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Difficulty working with particle board shelving from Lowe's

I could not get the Kreg screws to securely hold in Melamine coated shelf material from Lowe's.  Anyone else have this problem?

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Hey George, you need to use screws designed for use with particle board,  Lowes sells them.

George,

What screws were you using to engage into the particle board?

It's not a supplier issue nor the Kreg screws, that are at fault,

It's a joinery method issue.

Particle board shelving is the same from other suppliers.

The material is basically bonded sawdust or small wood chips.

There are screws available and marketed for threading into particle board/MDF;

however, adequate thread engagement is necessary.

Use this technique only if you never want to take what you're building apart:  Pre-drill the holes.  Then on each screw or in each hole, put a nice dollop of Gorilla or other brand of poly-based glue.  The drive in the screw . . . gently.  When the glue sets, it will expand and solidify the particulate around it while bonding the screw into the surrounding board.  The downside is that you'll never get that screw out again without causing the particle board itself to split around the screw.  But, it does solve the problem of even the melamine-specific screws loosening over time.

If I had my way particle board  would be outlawed  or mixed with epoxy resin that way it would be useful but would be costly it is a useless material  that is why it is cheap . That is my opinion

Particle board has several useful purposes---

but it has limitations.

Most people have problems with it, due to misapplication.

I used the coarse thread screws that came in the case holding five different screws -- all from Kreg. I solved the problem by running other screws in from the side.  It was just a shelf unit for the garage so it did not have to be esthetically pleasing. 


Ken Darga said:

George,

What screws were you using to engage into the particle board?

It's not a supplier issue nor the Kreg screws, that are at fault,

It's a joinery method issue.

Particle board shelving is the same from other suppliers.

The material is basically bonded sawdust or small wood chips.

There are screws available and marketed for threading into particle board/MDF;

however, adequate thread engagement is necessary.

George,

It sounds like you've butted the shelf to the upright, resulting in a "T" joint.

I'd suggest adding cleats, to the underside of the shelf, and affixed to the upright members.

The cleats will provide added shelf support.

Screws by themselves, threaded into the shelf ends and edges, will tear out, when the shelf is loaded.

A dado cut 1/4'' deep, into the upright member, will provide extra shelf support.

Cleats along the back of the shelf underside will provide extra support, to prevent sagging.

1x2 for shelves up to 24'' long and 1x3 for shelves 3-4ft long.

Also A 1x2, suggest hardwood, member along the front edge of the shelf, to prevent sagging.

George Stoltz said:

I used the coarse thread screws that came in the case holding five different screws -- all from Kreg. I solved the problem by running other screws in from the side.  It was just a shelf unit for the garage so it did not have to be esthetically pleasing. 

Ken,

All suggestions are good.  I used a 2 inch deck screw, and the weight on each shelf is less than 10 pounds so I won't need any additional supports. The shelves are 15 inches wide. 

This was a case of operator error.  When I set the collar on the drill bit I used the very far end of the drill tip to line up with the 3/4 inch mark  I should have used the "shoulder" of the drill bit.  By shoulder I mean that final segment of the drill bit before it begins to narrow down the the smaller diameter point. 

Confirmat drills and screws were designed to work with MDF and particle board.

Right.  I was having a problem months ago when I set the collar on the drill to the wrong setting. I have corrected that error and now I am achieving the results I need with Melamine coated particle boards. 

I used the standard Kreg 1-1/4" course screws and joined the melamine shelving boards edge to edge and also at 90 deg. angles and had no problems what so ever. No special glue or screws were required. Before I started I did a test of two boards attached edge to edge. I removed and reinstalled the screws five times and there was no lose of strength.

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