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Thread: Mounting UHMW Sheet To Fence

  1. #1

    Mounting UHMW Sheet To Fence

    1. I've purchased a 1/4" sheet of UHMW to attach to my 80/20 fence. How often should I drill mounting holes? I have 4 nuts and probably need more (they aren't cheep).

    2. The UHMW sheet has tool marks on it. I expected it to be smooth and perhaps glossy. I'm not sure this photo will matter but it's here. Any ideas on how to smooth it out? I've tried 120 grit orbital with minimal results.
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Stanton View Post
    2. The UHMW sheet has tool marks on it. I expected it to be smooth and perhaps glossy. I'm not sure this photo will matter but it's here. Any ideas on how to smooth it out? I've tried 120 grit orbital with minimal results.
    I've used a sharp hand plane Bob.
    Fred

  3. #3
    UHMW machines like wood. Run it through your planer taking a light cut. Depending upon your planer, you might have to help feed it through if the rollers don't have enough grip. Wax your bed well before starting to reduce friction. I've milled edges on my jointer with no problem.

    Here is a video of it being machine planed.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 09-26-2017 at 9:50 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  4. #4
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    Leave the marks on it, lets air in behind workpiece.

  5. #5
    I would glue it to a piece of jointed wood first.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    I would glue it to a piece of jointed wood first.
    Wouldn't it be difficult to glue UHMW?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Stanton View Post
    Wouldn't it be difficult to glue UHMW?
    Oddly enough, no. I made a saw horse for the side of a tablesaw and skinned the deck with it, I was pretty confident it was going to fail. Probably three years later it's still stuck down to a piece of " Baltic Birch. I just used 3M Super 77 too. I did rough the back up with a belt sander for more tooth, but I didn't think it'd work.

  8. #8
    contact adhesive would be great for a temporary hold too. Lift a corner and get some solvent in there and it peels right off

  9. #9
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    1/4" UHMW sounds kind of thin to mount by itself. I think I would also try to mount it t a backer board with some type of contact adhesive.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Falk View Post
    1/4" UHMW sounds kind of thin to mount by itself. I think I would also try to mount it t a backer board with some type of contact adhesive.
    I already put down fence tape on rail assuming 1/4" fence addition. If it's the right answer it's the right answer. I have a 4'x'4' sheet of Baltic Birch I could use.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 09-28-2017 at 6:27 PM.

  11. #11
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    UHMW is very sensitive to heat expansion ... once it moves ... the glue lets go ... there is no real "bonding" anything to UHMW ... mechanical fastening, allowing for thermal expansion has been the only proven method to anchor it in place. We used miles of it at work, and we have never been able to find any adhesive or glue that was reliable. We dovetailed it onto stainless machine parts, and held one end with screws ... let the other end float. That was the only thing that worked for us.

  12. #12
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    I touch up my UHMW sheets with a very sharp smoothing plane. Peels the saw marks right off.

    I agree with Bob - you need to drill/countersink, then attach with bolts or machine screws.

  13. #13
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    I'm not convinced that UHMW is a good choice for something like a fence. The only way to securely hold it in place is with mechanical fasteners and any force at all distorts the plastic. When I was table saw shopping (for over a year) I looked at dozens of saws & everyone that had UHMW on the fence was visibly not flat & true.

    Baltic Birch ply with plastic laminate would be my choice. The occasional wipe with a chunk of paraffin keeps things sliding smoothly

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Baltic Birch ply with plastic laminate would be my choice. The occasional wipe with a chunk of paraffin keeps things sliding smoothly
    +1. That is what I use. Except I use Johnson's Paste Wax to keep the laminate slick. Removing the UHMW from the fence was the first modification I made to a new PM2000. I used two layers of 1/2" Baltic Birch glued together to get a more stable base for the laminate. Stays super flat in a shop with A/C.

  15. #15
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    For what it's worth my favorite screws for UHMW to wood are euro screws. The proper size pilot hole allows the screw to bite and the head flushes up beautifully. Good hold for most applications but for 1/4" material in this application - I don't know. I have no experience gluing it so I'll defer to the others.
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