Plastic cutting board

What type of plastic is ti?

What would it be good for?

I have found a place to get them fairly cheap, different sizes and thickness. probably 15 total. Has anyone carved on them, and what were your thoughts.

They would probably mill ok, but how do you apply color after it is cut?

I think a lot of plastic cutting boards are [HDPE].
They should mill nicely but from what I understand don’t take paint or stain well.(

I was told that cutting boards are HDPE but after milling a cutting board and HDPE I don’t think that is correct. As RobertCanning said, the cutting board is not as dense as the HDPE sheet I had, both with the same thickness of 1/2". The HDPE cut super easy with no issues, the cutting board I had behaved like extruded plastic. (A lot of melting so I had to use a lubricant to even get it to finish the cut)
However they both worked great for what I was doing which was using them for embossing leather.

This is the old cutting board I used.

This is the letter H i milled out of the cutting board

This is a leather valet tray I made with the embossed letter H.

Here is another stamp I made to use on a belt for a Greek sorority member. This stamp was made from recycled HDPE. (I melted down empty water and milk jugs.) I set the depth of cut too deep, but in the end it still worked out.

I am a leather worker so not sure what else these materials can be used for but this will be my main use, although I am pretty sure they have many uses, so if I could get cutting boards for cheap, I definitely would grab them. I am going to try to make an air deflector for my Dewalt out of the cutting board material I have left. It may or may not work, but no harm in trying.

That’s some nice leatherwork. How are you embossing the leather with the plastic?

I case the leather (Dampen it with a water mix) and then use my arbor press to press the stamp onto the leather. A few seconds of pressure with the arbor press and the letter is permanent on the leather.

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Very cool. Do you think it’s possible to do something like that without an arbor press?

If you have a vice that can work as well but the materials need to be well supported

I was thinking of using my drill press as an arbor press… My question is one of pressure.

Of course, take two pieces of wood, sandwich the stamp and leather in between the two pieces of wood, then use clamps to apply equal pressure.

Like this:

You will need to leave this for several minutes but it will work the same.

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Awesome! That’s a great pic and wonderful advice.

Do you just let the leather dry naturally?

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Yes, the leather will dry naturally.

Thanks! Last question: Is there an advantage to using plastic over, say, wood or some other material?

Just to chime in, I use HDPE to make dust shoes, spacers for my stepper motors and spoil boards. It makes great tooling holder material as well. For my drawing machine, using HDPE as the spoil board helped the markers make contact and made it easier to tape work down.

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If you are just going to use it for one time use, even a few uses - wood would work fine. But because I will use these over and over, the plastic will hold up for 100’s of impressions. Delrin would be better I am told, but plastic and HDPE is what I have on hand so that is what I use. If you are going to use wood, use a hard wood, because pine is too soft.
I used to buy my custom letter stamps from laser engravers, and depending on the size, the cost was from $30 to $65 each. I have a CNC machine now so if one gets damaged, or a customer orders initals I don’t yet have, I can simply make it in a about 20 minutes.

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Thanks again for all the great information. I’m always really interested to see what kinds of materials this machine can make it possible to work with.

You are welcome Mike! If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask, I am happy to help.

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Did you do anything special melting the Jugs down?

I have four boys so we go through a ton of milk, it would be nice to do something other then throw them in the dumpster.

Nope, nothing special. I cut the jugs up into 1" pieces then melt them down in a toaster oven. To see how it is done, go to Youtube and search “recycled HDPE” and you will get several videos on how it is done.

It did the same thing to me, I ended up having to cut it up on the band saw.