How to Drill Melamine

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Melamine in its most basic form is a white crystalline formula that is commonly made into a plastic-like substance suitable for use in waterproof countertops or as a substitute for wood in such things as bookshelves and cabinets. Although it is a plastic-like substance, melamine is also very abrasive.

Regular drill bits dull quickly during drilling, and although they can be used with some success, a much better way to drill melamine is with a common router and a specialised router bit.

Make a drill guide. Drill a hole in a piece of 1/2-inch wood with a drill and wood drill bit. The hole must be able to accommodate a router guide bushing large enough to allow a spiral drill bit to pass through the centre.

Clamp the drill guide,using C-clamps,over the exact place in the melamine where a hole needs to be drilled. Place the guide bushing into the drill guide. Line this step up precisely.

Insert a carbide spiral bit into the router and tighten it down firmly. Place the router bit through the guide bushing and, using the plunge router exactly as you would a drill, plunge the router down and drill a hole. Repeat this step for as many holes as you need drilled in the melamine.