Posts Tagged ‘plastic project’

This is a really neat project with materials available from any hardware store. We found a video of a “do-it-yourselfer” (Alan) in Texas on YouTube who made a simple, yet rugged, sprinkler out of PVC pipe. Really not much is needed here in the way of materials and you likely could get it all in one stop to the hardware store: PVC pipe and caps, a female socket for the hose, the sprinkler, and PVC glue. The nice thing about Alan’s design is that it works better than many traditional sprinklers. You know, the ones that oscillate back and forth with separate streams of water? In this case, the sprinkler seems to even cover 360 degrees of space providing excellent coverage. If it’s an inexpensive build that works better than store bought alternatives, you know you’ve got a good idea on your hands!


Remember that 1980’s TV “MacGuyver” where the show’s star was able to make ingenious solutions to problems using every day items such as string, paper clips and bottles? We recently came across a similar application on Youtube for a plastic bottle mousetrap. The items you need are pretty easy to get a hold of and most people probably already have all of them in their house right now:

  • 2L plastic bottle
  • string
  • (2) rubber bands
  • (2) chopsticks
  • (1) paper clip
  • dry mouse bait

Other recommendations from the comment section were 1.) wear gloves (to cover the human scent of your hands) and 2.) screw the bottle onto a stable surface. We’ve never made this trap ourselves it just seemed like an interesting idea. It has the benefit of “catch and release” too if you don’t like how mice are killed in traditional snap traps. We’ve embedded the video below:


Something a little different here today, no plastic advice or “how-to” information. As you might know, Plastichowto is associated and managed by Redwood Plastics, a North American industrial plastics distribution and fabrication company. Along with the association we’re part of, the International Association of Plastics Distributors, increasing awareness of the environmental and recycling advantages of plastics has been a priority in 2015. The major hurdle we face is the news media too often reports stories of plastics contamination and waste. The tragic part of this is that people only see the negative: plastics in reality are extremely recyclable, take less energy than traditional materials such as metal to manufacture, create less greenhouse gas in their manufacturing and are otherwise very ‘clean’ – if only people were responsible in their disposal. Therefore, we fully support awareness and measures taken to reduce plastic pollution: as long as those measures also point out that plastics can be a clean, green option for product materials. Sadly, that message is very often overlooked.

One awareness project about plastic pollution was the “Bristol Whales” art project in England. The project used locally sourced wicker for the whales and made a “sea” out of plastic bottles. There’s a great Youtube clip on the making of this project you might be interested but watch it with this caveat: all those PET plastic drinking bottles used to make the ocean are fully recyclable, clean, and non-toxic. Is it the plastics’ responsibility to stay out of the ocean, or is it ours to be more responsible with the disposal and recycling of our products?

Food for thought…

Acetal Ball Maze

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Acetal, Cool Projects
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You know what they say about simple ideas – sometimes they’re the best!

We found a video of a DIY project where a CNC machine is used to etch a ball maze into a piece of acetal plastic (of which the name of the homopolymer variety is ‘Delrin’). Apparently the project was for students who designed the game from an initial paper sketch all the way through the CAD program. This project is simple enough for students yet creates a functional and fun piece of work. In short, it seems like genius. Acetal is a great plastic for machining, probably the best thermoplastic in holding tight tolerances.

Acetal has numerous other “Do-It-Yourselfer” applications. Most common is probably aftermarket paintball equipment, which we have blogged about previously here. Acetal replaces small, precise metal parts and often replaces polyamide (nylon) in applications where moisture is a concern.

The video is a little blurry but you will still get the gist of the project and the final design:


PVC Truck Tent

Posted: July 25, 2014 in PVC
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Yes – we write about PVC a lot here! The reason for that is that it’s just so accessible, so easy to use and work with as well as affordable. The combination of availability, flexibility and price means PVC applications for the “do-it-yourselfer” are easy to find.

Anyways…It’s summer, officially now. Camping is a favorite past-time of many people but if you have a larger group it can get pretty claustrophobic in those tents. We found this video on YouTube of a guy who made a truck tent for his pickup. He lists the price as $55.00 total…And $20.00 of that was for the mattress! Most of it is just PVC pipe and fittings. The only problem is that at the time of the video they had not tested it with rain yet.

Take a look…You’ll need to skip around to about halfway through the video to see the tent set up:


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.






UHMW Sled Tracks

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Cool Projects, UHMW
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At first glance an article on a Friday in mid-July regarding sled tracks might seem a little strange. However, readers up North know that the time to prepare for an early winter is now. Engineering plastics have valuable applications even in the hostile arctic.

Polyethylene, particularly UHMW-PE, has earned some press in recent years used as synthetic ice for skate training purposes. Both materials have a low coefficient of friction and are desirable for many sliding UHMW sledapplications.

Truth is UHMW has been used for years by resourceful individuals as sled tracks because when the sled contacts ice via an extremely slick substance, like UHMW, friction is decreased and the sled moves better with less energy applied. As a bonus UHMW is commonly available in white, which meshes well with the ice or snow it runs on.

Every one of these projects is a custom-build. There are no real set guidelines to using UHMW for a sled beside the following:

1.) It is the UHMW that must be in contact with the ground. Do not have some wood and some UHMW in contact at the same time – this defeats the purpose.

2.) UHMW must be mechanically fastened to the sled. Although some companies recommend various substances to bond or “glue” UHMW, as plastic experts we want you to know this is very difficult and we always recommend mechanical fastening for UHMW.

3.) 1/4″ thick material seems to be the thickness material most people are using.

Although this is an application for true “do-it-yourselfers” and we cannot engineer a sled for you, our seven branches always carry UHMW sheet and would be happy to cut rails or tracks to your specifications from material you purchase. If that interests you please do not hesitate in dropping us a line:

CDN: 1 800 667 0999
USA: 1 866 733 2684