Has anyone planed a plastic cutting board? HDPE

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Forum topic by Rob1 posted 11-17-2009 01:30 AM 16925 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3395 days

11-17-2009 01:30 AM

I found some inexpensive cutting boards to use for jig bases. These have a textured surface and need to be planed in order to use them for jigs. Has anyone run these through their planer ? Any horror stories out there ?

Thanks in advance.

Eastchester, NY

-- Regards, Rob

8 replies so far

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3165 days

#1 posted 11-17-2009 02:00 AM

I have never put plastic through a planer but there is a little voice in my head telling me not to, plastic isn’t like wood, it chips out and it could corrode your knives or worse, chip them. I haven’t had any experience with this so I could be wrong but this is what my gut is telling me. I use MDF for most of my jigs, it is inexpensive and comes in a variety of thicknesses, plus it can really take a beating.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3179 days

#2 posted 11-17-2009 03:08 AM

I purchased some of the material you’re talking about from “Tap Plastics” here in Portland Or. I asked about working it with wood working tools and they said that’s what they use, but what I would do is contact a plastics company that handles HDPE and ask them about using a planner. I do know it cuts well on my TS and it turns great on the lathe.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3429 days

#3 posted 11-17-2009 03:14 AM

Some of that stuff gets hot and can stick to blades. Just make sure it won’t do that.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3285 days

#4 posted 11-17-2009 03:21 AM

i work with plastics everyday, and i hand planed that stuff before came out good but it would have been nicer if i held it down with a better bench but u can put it through the planer just take light cuts it should shoot out scraps like wood but curled up this is what happens when we rout it on the cnc and joint it on a delta jointer just remember light cuts the router is the only thing we take deep cuts on cuz its cutting different i have some in my shop and i’ll put it through the planer before u do and let u know for shure how it comes out if u want cuz i have access to it so if i mess up something its cool cuz i can get more or what ever i think if anything the pc will mess up before the machine does but get back to me?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View SteveMI's profile


1094 posts in 3291 days

#5 posted 11-17-2009 03:28 AM

Depending on the actual plastic type it could explode in the planer and cause a mess. Don’t think it would hurt the blades. HDPE would be friendly, but many of the others like Lexan can become brittle.

In the midwest there is a lumber chain called Menards that sells solid surface (Corian type) cutting boards cheap and they plane well and work with all other cutting tools.

May want to ask the local kitchen installers if they have any solid surface sink cutouts. Box or donuts or box of pops may set you up.


View Rob1's profile


26 posts in 3395 days

#6 posted 11-18-2009 12:40 AM

Thanks for all your replies. I’ll try my hand plane to get a feel for the material. I don’t want to wreck my planer, I can always pay a bit more for HDPE sheets without any texture.

Thanks again

-- Regards, Rob

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4096 days

#7 posted 11-18-2009 12:46 AM

I planed 8 UHMW plastic cutting boards for a restaurant earlier this year and it worked out great.

I took light passes on my 12” DeWalt planer and had no problems.

I did have to pull all of the stringy plastic shavings out of the dust collection canister. I have a 2 hp single stage DC with a 1 micron canister filter and the plastic filled both the bag and canister. The flappers did not clear the stuff out I had to reach in to pull it out.

I also double checked the fan to make sure that it was clear and there were no problems there.

I made $75 an hour on that job and it was much cheaper than the restaurant buying new boards.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 12-17-2009 06:51 AM

I agree with Todd, the only problems with the UHMW stuff is cleaning up afterwards…I still have staticy bits of orange plastic in my DC and in odd corners of the shop.

Man, Todd, at 75 bucks an hour even if it had knackered the blades you’d still be ahead of the game LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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