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Will a Shelix head plane UHMW or HDPE?

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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 10-22-2018 03:53 PM 528 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

10976 posts in 3600 days


10-22-2018 03:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: s helix plastics planer

The title is my question for the guys who have tried it. Need to shave off a few thousandths.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton


15 replies so far

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mramseyISU

553 posts in 1717 days


#1 posted 10-22-2018 04:05 PM

I’ve machined it in a mill and it doesn’t machine well at all. It would melt against my end mill and leave a terrible surface.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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Andre

2123 posts in 1977 days


#2 posted 10-22-2018 04:11 PM

I flatten the bottoms of Plastic snow shoves every winter, use a 12” scorpion carbide, only 1/8” to 1/4” width but good clean finish.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5132 posts in 2664 days


#3 posted 10-22-2018 04:15 PM

I haven’t planed with a Shelix, but I have jointed some (with a Shelix) , and it worked fine. In the past I’ve planed it with knives before I converted the planer and that too worked fine. It is a mess, the clippings stick to everything.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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TheFridge

10499 posts in 1657 days


#4 posted 10-22-2018 04:26 PM

I have. It works ok/well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Gene Howe

10976 posts in 3600 days


#5 posted 10-22-2018 04:30 PM

Thanks for the replies and info.
I tried a plastic cutting board from Walmart with the DW735 and the straight blades. It shattered. Of course, I really don’t know the composition of that board.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Jim Jakosh

21501 posts in 3277 days


#6 posted 10-22-2018 04:39 PM

Hi Gene..A few thousandths? can you use a scraper..like a card scraper or a fine mill file? I have a plastic cutting file and run it sideways to do fine scraping on plastic. I think any cutter head would take off way too much.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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robscastle

5381 posts in 2375 days


#7 posted 10-22-2018 07:00 PM

Hello Gene,

I have planed some.
Mind you it was more than a few thou but should work just the same, have a look.
More importantly there are some valuable replies adding additional information if your working with it

http://lumberjocks.com/robscastle/blog/102666

-- Regards Rob

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TheFridge

10499 posts in 1657 days


#8 posted 10-22-2018 07:35 PM

I had uhmw for a table saw fence. And a shelix head

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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mnguy

199 posts in 3569 days


#9 posted 10-22-2018 08:02 PM

Cutting boards are almost always polypropylene, which will be generally be more brittle than HDPE or UHMWPE. As you approach 32 F temp, polypropylene (PP) gets very brittle indeed.

I have found that PP cuts well on the table saw (I like it for zero clearance inserts), but have never tried to join or plane any plastic materials.

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Gene Howe

10976 posts in 3600 days


#10 posted 10-22-2018 09:09 PM

Jim, maybe I needed to be clearer. I meant I was trying to JUST take it down a few thousandths at a time. Trying to avoid what happened.
My goal is to make ZCIs for my saws.

Mnman, you’re probably correct about it being PP. It does cut well. But it seems to be more brittle than known UHMW pieces that are parts of jigs.

Next project is surfacing a mequite slab with a router surfacing jig. When I’m done, I’ll try it on the cutting board.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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MrUnix

7001 posts in 2370 days


#11 posted 10-22-2018 10:42 PM

I’ve run HDPE through the planer without any problems – but on a straight knife planer, not a helix head one. The helix head would probably be better, as it will produce small chips rather than the long strings I got… those long pieces wanted to clog up the works if you let them get out of control. Here is some homemade ‘bag lumber’ (made from grocery store bags melted down in the oven) showing the long strings produced:

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Gene Howe

10976 posts in 3600 days


#12 posted 10-23-2018 12:37 PM

Hey thanks, Brad. Can you tell me more about processing and use of “Bag Lumber”? Think it’s stiff enough for a ZCI?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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MrUnix

7001 posts in 2370 days


#13 posted 10-23-2018 10:13 PM

Hey thanks, Brad. Can you tell me more about processing and use of “Bag Lumber”? Think it s stiff enough for a ZCI?
- Gene Howe

I already spoke with Gene via PM, but for anyone else interested – the ‘bag lumber’ above was made using grocery store bags melted in the oven at 350F, and eventually ‘pressed’ between two pieces of wood to create an even thickness and keep it flat as it cooled. As long as you don’t make it too thin, it would make an excellent insert for the table saw IMO… although I have never tried it. I do however make inserts out of HDPE for the band saw and scroll saw which work great (but made with a different technique).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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DrDirt

4491 posts in 3913 days


#14 posted 10-24-2018 04:36 AM

No – some point out the carbide cutters aren’t really that sharp, so it wants to chew the plastic…

However my “no” is because you only want to shave a few thousanths. I find you need a deep enough cut on my planer, because the steel tooth feed roller leaves marks, that you need to be taking more than 1/64th off, to remove the machines tracks/marks

As I recall the DW735 has a rubber infeed, so should not be an issue, but I have a 15inch PM with the helical head, and the roller leaves ‘tooth marks’ if the cut is too light. (needs more than ~1/8th turn)

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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shipwright

8129 posts in 2969 days


#15 posted 10-24-2018 03:57 PM

Gene, in another topic you mentioned that you have a few of the drill press planing gadgets. Would they not be the cat’s bum for this?

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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