Who is using confirmats in melamine? The screws we are using seem to require countersinking by hand at the assembly bench to get them really flush. We get confirmats with nibs and a sharp point. Could this be an issue with the screws themselves? We are drilling a 7mm hole in the side of each cabinet and end boring on a Gannomatt. What is going on here?
From contributor J:
How is this relevant to CNC? Obviously, the screws aren't (completely) self-countersinking as advertised. Also, melamine is a finish.
Sounds like you are doing the same as we are, and countersinking after by hand. This is just what I am looking for, the experience of people who use confirmats. The nibs on the confirmat screws for countersinking have worked very well for me in the past, but do not seem to be working now. I am wondering if it is the brand of screw, the brand of melamine, (the brand of melamine coated flake board and melamine coated MDF) or something else. Is anyone having success with this or does everyone sink the heads flush with a countersink by hand?
Contributor M, S, and Brian - I do prefer the impact driver too. Most of the bench guys here are using regular drivers. I think the screws should work fine with a standard driver, but yes the impact drivers are nice. Do you find that it is a problem in your assembly if you drive the screws with a regular driver? Contributor M - I know another guy that uses 8mm for the thru hole too. He likes the ability to fine tune the lineup and deal with small machining variations. I try to work a bit more precisely but I bet the little extra room allows for better sink too. It's something to reconsider perhaps on my part.
We dabbled with standard battery drivers when we first switched to Confirmats. I have a couple of real beefs with the battery drivers. First as has been stated as the batteries start to lose their charge, you're constantly monkeying around with the clutch, if you can get them to sink at all. Secondly is the weight. After you wrestle the components, cabinets, and a heavy battery operated driver around all day, it wears you out. We bought a couple of small, lightweight, pneumatic impact drivers, all problems solved. I found another driver that I fell in love with, but couldn't get past the 1300 dollar price tag.
As far as larger holes for fudge factor, I've never done it, I just bore whatever size it says to bore. We only use the smaller confirmats now. Sides get a 5mm hole, horizontal parts get a 4mm hole. I prefer to have everything dialed in, I don't like trying to make non-aligned parts line up. We just set the parts up and start screwing.
1) Tafisa (pine core) Melamine side Tafisa Rail, standard screw gun: Makes a mess and pulls threads right out of the horizontal member nearly every time.
2) Tafisa Melamine side Tafisa Rail Pneumatic drill: Perfect results, can set the screw in the side even with a Horizontal grade Plam face.
3) MDF side with veneer face and MDF rail Standard screw gun: Works fine as long as the screw is set gently, otherwise the screw threads break the MDF rail. No problem with the Pneumatic drill.
4) Tafisa side MDF rail standard screw gun: Makes a mess, the MDF has not the guts to pull the screw through the melamine face and the rail splits every time.
5) Tafisa side MDF rail and Pneumatic impact driver: No problems can set screw without breaking rail.
6) Generic unknown random raw flakeboard (presumably not pine core) rail and Tafisa side: standard driver sets screw.
7) Melamine face and VC plywood rail. Screw sets well with standard screw gun.
Pneumatic driver will work in every situation I tried. Standard screw gun works less well the softer the core and the harder the face the screw has to cut through. It doesn’t seem to be the screws since they work well in some materials and not others. It does seem to be the core of the rail, since in a different type of flake board the screws grab better and will set the screw. I think it is the pine core as contributor L suggested that is at issue. I think all of the other guys are using impact guns and have no issues no matter what core, even MDF. I should be using impact too. I do not think I want to expand the holes to 8mm, I like the lineup as it is. I like all of the other properties of the Tafisa, it is consistent in thickness, machines well and the faces are well bonded, so I do not think I will be advocating a supplier change. I still plan to try another screw, and do some more experiments with other brands of melamine.