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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

smooth edges in particle board

I'm making a few shelves in my walk-in closet from particle board. What is the best way to get smooth edges? Is there some specific blade I should use? Shelves will be stained (danish oil) so filler material, unless very similar to the board will not be used.
Tools available: circular saw, router, sanders (but I don't want to spend too much time sanding edges)

And as a bonus question, should the exposed edges be rounded? (have roundover bits)

TIA
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antbhill2
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-28
Northern VA

Have you considered applying veneer or a small piece of trim to the edge? I don't think you'll be able to get a smooth edge without filler.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to aurgathor

A carbide tipped fine finish blade makes a nice smooth cut.
I would round the edges, the exposed sharp edges tend to chip fairly easily.
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nunya
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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reply to aurgathor

Particle board is going to be tough to smooth. You can try a roundover bit. I know that it's tough on router bits. Most likely it will just chip up anyway. PB is difficult to machine.

How (and why) can you stain particle board? That's like buying colored toilet paper.



stev32k
Premium
join:2000-04-27
Mobile, AL
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Reviews:
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reply to aurgathor

I've never had any luck getting bare particle board to look good unless it's first filled then painted. The texture of the surface is rough looking even when it's smooth. It's been several years since I even tried to use particle board so maybe things have improved, but when I tried to stain it in the past the results were terrible. The stain was absorbed very unevenly on the surface giving it an unattractive mottled appearance.

The only way I could make it look good at all was by using a filler, then sand it down, then use sanding sealer and sand it smooth. After that apply a good primer, then one or two top coats.

The other way to make it look good is apply a hardwood veneer then stain, but that is almost as much work as getting a good paint job.

To make the edges look good you can glue and use brads to attach a strip of quarter round.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to aurgathor

When I built my walk in pantry, I used all 1x12 pine stock for the shelving. Wife ended up painting the shelves, so staining wasnt an issue, but I wouldnt attempt to stain particle. I bet 1x(x?) wouldnt be too much more than the particle, and will save you lots of fun lateral rips.

good luck

-j
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The Pig
I know you want to be me
Premium
join:2009-09-11

1 edit
reply to aurgathor

Re: smooth edges in particle board

If it is top notch stuff (very hard) then use the router (very slowly) and sand the finish very gently.
I'd round it if possible,
Before you get into the project cut the shelves then if you have a piece left over experiment with it.
If you bought cheap stuff get plastic molding and glue it on.



Candoo3

join:2005-01-24

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to aurgathor

The easiest way is to go to a place that has melamine edging tape. It goes on with an iron, then trim off the excess with a laminate trimmer, or a drywall knife and file.

I should have mentioned the tape comes in different shades and finishes (plastic), as well as actual wood veneer.



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to aurgathor

It's not going to be great but a quarter round on a router will work.

Then put some poly on the edge.


Airwolf7
Premium
join:2004-12-12
Franklin, KY
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

I'm making a few shelves in my walk-in closet from particle board. What is the best way to get smooth edges?
Use Medium Density Fiber board instead of particle board.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit
reply to aurgathor

I don't like the look of veneer, but wood trim would be nice. The problem with it that it's too much labor, and I don't have the router bit to make the trim piece. But will look into it.

"Carbide tipped finish blade" -- I'll look for it in HD or Lowes.

How (and why) can you stain particle board?
I just apply Danish Oil -- it takes it reasonably well, and it doesn't look that bad. Untreated PB can get dirty fairly easily and look unsightly, but once it's stained with DO, it will be more resistant and easier to clean. (I already have some PB shelves stained with DO)

I might try the filler on a test piece to see how it looks. What kind of filler did you use? (i.e. brand name)

Other wood or MDF is not really an option since I already have the PB. The middle shelves will be 5'x4', and the sides will be 5'x2'.

I'm not aware of much difference between different grades of PB -- I just bought what was available from Dunn Lumber in 5x8.

I was thinking about using poly on it (if I do, I'll use it on the top and the exposed edges) and haven't made up my mind, but I'm leaning toward no poly.
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seederjed
Premium
join:2005-02-28
Norcross, GA

1 edit
reply to aurgathor

I used to buy 1" thick high density particle board that was already ripped too 12" and rounded over on the front whenever I would build closet packs. Not sure if you can find them at a box store. I got them from a local lumber yard - Lumbermens, now ProBuild. I think there is one up in your area.
Locations
»www.probuild.com/index.xhtml

edit - noticed the size of our shelves. You need to use a high density particle board for something that size.



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to aurgathor

Ok if you don't have a router or cant borrow one get a wood rasp, then sand paper and then finish the edge with poly. This will be even uglier and I would not recommend this unless you are trying to protect knits or something.



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to seederjed

Click for full size
This picture should explain the layout and the sizes.

said by seederjed:

edit - noticed the size of our shelves. You need to use a high density particle board for something that size.
There will be a wooden frame underneath -- maybe 5/4x3 (have to check the price because it may appear expensive »store.dunnlum.com/builderwire20/···id=17684 ) or maybe plain old 2x4.

said by mityfowl:

Ok if you don't have a router or cant borrow one

quote:
Tools available: circular saw, router, sanders
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tschmidt
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Milford, NH
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reply to aurgathor

When I built ours I attached pine strips to the exposed edges. Then gave them a coat of Urethane.

Agree with the others short of some type of edging it is going to be hard to get smooth edges. After all particle board is just glue and sawdust.

/tom



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
reply to aurgathor

1" half round attached with brads and glue!


austinmv

join:2010-02-06
reply to aurgathor

i would not suggest particle board for anything. expecially shelves. it is used as sub-sub flooring for certain applications. my experience with new home as well as remodels it *will* eventually twist,warp,swell exc. even small anounts of humidity in anyway makes it unstable. (typical in home humidity) go to your local lumber supplier and pick up some pine 1x they come in all widths. and the mull material mentioned above for edging is a wonderful alternative to a router if one is not available.



The Pig
I know you want to be me
Premium
join:2009-09-11

1 edit

said by austinmv:

i would not suggest particle board for anything. expecially shelves. it is used as sub-sub flooring for certain applications. my experience with new home as well as remodels it *will* eventually twist,warp,swell exc. even small anounts of humidity in anyway makes it unstable. (typical in home humidity) go to your local lumber supplier and pick up some pine 1x they come in all widths. and the mull material mentioned above for edging is a wonderful alternative to a router if one is not available.
This is true for cheap boards, particle boards like pine come in different grades.
Like everything else buy cheap get cheap.

Hmm, I thought in the original post the OP said he had a Router.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

said by The Pig:

said by austinmv:

i would not suggest particle board for anything. expecially shelves. it is used as sub-sub flooring for certain applications. my experience with new home as well as remodels it *will* eventually twist,warp,swell exc. even small anounts of humidity in anyway makes it unstable. (typical in home humidity) go to your local lumber supplier and pick up some pine 1x they come in all widths. and the mull material mentioned above for edging is a wonderful alternative to a router if one is not available.
This is true for cheap boards, particle boards like pine come in different grades.
Like everything else buy cheap get cheap.

Hmm, I thought in the original post the OP said he had a Router.
I can't figure out if he has a router or doesn't want to use it or what.

austinmv

join:2010-02-06

sorry if my post confused the issue. he states he has a router, but i have suggested mull to many customers as an easy alternative. and just for the record. because the issue was on particle board instead of an oak or poplar , i assumed price was an issue so thats why i suggested pine.(pine and Particle board) 2 different things



sdgthy

@optonline.net
reply to Airwolf7

said by Airwolf7:

Use Medium Density Fiber board instead of particle board.
+1

MDF is pretty heavy, but it'll take an edge better than particle board. You could try to round over particle board, but it's probably easier, and would look better, to to apply edging and laminate, or band it and laminate.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to aurgathor

I may just add an edge, after all, I just have to take a look what's available in Lowes or HD. The above picture shows how I'd like to do the edging, but I don't have the bit for the wood strip. (I do have a set of slotcutter bits from HF, though) So it may be just nail and glue, will see.

quote:
it *will* eventually twist,warp,swell exc. even small anounts of humidity in anyway makes it unstable.
I had, and have some particle board shelves, and aside from the edges they look fine to me, and I haven't seen any of the problems you mentioned. In retrospect, I probably should've gotten some oak faced plywood instead, but I already have the 5x8 sheets of PB that will fit with practically no waste.
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8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA
reply to aurgathor

Use as fine tooth finishing saw blade to get the smoothest edge when cutting. Sand or get some 1/2 round moulding and nail or glue it to the edge of the wood on the long edge that faces out.