UHMW Plastic for Fence Faces? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Default UHMW Plastic for Fence Faces?

Marc Summerfeld's videos show UHMW plastic being used for fence faces. Rockler has it for about $12.50 a foot in 3/4" thickness.

As a confirmed cheapskate, I'm thinking about using oil-impregnated MDF for this application. Any recommendations?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 04:47 AM
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Marc Summerfeld's videos show UHMW plastic being used for fence faces. Rockler has it for about $12.50 a foot in 3/4" thickness.

As a confirmed cheapskate, I'm thinking about using oil-impregnated MDF for this application. Any recommendations?

Thanks!
When you say "oil impregnated", do you mean Scandinavian oil?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 07:19 AM
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UHMW Plastic Sheets and Strips

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Originally Posted by Wobbly View Post
Marc Summerfeld's videos show UHMW plastic being used for fence faces. Rockler has it for about $12.50 a foot in 3/4" thickness.

As a confirmed cheapskate, I'm thinking about using oil-impregnated MDF for this application. Any recommendations?

Thanks!



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Wobbly View Post
Marc Summerfeld's videos show UHMW plastic being used for fence faces. Rockler has it for about $12.50 a foot in 3/4" thickness.

As a confirmed cheapskate, I'm thinking about using oil-impregnated MDF for this application. Any recommendations?

Thanks!
I've always had laminated faces or even plain MDF or clear-coated MDF fences; they've always worked well enough for me. I reserve my limited supply of UHMW for jig making and runners (places where laminate won't work, or it's too much hassle to apply).
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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When you say "oil impregnated", do you mean Scandinavian oil?
Yes, Pat Warner recommends two or three coats of Watco [Danish oil] for MDF table tops in 'The Router Book'. Bill Hylton also mentions it as an alternative to laminate covered MDF, but notes that it takes two or three days to get all the coats to dry. He also recommends that the front edge of a MDF top be chamfered.

From the manufacturer:
:WATCO Danish Oil is a unique blend of penetrating oil & varnish hardens in the wood, not on the wood. Watco Danish Oil penetrates deep into wood pores to protect from within and to enhance the natural look and feel of the wood. It creates the rich, warm glow of a traditional hand-rubbed finish. Many projects can be completed in less than an hour - simply brush or wipe on and wipe off. Watco Danish Oil is the choice of fine woodworkers and novices alike."
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Better prices than Rockler.
That Slick Tape looks like a 'slick' idea. Too bad that it doesn't come in width greater than 3".

Router Table Build shows a UHMW fence face made from cutting board. Checking on EBAY, there are 18" x 12" x 3/4" white cutting boards for about $17 shipped. This would make 3 strips 4" x 18" for faces, with another 4" x18" strip which could be cut into zero clearance inserts.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 10:03 AM
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... there are 18" x 12" x 3/4" white cutting boards for about $17 shipped. This would make 3 strips 4" x 18" for faces, with another 4" x18" strip which could be cut into zero clearance inserts.
(shortened because I'm not allowed to post links yet )

FWIW, Peachtree Woodworking Supply sells 3/4" X 4"X 48 " UHMW sheets (strips?) for $22 each (plus shipping). That's about as inexpensive as the cutting boards, and you get it all in one length.

www dot ptreeusa.com/uhmwproducts.htm

Also note: most cutting boards do not have a smooth surface. They usually have some sort of texture that would require removal if you're using it as a fence. Not that the cutting board idea is bad (it would be ideal for making miter slot runners and such), but there are better options out there.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 12:06 PM
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Most store bought cutting boards are polypropylene, not UHMW. Not that it will matter much for a fence.

Look up plastic supply houses in your area and call them up and ask if they have a scrap bin you can look through. You can often times find scraps for pennies on the dollar this way. I've never paid full boat for plastic via this method.

The place I go to usually has a lot of HDPE (cutting board applications for restaurants) which is a lower grade material similar to UHMW but half the price and not quite as slick.

If it has a texture on, you can almost be assured that it is not UHMW.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 01:25 PM
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How slippy do you want the fence to be. I like a little bit of friction for control. Varnished and waxed MDF for me.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wobbly View Post
Yes, Pat Warner recommends two or three coats of Watco [Danish oil] for MDF table tops in 'The Router Book'. Bill Hylton also mentions it as an alternative to laminate covered MDF, but notes that it takes two or three days to get all the coats to dry. He also recommends that the front edge of a MDF top be chamfered.

From the manufacturer:
:WATCO Danish Oil is a unique blend of penetrating oil & varnish hardens in the wood, not on the wood. Watco Danish Oil penetrates deep into wood pores to protect from within and to enhance the natural look and feel of the wood. It creates the rich, warm glow of a traditional hand-rubbed finish. Many projects can be completed in less than an hour - simply brush or wipe on and wipe off. Watco Danish Oil is the choice of fine woodworkers and novices alike."
I had thoughts of you dipping it in a barrel of 20W-40.....LOL

yes, that would work. the main purpose of the Danish/Scandinavian oil is to seal the surface as dose the laminate.

Good point re the chamfer for unprotected surface.

James
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