Melamine vs. HPL - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Melamine vs. HPL

I have never used melamine before. I have always used Formica and Wilsonart HPL and I know there is no comparison to Melamine.
How well will Melamine hold up on a heavily used work surface like an assembly table? Will it even hold up at all?

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post #2 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 09:44 AM
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To use melamine for work surface .... i dont know...
My big uncle have a small company at Istanbul. .. They produce melamine dishes trays plates cupboards (kitchen appliances)......etc.
It is very long life a metarial...
The melamine does not stretch and break..
It is heat resistant. ..
My personal idea ... The melamine is a kind of white plastic and Dont use plastic..

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 12:22 PM
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Tony, it won't hold up long, melamine is for vertical uses, it is way too thin for horizontal use of most situations.

You could use it until it wore out then recover it in HPL. I just don't care much for partial board or fiber core, they swell way to easy.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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You guys confirmed my suspicions. I have always used Formica or Wilsonate on my assembly tables. Looks like I will continue to do so. Dont want to have to make it twice.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-28-2020, 03:43 PM
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I used 3/4" melamine as the surface for my table saw extension table. It gets used as a work/assembly bench so it takes a lot of abuse. It has stood up reasonably well for over 10 years. However, I concur with the comments made above. If I was to do it again I would probably use laminate on mdf. This is not a knock on melamine. I have used it a lot in cabinet making and it is great for that especially since I don't have ready access to good cabinet grade plywood.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-29-2020, 10:18 AM
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I used it for the table for my 52" unifence and outfeed table. The fence table is about 30 yrs old and the outfeed table is about 20 yrs old. Haven't worn through the white surface and the only scratches are from my carelessness.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-29-2020, 12:59 PM
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I've used both for tablesaw extesion tables. If I have laminate I use it otherwise I just used melamine. But not cold rolled...
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-29-2020, 02:21 PM
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Having used it for both assembly tables and outfeed tables, it has surprised me how well it holds up.

That said, no, it won't come close to laminate.

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-02-2020, 07:06 PM
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If the table top is easily changed, then melamine may well be a good option depending what you're assembling. HPL will chip and break also, but not as easily. Maybe consider melamine as a consumable work surface.
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