Hand Tools Archive

Re: cutting holes in uhmw plastic

Doug Trembath
Les, UHMW and HDPE machine quite well with woodworking tools. Hole saws work but be sure to secure the work, because you get strands of waste material rather than dust, and they can get caught up in the kerf, or wrap around the tool. This can cause unpredictable and sometimes hazardous behavior. DAMHIKT...

I routinely use modern materials for shop applications. They don't work that well with hand planes in my experience, however. Using a smoother to reduce the height of a block wasn't all that acceptable for me. Others may have had better success, though. I got a lot of chatter when I tried it.

Use caution, again, and clamp the work well, take small bites, clear the waste often, and you can make it happen if your expectations are reasonable and your approach circumspect.

Doug Trembath

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