One underrated plastic for use by “do-it-yourselfers” is HDPE (high-density-polyethylene) puckboard. Puckboard is an economy-grade plastic sheet that is excellent for a number of projects. Puckboard is durable and aptly named, as it is the material used in ice hockey rinks. It can take impact from everyday life such as body contact and its smooth surface means the material is easy to clean. You will often see it installed in farms providing a low-maintenance wall covering. You may also see it used as a covering to protect walls from dogs in various kennels. The two colors you will most commonly available are white and black.

The material is easily fabricated using household tools. When cutting, a saw with high RPMs works best, most commonly a jigsaw – at least that seems to be the anecdotal consensus online. Table saws also run at high RPMs and as long as you have proper support for the sheets, they will cut accurately. It is common when cutting plastics for the edge to melt a little due to friction so keeping some medium to heavy grit sandpaper on hand to smooth the edges and to deburr, is a good idea.


Livestock pen in Alberta

Affixation to a wall or substrate should be done mechanically – meaning use bolts or screws. Polyethylene does not “glue” or work well with adhesives, and a 4′ x 8′ x 1/8″ sheet, even that thin, is still 40 lbs. When you do drill your holes, oversize them by 1/8″ to account for thermal expansion. Another thing to keep in mind is that white puckboard is not always UV-stable. Any reputable distributor you contact can tell you if theirs is or not. If not UV-protected, it will degrade in outdoor applications but may provide a short-term fix for a few years as long as occasional replacement is not an issue in the application.

Finally, let’s face it – when you’re working on a home project budget is a concern and industrial plastics can be pricey. But it is common to find full 4′ x 8′ puckboard sheets for less than $100.00 each even in remote areas. Distributors often keep it stocked due to its popularity, so the long lead times associated with other industrial plastics, is usually not a concern.

For more information contact Redwood Plastics.






FRP_TextureFRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) wall panels have a distinguished history of use in restaurants, convenience stores, public pools, schools, anywhere low-cost and easy-to-maintain wall protection is needed. The most popular of these panels is probably the white, embossed kind. It has a “pebbly” texture that makes it difficult for grime to stick on and makes the panels easy to clean.

While commonly encountered in businesses, these wall panels have many potential applications for the “diy” home renovator. For example, kids with crayons are a nightmare for many parents as the walls present a canvass ready for art – at least in the child’s mind! Do you have a dedicated playroom? FRP wall panels installed at floor level provide a surface so easy to clean you may encourage your kids to write on the walls! Well, maybe that’s a stretch but the investment in the wall panels will give you some peace of mind, make cleaning easy, and might even lower your blood pressure a bit.

Other potential uses in the home include: bathrooms, workshops, en suite kitchens, basements, carports and likely more. Think of the panels as a “simple armor” protecting your walls in high-risk areas from avoidable damage or disfigurement. The panels are easy to install via a special adhesive or nylon rivets to any flat surface. They are water-proof and impervious to cleaning chemicals. The embossed panels are commonly available in either 4′ x 8′ or 4′ x 10′ sheets both with a thickness of .090″.

For more information click here.

Acrylic is a fussy plastic, it can be difficult to work with and needs both skilled and patient hands. But the reason for its popularity is the potential of the amazing projects you can complete using the plastic. Case-in-point is this CNC engraved plaque – a 1912 Indian 8-valve board track racer motorcycle:







This piece’s artist is Dave Langkamp, a retired designer at John Deere. John has significant knowledge of 3D modeling, 3D printing and digital art applications. In this application, the acrylic is 6″ x 10″ x 1/4″ thick. The engraving was done by CNC using Dave’s own file. What makes this piece so unique is the level of fine detail (note the individual links on the drive chain). This is a great example of craftsmanship meeting the right material.

Dave has several other projects on the go at his blog, “The Tinker’s Workshop” including a 3D printed electric car and velomobile. You can check the blog out here.

Our last post on the PVC movie screen had so many views that we had to follow it up with something good. And this one might be even better!

Last time we found a project by a “geek dad” who made a PVC and canvas outdoor movie theater. This time a “cool mom” (Tammy) shows us how to make a water sprinkler out of PVC piping. To us, this seems to be a simple project most kids would love. The really neat thing about this is that you choose the shape of the sprinkler and how and where the sprinkler holes are drilled. Therefore there is no reason other designs could not be adapted for this project – it’s pretty simple to do and not many tools are required. Tammy has plenty of good tips, instructions and pictures on her blog so if you want to know more, you’ll have to check it out here or by clicking on the picture below.


Jetting with UHMW

Posted: April 24, 2014 in Boat Building, UHMW
Tags: , ,

One UHMW application that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of UHMW sheet for jet boat applications. UHMW sheet, usually the UV-stabilized reprocessed black, is affixed to the hull to protect the boat and prevent damage for boating in shallow waters. When you think of it, anything from logs to protruding metal could be a hazard. UHMW is an excellent choice because it absorbs no moisture, is easy to work with, and has a very low coefficient of friction. A sheet will cost you a few hundred dollars; however, the performance and protection your boat recieves is well worth the cost. Think this is your type of challenge? There are many online resources for “diy” jet boat builders. Take a look at a few we found in a quick online search*:

*Redwood Plastics has not verified any of the information available on any of the resources/websites provided. We take no responsibility for any damage or injury resulting from working on an application using the information in those resources. They are provided for our reader’s interest only.

As North America’s winter slowly releases its grip…It is at last time to start thinking about potential outdoor activities for this year. And for a game that is both simple and fun, why not try Ladder Golf?

Each player has bolus (is boli the plural?) which is a rope apparatus with a ball on each end.When thrown the bolus tumbles and catches readily on pipe. The goal in ladder golf is to throw your bolus onto a pipe frame with three teirs. You can assign points to each tier. PVC_Ladder_Golf

Besides being a simplistic game, the frame (you only need one!) is very easy to fabricate. Essentially, you just need PVC tube and joints. Instructions to make the frame are readily available from sites such as Pinterest but we found one which was so simple that it required only 1/2″ PVC tube and joints. That’s it! Besides any tool you might need to cut the pipe. You may also wish to spray paint the horizontal bars for looks and to ascribe points to a certain color. In the U.S. a “patriotic” combination of red, white and blue seems to be especially popular.

Click here to be linked right to the blog for a list of materials and instructions.

This one is in honor of the never-ending North American winter of 2014. Yes, it’s almost spring, but does it feel that way?

UHMW (polyethylene) plastic is one of the most affordable and versatile of the mechanical/engineering plastics. Two of its properties are a very low coefficient of friction and zero moisture absorption. In fact, it is so slick it makes excellent synthetic ice for skating rinks. UHMW has been used for decades in arctic regions as sled rails; however, it works very well on recreational toboggans as well.

UHMW_SledThe toboggan pictured here was built by an enthusiast of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). This is a protected area in Minnesota, which (apparently) has some excellent sledding! The material used appears to be the black reprocessed UHMW.

However, a simpler option may exist, especially if your toboggan is metallic. 1/4″ or 3/8″ thick UHMW sheet comes in a standard 4′ x 10′ size. Ten feet is a significant length and it means a liner that you can affix to the bottom of the sled can be formed out of a single sheet. In the case of the toboggan pictured, the sled builder sold another length cut out of the same sheet to his friend.

If you have the correct tools, it is possible to counter sink holes in the bottom of the sheet and then affix with bolts to the existing frame of the toboggan. The additional slickness will make for one great ride!