How to Cut Melamine Shelves


Melamine wood is an ideal selection for many woodworkers. It's not very expensive compared to solid woods like oak and cherry. It can be durable if properly cared for and cut right. The main issue with cutting melamine, however, is that it doesn't always cut cleanly. Learning how to cut melamine to prevent chipping can help you create shelves that are comparable to pre-fabricated ones. With these double-sided boards, both sides are visible. When used for shelving, you want both sides to look good.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Table saw
  • Steel ruler
  • Melamine boards
  • Check the alignment of your table saw. Use a steel ruler to make sure the table saw and fence are parallel to each other. It is important to have an aligned saw for a straight cut.

  • Set your saw blade height to approximately ¾ of the thickness of your melamine boards.

  • Use the tape measure and pencil to measure and mark the desired length of your shelves on each board.

  • Cut your board on one side, following your markings. Your cut will only be partially through the board.

  • Flip your melamine board over and make a cut in the same location as your first cut. This will cut your board all the way through and prevent the underside chipping of the melamine.

  • Repeat the double-sided steps for all your cuts for each shelf you need. Finish by hanging your shelves.

Tips & Warnings

  • For the smoothest cut possible, try switching to a negative hook melamine saw blade.
  • Wear safety goggles while operating the table saw to protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Take extreme care with your fingers and hands around the saw mechanisms and blade.

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  • Photo Credit girls on shelves image by Cherry-Merry from
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