case one shrinks
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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