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  1. #11
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    The FRP at the big box stores will work fine for the occasional project. If you use it a lot then it is worth the extra amount for the HDPE because it will be easier on your cutting blades. It does not take too many blades to pay for the difference. Plastic food cutting boards are made from HDPE.

  2. #12
    Senior Member BOB1520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Okay, my stupid question for today: What is this stuff? "HDPE" is Greek to me. Can you put it in good ole boy English, so I'll know what I'm looking for at the big box stores? Thanks!

    Rain Man

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    High Density Polyethylene. The white Nalgene bottles are made of this stuff.

  3. #13
    mountain_man_mike's Avatar
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    Here is dos centavos from an el cheapo DIY guy... I have easy access to them so they are my preferred choice for a cutting mat. I use sheets of cardboard about 60" x 48". The rotary cutter seems to cut into but not through the cardboard, doesn't seem to dull the blades excessively and after a few cuts in the same places the cardboard is recycled as it was intended before I reassign it's duty station.

    Happy Trails...

  4. #14
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redoleary View Post
    The rotary cutter is not really new info, but the cutting board is something I did not know about and might make a good alternative for DIY'ers.
    thx for posting this.
    I have most of a sheet of FRP in the garage that I bought for a project that only required about 12" off of the end.
    Had not thought about using it with a rotary cutter... but I had been scared away by the price of the fabric store cutting mats.
    *note to self. add a rotary cutter to my xmas list.
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

    My outdoor gear review site http://gear-report.com
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  5. #15
    Senior Member XexorZ's Avatar
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    In NJ I get my crazy plastic materials from a place called acme plastics. They have or can get anything. Not sure about in your neck of the woods.

    HDPE rocks for a lot of stuff since it is pretty much immune to almost all chemical attacks. It is soft enough at room temp to be semi pliable and hard enough to be structural.

    Keep in mind it is almost impossible to glue to things without very special cements and preparation. It can be thermally welded but again is a pain - it doesn't even like to stick to itself... In manufacturing they weld it under a nitrogen gas envelope so the tail ends of the chemical chains don't oxidize.

    Anywho good stuff. If you need small bits of it, many food cutting boards are made of it and can be had for cheap. Look for the HDPE mark (recycling code #2). Do not confuse with the Poly Propylene cutting boards (PP) recycling # 5)
    Buy Tea at Jennifer's Tea Garden ( My Wife's Place )

  6. #16
    Rat's Avatar
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    My cutting mat is a quilter's mat; something like 48 x 60. However, I have been thinking of building a bigger, rolling sewing table and the extra 3 feet on the FRP would be nice.
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
    Mind of a Rat Youtube Channel

  7. #17
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcress View Post
    *note to self. add a rotary cutter to my xmas list.
    Thats exactly what I was thinking!
    Good luck,
    RED

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  8. #18
    Senior Member gstepclassical's Avatar
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    Rotary cutters are nice but I use a soldering gun with its tip forged into a disk shape. Notice I said gun and not iron. I use cardboard for a "cutting board" and the gun keeps any raveling from occurring.
    When it goes over their heads, it really doesn't matter how high it is.

  9. #19
    Senior Member hikelite's Avatar
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    Great post!

    Those cutting boards at the craft store are outrageously priced! I was just looking at them last week. The cutters themselves were a tolerable price, but I wrote off being able to use them because the mats were so darn expensive. I'm pretty excited to read there are alternatives.

    The difficulty I will have now is finding one of these alternatives in my small town. If Home Depot or Homeco doesn't have it, where else can I look? If HDPE is softer than the FRP, I don't mind spending a little extra for HDPE. I just couldn't make myself spend $100+ for a tiny little cutting mat that would not let me cut a full width of fabric. I'd been dreaming of a big table to work on. This might finally push me to build one out in the carport. I so wish I had a garage or basement
    Life is hard? Compared to what?

  10. #20
    Senior Member Barefoot Child's Avatar
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    Thanks Red for pointing out the large sheet of FRP for a cutting board...very good find!
    "If'n I'm gonna fall, someone is gonna' watch."
    Sean Emery

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