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Thread: Cutting HDPE panels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lakin KS
    Posts
    234

    Default Cutting HDPE panels

    Hey guys...I was asked last night to cut some letters out to label a building. The letters will be about 12" tall and probably mounted to a Extira or another HDPE backer. I told them we could cut them out of the HDPE panels and the letters will be white, so I was thinking HDPE would be a good choice. Thinking I'll use 1/4" but maybe 3/8" would be better.

    Any hints, suggestions or other help you can give me on cutting this material would be great. Does HDPE screw well? Thinking screws through the backing into the letters, so the fasteners don't show.

    I could use Extira for the entire thing, but that would require maintenance down the road, and I think they are trying to minimize that.
    Tom Bachman,
    Drafting/Woodworking Instructor RETIRED!
    Lakin, Kansas

    2001 PRT4896
    https://i.imgur.com/xWEFfDk.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,208

    Default

    I would use something other than HDPE for this as it is hard to glue up. We use Sintra for this and pocket the letters for easy assembly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hobby-Tronics, Chiloquin Oregon
    Posts
    1,184

    Default

    Jerry, if you pocket a sintra backer to place the letters into, how do you stiffen the backer? Is the stiffener part of the hanger for the backer? I love working with sintra but just for my models not for the signs I do. Just askin'! Russ
    AKA: The Train Guy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
    Posts
    2,119

    Default

    Use PVC… You can get it in white or black or it easily paints. You can prism cut or round the edges with Type 1 PVC… not so with the foamed products like Sintra.

    SG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry_stanek View Post
    I would use something other than HDPE for this as it is hard to glue up. We use Sintra for this and pocket the letters for easy assembly.
    I agree. If by hard to glue up you mean almost impossible. The only way I've found to reliably join HDPE is to weld it together.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,208

    Default

    I use 12 mil PVC or Sintra and only pocket it .062 just enough to set the letters in. I also use the 6 mil for the letter that gives you a nice dimensional look. Most of the signs I do are mounted to a wall

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lakin KS
    Posts
    234

    Default

    OK, don't use HDPE.... Where to purchase the PVC or Sintra?
    Tom Bachman,
    Drafting/Woodworking Instructor RETIRED!
    Lakin, Kansas

    2001 PRT4896
    https://i.imgur.com/xWEFfDk.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lakin KS
    Posts
    234

    Default

    I like the idea of being able to prism the top of the letters.
    Tom Bachman,
    Drafting/Woodworking Instructor RETIRED!
    Lakin, Kansas

    2001 PRT4896
    https://i.imgur.com/xWEFfDk.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
    Posts
    2,119

    Default

    I get mine at Allied plastics… do you have a commercial plastic supplier nearby, or a sign supply house?
    SG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lakin KS
    Posts
    234

    Default

    No, I live in rural America. Was hoping that HD actually had the 3/4" PVC sheets they list on the website........no such luck. I'll check out Allied.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_g View Post
    I get mine at Allied plastics… do you have a commercial plastic supplier nearby, or a sign supply house?
    SG
    Tom Bachman,
    Drafting/Woodworking Instructor RETIRED!
    Lakin, Kansas

    2001 PRT4896
    https://i.imgur.com/xWEFfDk.jpg

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