I’m looking to replace my MDF wasteboard with HDPE. HDPE is more physically stable and I hate milling MDF, it makes a mess.
Looking at vendors for HDPE there’s a number of different types, marine, food grade, natural (whatever that means). Obviously I don’t need a marine grade, but food grade seems to be the cheapest. Would that work for my wasteboard? Are there certain types that are recommended?
Yes, it works — I did this early on for my Shapeoko 3 — it’s a bit slippery, so makes workholding a bit more challenging, but that’s the only notable drawback.
I think any of them would work fine for the purpose. I couldn’t tell you what the explicit differences are between product lines. Food grade generally indicates that it’s less likely to leach BPA’s ect into food, not of much of a concern with HDPE anyway. Some products have differing densities, for instance some are air entrained to save weight. HDPE is essentially sold by weight, so a lower density product will generally be cheaper.
HDPE is great stuff, but kind of expensive. A sizable chunk of .75” is costly. It isn’t exactly stable, it does warp, expand, and contract. Temperature and/or stress relief. Certainly superior to MDF for something that isn’t immediately disposable.
Thanks for that information. I’m using tape and superglue to hold my work so I think I’ll be okay in that respect.
I use HDPE work surface on my small machines, and phenolic on my large. I use HDPE for most all of my non critical multi use fixtures. As for tape work holding methods, the HDPE is far superior to MDF.
I primarily cut plastics. I prefer my work surfaces generally match the material to be cut.
Will this work for surfacing HDPE?
Yes, I use the Whiteside surfacing bit I had purchase for the MDF spoil board and it works great.