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MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

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  • MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

    I'm Building upper carcasses for kitchen Cabinets. I'm thinking about 5/8 melamine But joints and confirmat screws. I think! I'm not sure I'm on the right track but think this will work. The size of Confirmat screw to use is creating a question for me. The local lumber yard sold me 7mm Thanks for the in saying they will work in 5/8 melamine. after testing the screws in some melamine I think the 7mm are to large and will lead to broke out wood when the cabinets are filled.

    The questions I'm looking for answers on

    5mm or 7mm confirmat screws?

    Is 5/8 melamine the right answer for upper cabinets?

    Or should I use 5/8 Melamine glue and #8 1.5 coarse spax screws from LV?


    I realize this is a long question but I would rather ask than hear the crash later. If I'm on the wrong path all together please point me in the right direction


    Thanks for your time

    KMD
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

    Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

    a crucial key to using confirmat screws is right drill bit, the bit has to drill the hole through the assembled joint with the right depths for various sections of the screw

    personally, i dont care for them, but if you do use them, use the larger size and get the proper drill bit

    if you want to use screws, the pax screws from LV will work well, experiment with a couple of scraps to find the right drill bit, the screw should just barely countersink itself without spinning out, the largest drill bit that will do that is the right one. the BORG particle board is the cheapest stuff on the market and is very easy to fracture with a screw that is too big for its pilot hole

    dowels and biscuits are far stronger, and dowels are way ahead of biscuits, thats all i use. a good dowelling jig would be a fine investment for building a set of kitchen cabinets and you wont have any exposed screw heads to cover up

    with screws you will have to hold the cabinet together somehow while you drill the holes(brads, clamps whatever) and if a screw is slightly of center in the "end grain" of the part, the bit will wander into the less dense center of the pb, leaving you with misaligned parts, using a dowelling jig and dowels or biscuits will prevent this

    ive built hundreds of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, using all the different methods, and dowels are the only method i use now

    the best dowelling jig(and ive used lots) is the dowelmax, sure 350 bucks is lot of money, but compared to the cost of the materials and your time its peanuts for something thats going to last 30 years in your house
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont




    1940's Craftmaster Lathe

    https://www.facebook.com/artistryinwoodca/

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    • #3

      Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

      Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

      I am not an expert but I just finished building 25 kitchen cabinets in the form of Danny Proulx "Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets":
      http://www.cabinetmaking.com/pages/BYOKC_detail.htm

      It is a wonderful read and intructor. In that, I used 2" PB screws from HD for most of the cabinets every 6". I tried the LV screws and found them no better.
      Make sure that the 5/8 or 3/4 melamine is really a CABINET GRADE, tighter bond, more wood and thicker melamine sheet covering. I used 5/8 Melamine from Commonwealth Plywood.
      You can see the result on my 2010 Kitchen thread.
      Last edited by HorseshoeHobby; 03-30-2010, 07:09 AM.
      CHEERS
      Don B

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      • #4

        Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

        Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

        Biscuits, with 16 guage x 1 1/4 " pins to tack everything, then countersunk 1 1/8" lo-root screws available from Lee Valley or Richelieu (sp?) Hardware.
        Will require a finished end to hide the screws.
        Glue is wasted on Melamine unless you rabbet all the joints. Glue doesn't hold on Melamine finish.
        Please remember that free advise from the Internet is worth what you paid for it ...

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        • #5

          Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

          Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

          We use 3/4" melamine for all carcase construction with 1/2" backs when melamine is preferred. And we also use 308 melamine glue by kleiberit (Richelieu sells it) and it works incredibly well as long as one surface is porous ie. melamine face to melamine particle board core, or ply, mdf. It will rip the face off the melamine rather than fail. Some melamine glue does not work, but we have been using 308 glue for close to 15 years (also called lacquer glue) and , yes it works with lacquer, but not quite as well.
          Oh and we also screw all cabinets, especially uppers
          Last edited by Pat from Elora; 03-30-2010, 07:42 PM.

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          • #6

            Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

            Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

            For cabinets I just use pc screws,3 for uppers and 4 for lowers. I have never had a problem with probably 200 kitchens.The lower shelf of the uppers, the screws hold that weight and nothing else. Of course the lower cab is different, if you build the riser/toe kick separately all the weight is supported there. So basically the screws mainly keep the gables and bottom squared to each other and not much more. I have installed many kitchens for BORG and on their old cheapest line had two locating dowels(no glue) and two 1/4 turn kd fasteners. Some cabinet shops use drywall screws(I don't).

            I find most people way over build their cabinets.
            Mike

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            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

              Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

              Confirmats are a knock down fastener. You can remove them and re-install them many times without losing strength. I've never used anything bigger then a 5mm and certainly wouldn't use anything larger for kitchen casework. You have to drill a stepped pilot hole and the easiest way is with a drill bit like this which is made for the purpose http://www.cabinetmart.com/Confirmat...5?currency=CAD It takes a bit of practice to get your parts aligned square and drill a true hole. If you're using them regularly a Zentrix drill guide from Hafele is a good investment which aligns and guides your drill and heeps everything square https://hachol02.hafeleonline.com/OA...F9A6889DD17867 The Zentrix only works on a few drills and it ain't cheap. I use confirmats for casework. It's fast, strong and you know you have a connection that's going to survive installation.

              Never use drywall screws for casework. They are brittle and will snap if you over torque them. The real danger is they can fail suddenly on shear as in you overload the cabinet and the cabinet can fall apart. They are designed to hold drywall tight to the wall and that's it.

              I've also used #7 x 1-3/4" lo-roots to hold casework in conjunction with dowels or biscuits when fastening PC. If I'm fastening VC I'm confident in screws alone, depending on the load of course. I don't like using anything but confirmats screwing into the edge of MDF casework. No other screw holds reliably
              Last edited by dave_k; 03-31-2010, 05:50 AM.

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              • #8

                Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                Originally posted by mr_custom View Post

                I find most people way over build their cabinets.
                Mike
                I agree with you there Mike, to an extent. I like to make sure they survive handeling and installation. Sometimes if the cabinets aren't well put together and the walls have a bow in them the cases will pull apart as they suck in tight to the wall. I also like to have them well built in situations where the uppers are going to be loaded with paper or other heave stuff

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                • #9

                  Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                  Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                  Does anyone know where you can get the drill bits for predrilling confirmat screws? I'm pretty sure I've seen them somewhere but cant for the life of me remember where. Thought it was leevalley but cant find it on their website.

                  Rich

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                  • #10

                    Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                    Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                    Hey KMD, I use screws, 2", two things are key for me, one quality 5/8 melamine (available at Robert Bury, Commonwealth or Richelieau) and using a taper drill bit (Lee Valley). I made a pair of 90 degree forms that I spring clamp to the sides for assembly and away you go.
                    Cheers,
                    Jeff
                    How easy I find, to make the simple, complicated!

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                      Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                      Hey Jeff, can you explain the 90 form and clamping scenario you mention in a little more detail?

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                        Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                        Originally posted by mr_custom View Post
                        For cabinets I just use pc screws,3 for uppers and 4 for lowers. I have never had a problem with probably 200 kitchens.The lower shelf of the uppers, the screws hold that weight and nothing else. Of course the lower cab is different, if you build the riser/toe kick separately all the weight is supported there. So basically the screws mainly keep the gables and bottom squared to each other and not much more. I have installed many kitchens for BORG and on their old cheapest line had two locating dowels(no glue) and two 1/4 turn kd fasteners. Some cabinet shops use drywall screws(I don't).

                        I find most people way over build their cabinets.
                        Mike
                        We were told 15 years ago we overbuilt stuff, but we decided we would not make cheap cabinets. During our first few years we went from around 1500 sq ft to 2500 sq ft, then 6000 sq ft after 3 years. In another 3 years we doubled again. The 6000 ft part of our shop is mostly full of newer top quality equipment. We went from 2 owners/1 employee to our current 2 owners/7 employees.
                        We did average sized kitchens and misc. cabinets and had to compete with the hack shops and cheap cab shops. We had tough years, but word got out. Alot of people know quality and want quality. We are now on a select bidders list for some top architects and designers, and builders in Muskoka, and have done work for Donovan Bailey, Ray Floyd (in Palm Beach), and Gretzky's winery in Niagara.
                        Maybe we do overbuild, but alot of clients expect nothing less, and it has served us well.
                        I know there is a wide range of Tradesmen, Artists, Hobbyists, and Hacks on this forum. I firmly believe you should do top quality at all times and you can normally negotiate price by changing material or finishes.
                        There are shops that build crap and sometimes get the job because they are considerably cheaper, then a good cabinet shop is asked to fix the mess.

                        I don't know if that "Overbuilding" comment was directed at me but in my opinion, the more crap thats built by hack shops...The better we look.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                          Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                          PSLpaul 66.. I agree completely with your last post and I also agree that a lot of cabinets are overbuilt but I like mine overbuilt. It is a quick way to build a reputation and makes sales real esay.. I have a friend who installed for years in the London area and was installing for a local lumber yard who purchased their cabinets from a US company. He got an E Mail last week asking him to pay for 3 cabinets that had fallen off the wall. When he asked for photo's he received them and to his surprise the cabinet backs were still attached to the wall. The cabinets were assembled with the gables attached to the nailing strip with 1 or 2 staples on each end. Needless to say he ignored the request. There are good cabinets out there but there is also a lot of garbage and most home owners are unable to tell the difference.

                          Brian
                          If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                          • #14

                            Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                            Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                            If you build quality, and I believe you do, how do you do it using Melamine on Particle Board. Personally I wouldn't even consider a particle core anything! Educate me!
                            "Do it Right!"

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                              Re: MDF Melamine and confirmat screws

                              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                              If you build quality, and I believe you do, how do you do it using Melamine on Particle Board. Personally I wouldn't even consider a particle core anything! Educate me!
                              MDF bad PC are engineered products specially designed for building casework. They are better substrates for wood veneers than plywood and they are a more consistent thickness. You can get a much better finish on a veneer with an MDF core than a veneer core. Melamine serves a purpose in offering a similar service as high pressure lam. at a fraction of the cost.

                              Related to the earlier discussion these misconceptions about products like PC, MDF and melamine are a good example of the difference in casework being under engineered yet overbuilt. Before 2008 I spent 10 years doing millwork installation and finish carpentry contracts on commercial, retail and institutional jobs. The 10 years prior to that I ran jobs for other contractors. I've installed millwork for most of the commercial cabinet shops in London and many more from all over North America on jobs all over Ontario. The good, really organized cabinet shops use the right materials in the right places. The poor shops (one local shop in particular) sell their "small shop quality" by using VC plywood as a substrate for p.lam.and veneered VC for architectural panelling and casework. That stuff makes the worst cabinets. It warps, it twists, it has voids in it, I had all kinds of callbacks with p'lam delaminating and sometimes the it wasn't the p.lam that delaminates but the plywood. These guys also had a problem cutting square panels so I had a 20' run of uppers that formed such a curve it tore boxes apart. If the geometry's wrong and your parts are inconsistent it doesn't matter how you put your boxes together they'll blow apart

                              I agree with building cabinets well but you can't always use brute force to build them well. You have to use the appropriate fasteners and adhesives with the appropriate materials. You don't want to under build but you don't want to beef up your boxes with premium materials then use the inappropriate fasteners or joinery to bang them together

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