Cheap source for HDPE sheets, maybe??? - International Association of Penturners
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Cheap source for HDPE sheets, maybe???

For molds I know you can use HDPE cutting boards or buy sheets from Amazon or Ebay, but the cutting boards have a rough finish that can cause demolding issues and sheets can be expensive if you are just fooling around.

Anyone ever try or see this. Looks promising.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_XUJwINdLw
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've been watching many different videos on this subject lately. Time consuming but it could produce some interesting material.


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Old 09-15-2017, 01:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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my thought is to go straight to the mold, no sheets screwed together.

The dotted part is the HDPE I also made the sides of the parts that make recesses slightly slanted to help the resin pop out.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Cliff, try Grainger if there is a store near you. I bought a 12X12 HDPE block 1 1/2" thick for around $35.00 and was able to pick it up at the store 2.5 miles from my house.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I have done the saving the recyclable stuff, made the sheets and molds etc.. In the long run, I don't think you save that much when you figure in the time spent.

I bought some of the silicone mold making resin and made real custom molds. I used some 1/2" and 3/4" PVC pipe as my masters for the making the mold. I plugged both ends sprayed with mold release. I made a box out of HF cutting boards mounted the pipe in it and poured silicone mold resin in it. Let it cure and pop out the pipe.

The finished blanks fit in my collet chuck for ease in drilling, there are no square corners to turn off and trash, and I make them close to the lengths that I use. The drilling saves me time, the round blanks and correct lengths saves on resin, all are "money" factors.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I bought one at a Walmart store a few years ago. They have HDPE cutting boards and the prices, if I remember correctly, aren't bad at all. I haven't used any in a long time but when I did I got my second one from a Walmart. Good luck on your search.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eharri446 View Post
Cliff, try Grainger if there is a store near you. I bought a 12X12 HDPE block 1 1/2" thick for around $35.00 and was able to pick it up at the store 2.5 miles from my house.
But thats resin buying money. I kind of have a self imposed budget on what I buy.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim'sTurnings View Post
I bought one at a Walmart store a few years ago. They have HDPE cutting boards and the prices, if I remember correctly, aren't bad at all. I haven't used any in a long time but when I did I got my second one from a Walmart. Good luck on your search.
Tim.
Yes the best price is Sams Club for about a 20" by 30" for maybe $15. It has a textured surface and I'm trying to get away from screwed together boxes.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Complete success.

Over the past week or so I collected HDPE number 2 bottles and as I was watching TV I just kept cutting the bottles into smaller smaller pieces. Note double check the recycle number, I found a few bottles that looked like HDPE but were poly polypropylene number 5 more on this later.

My first mold I filled up my small loaf pan lined with parchment paper with the multicolored pieces and baked it at 350 to 400 until its sort of looked "plasticy" aka the plastic looked melted in texture. I then added more as it also collapsed as it melted. They never became truly liquid more like bubble gum so I had to push down on the mass with a block covered in more Parchment paper.

After an hour or so I took it out and clamped the block on top.

For the black I used another approach. I had read that HDPE for bottles is formulated differently than HDPE thats injection molded because bottles are blow molded. So the injection formulation will melt to a more liquid state.

At work I get long rolls of vinyl in boxes with black HDPE plastic ends that support the rolls in the box and I have pounds of them. They are injection molded so I made one mold with just that plastic.

For this one I didn't cut it up so much and I layered the plastic in batches letting each layer mostly melt before adding the next which helped with any bubbles and I think sped up the melting. I didn't have to clamp it after it came out of the toaster oven and as each layer melted it was much more fluid and almost all the bubbles floated to the top where I could easily pop them.

After both of them were cool I then carefully trimmed them on my table saw. Be careful they are slippery buggers.

Now as for the poly polypropylene number 5. It melted just as the HDPE did and I got a nice block of red from a few cat litter buckets. The problem was it doesn't cut as nicely as the HDPE I think its has a lower melting point and it gummed up on the table saw.

As for smell there was nothing except the smell of what ever was in the bottles. No mater how much I washed them out I still smelled the gel dish washing and shampoo and the fragrance from the kitty litter.

So now have more than enough material to mill into a special tube in slimline mold I'm making. Also material for other jigs or non stick bushings.

Next time I may try to mold my recesses into the plastic so I don't have to cut them out of a block.

This video is the one I got most of my info from. Beware after watching these videos you maybe tempted to try to make a HDPE blank. I wish resin could be moved around like what he does. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4zRTDQukRM&t=181s
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hdpe1.jpg   hdpe2.jpg   hpde3.jpg   hdpe4.jpg   hdpe5.jpg  

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Old 09-25-2017, 05:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I guess one could melt down a cutting board to make molds instead of plastic bottles.
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