Anyone Using Star Board? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Default Anyone Using Star Board?

We have started using Star Board for some projects. It's about 2-3X the cost of cabinet plywood, but needs no laminate treatment to look and hold up well, even in sunlight and weather.

Star Board is a plastic sheet material that's available in many colors and thicknesses, with a very finely textured surface, almost like a sand blasted surface. It saws and machines much like wood. Routing it goes well if you take light cuts, but when making dovetail joints or deeper cuts it seems to be very grabby, sometimes pulling the router bit into it very suddenly, almost like what happens when you climb cut but this happens when routing in the proper direction. Considerable caution needs to be taken when using a router freehand with it. Gluing it is difficult. So far, the only glue that seems to work well for us is 2 part epoxy, but pocket screws and wood screws hold very well in it. The finished exhibits that we have made using it are holding up very well to some fairly rough treatment, much better than cabinet birch with laminate surface treatment. It's sometimes amazing, the amount of damage that a 3-12 year old child can do, even when they aren't trying to cause damage.

I was just wondering if anyone else has had any experience working with Star Board.

Attached are three views of an oceanographic submarine exhibit that was recently built for a children's science museum using Star Board for almost the entire build. The sub is not designed go under water, even though the Star Board would hold up well in water.

Charley
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 09:44 AM
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If your sub is made entirely out of Star Board, how do you turn to port?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I've never used it.

- Ralph
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 11:05 AM
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Charley, Whiteside offers some specialty bits engineered for routing plastics. I suggest you contact them about the specifics, it could make your jobs easier.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
If your sub is made entirely out of Star Board, how do you turn to port?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I've never used it.

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ralph,
Being an ex-sailor, that's the first thing that came to my mind when they told us what we were going to make the sub from (how do you turn it to port?).

Mike,
Thanks for the suggestion about the Whiteside bits. I'll check into them.
We have a tendency to use mostly Freud or Bosch bits because a hardware store just a few blocks away carries nearly their full lines of bits. They just send somebody to the hardware store to get a new bit whenever one gets dull, damaged, or a new profile is needed. If we need something that's not available at the hardware store we can order them. It's just not as convenient as purchase orders have to be filled out and approved
before each material order.

Charley
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