Cutting out flat sheets
Does anyone have any advice for cutting out flat sheets of hdpe. So far ive been cutting them with a sliding chopsaw but the plastic is very thin and i need it to be for what im making with it and it doesnt secure to the base of the saw well and almost always moves while being cut causing a uneven cut. Are there better tools for this and if so what are they? I really would appreciate all the feedback
I don’t know if you tried miter saw clamps for holding the sheets. How big are the sheets? Maybe try a silicone sheet under it to increase the friction. Maybe sandwich the large side between two pieces of plywood. Also coming down (slowly) with the chop saw rather than sliding it may give you more control.
I have tried using the table clamp that came with saw and it still giggles out. I even tried clamping the piece to a block of wood and then the wood to the saw but doing so makes it very very difficult to cut straight as well because the sides of the plastic are not even so i cant push it against the back guide for support if that makes any sense. Ive attached another photo of the edges so you can see what i mean.
One option might be to use two pieces of plywood that are sized for the flat part of the piece, sandwich the piece between them, clamp to a bench and include a guide straight edge on top and then use a circular saw to follow the guide. Dremel makes a compact one if regular size is too big, or you might be able to configure one of the 4 1/2 inch angle grinders to do something similar.
That is one of the nicest color patterns I’ve seen in a pressed sheet.
Im sorry could you explain a little more I think i get it but im not sure what you mean exactly about the sandwiching between 2 pieces of plywood part.
Here is a sketch of what I was envisioning. How you support it depends on what you have available. If you have a big vise, then you could screw a 2×4 to the bottom plate and hold the assembly in the vise, giving you clearance for the clamps. Or depending on size, you could use a stand like this and clamp to that https://www.harborfreight.com/material-handling/workbenches/adjustable-height-heavy-duty-workstation-46725.html . Lots of options. I don’t think you can crack your thin sheet of HDPE, but I would try it on a scrap piece.
I would use some plastic bags on each side of your sheet to avoid scratches and increase friction.
wow thank you so much for the drawing it really helped im going to try this set up this week.
Since your sheets are pretty thin, you can probably use a router as well. That should give a nice clean edge, though you may need to use adjust the speed so you are not melting the HDPE https://www.harborfreight.com/router-speed-control-43060.html . If you are going to do a bunch of these, I would just screw the guide to the top plate permanently.
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