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Alternative Materials

With the price of lumber up as much as 188% in some areas what other materials have ya’ll been considering?

I know we can cut HDPE and LDPE, what about thin metals?

My wife uses Sheets of PVC. She is the Maslow master in the house.

We run the regular Ridigid router with an adapter and a 1.5mm bit. It cuts very nice.

A white 1/8" 4x8 sheet is around $25.

I cant tell you the last time we had plywood on that thing or the last time we changed a bit. We did have to put new brushes in the router about a month ago (from constant use).

Hope this helps.


That sounds interesting! Could you share some pics?

I didn’t even know they made sheets of PVC. That’s cool. I am in the process of moving / designing a new maslow frame. Originally I planned to only use whole sheets of plywood but yes the prices are way up there right now so I was looking into designs for 12 to 14ft top beams and some adjustable work areas that could hold smaller items such as boards from the sawmill. My other option is to edge glue my own boards for a large sheet when needed (did this to cut out a round table once) but that adds a lot of extra time to a project and needs a lot of space. With my Evolution 4 I have been contemplating carving on split firewood for small projects.

I’ve had good success with cross-laminated corrugated cardboard. Some time ago, I had scored a good number of good-quality boxes when my employer bought several hundred large-screen monitors.

They are double-wall medium-weight cardboard, so I glue together two layers are right angles to each other, and press them flat. It ends up being ~1/2-inch thick, (13.5 to 15mm). It’s pretty sturdy.

It also cuts like butter, in one pass. I use a double-flute bit, and it packs enough fiber into the corrugations to give me a fairly smooth cut edge.

Here’s a small cut piece from my last project:

It’s a little rough on the edges, but one can sand it. It takes paint beautifully.

One can make large pieces pretty easily:

That being said, it isn’t waterproof or flameproof, and it will release extremely fine dust into every crevice of your being. Dust collection is paramount.