Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Plastic cutting board thru the planer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego area
    Posts
    245

    Plastic cutting board thru the planer?

    I feel silly posting this, but can I run a white plastic cutting board thru the planer? It's stained, I tried bleach, then white vinegar but that didn't help, then I thought, just run them thru the planer and take off a 32nd!
    WoodsShop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    3,911
    Ive run plastic through the planer before, can be kind of sketchy especially if its thin. The planer I ran it through has serrated feed rolls so taking super light passes is sketchy (feed rolls leave serration marks if enough cut isnt taken). I wouldnt stand behind the planer if you try and I'd have my hand on the switch or the cord to yank out of the wall, quick reflexes
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ames, IA
    Posts
    491
    FWIW, I just viewed a DVD by Woodworkers Guild of America on "Setting up and Using Jointers and Planers" in which the author said DO NOT run plastic cutting boards through planers. I thought the DVD was excellent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego area
    Posts
    245
    Did he say why not to Bob?
    WoodsShop

  5. #5
    Seeing as you can run epoxy resin through planers with no issues, I'd say it more depends on the type of plastic. I'd say give it a shot with a super light pass and see what happens. A spiral head would be a lot more forgiving than straight knives with this sort of thing too I'd think.

    Side note: You're a woodworker and you're still using a plastic cutting board? I think that stain is a sign for you to add a certain project to your list

  6. #6
    FWIW, I just give mine a good sanding when they get too many knife slits that tend to capture "stuff". A couple minutes with a couple of grits on the random orbit cleans them up pretty well. I actually prefer when they have a slight texture to them as food doesn't slide around so much. 120 or 150 grit texture works well while still being easy to clean. Run the sander a little slower than you would for wood so it doesn't generate a lot of heat.

    [eta:] And why am I using plastic? Wood ones don't hold up well to repeated dishwasher cycles....kind of a deal breaker in my house.
    Last edited by Paul F Franklin; 05-01-2020 at 4:41 PM.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  7. #7
    I wouldn't recommend it for several reasons. If the plastic is willing to be cut, you could do it with a sharp hand plane with less risk and less mess.

    Whether you could really do it with a power planer is a function of the type of plastic, it's thickness, and to some degree the configuration of your planer. Some plastics shatter, some machine well. Cutting polycarbonate versus UMHW polyethylene on the table saw couldn't be more different; the former is brittle and wants to shatter/chip, while UMHW machines like butter. A second issue is whether the plastic is stiff enough to be held down by the feed rollers. If the plastic flexes at all, the knives will dig in and the cutting board will explode.

    And safety aside, do you really want plastic shavings all over your shop? Static will make them stick to everything, you'll never get it cleaned up.

    Best,

    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego area
    Posts
    245
    Actually I took it out to the shop and used the random orbit on it,

    good as new, nice and white again :-)
    WoodsShop

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,715
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Wood View Post
    Did he say why not to Bob?
    I think for the same reason why you are asking here and haven't already done it. It could blow up. The start of the cut would be the most dangerous. But since you don't mention what planer you have, I can only guess that it's not a commercial shop sized machine with a great pressure bar in the front. In the zone that can give you snipe, is the place where the damage could happen. Not worth it to save a $10 cutting board at Walmart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego area
    Posts
    245
    Its a 15", and I'm glad I didn't try it!
    WoodsShop

  11. #11
    Glad the random orbital sander worked. I'd guess it would be okay in the planer with a very light pass, but why take the chance. I have run HDPE through a thickness sander for very light passes without any issues.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ames, IA
    Posts
    491
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Wood View Post
    Did he say why not to Bob?

    Hi Joe,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I don't recall for sure as I didn't plan on doing it. Sorry.

  13. #13
    A good planer will have zero issues.

    The Scmi in the video above as you see. Martin also sells their machines with tutorials pointing out the plastic processing capacity. I’ve used my Felder AD941 to do the same with zero issues. The only time I have had exploding material is when making veneer. When the ,steroidal gets to thin the leading edge can bust apart.

    But plastic should be good. FYI I have not tried brittle hard plastics but soft hdpe type plastics like cutting boards should be fine. If you dust collection is good it also will not make a terrible mess. I had reservations that I was gonna just melt the plastic destroying my insert cutter head. I said a hail marry and all good.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMUnV920hg4

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Walsh View Post
    A good planer will have zero issues.

    The Scmi in the video above as you see. Martin also sells their machines with tutorials pointing out the plastic processing capacity. I’ve used my Felder AD941 to do the same with zero issues. The only time I have had exploding material is when making veneer. When the ,steroidal gets to thin the leading edge can bust apart.

    But plastic should be good. FYI I have not tried brittle hard plastics but soft hdpe type plastics like cutting boards should be fine. If you dust collection is good it also will not make a terrible mess. I had reservations that I was gonna just melt the plastic destroying my insert cutter head. I said a hail marry and all good.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMUnV920hg4
    Given how nicely HDPE machine saws, sands, drills, and turns that isn't too surprising. The planer would have made me a more nervous given that it is harder or impossible to back off if things go south, but I didn't really expect it to be a big problem with the kind of reasonable care you'd use with other materials.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,611
    I plane UHMW and HDPE (ie - cutting boards) all the time with my straight knife planer to make runners for my mortisers. It planes just like wood. Never had an issue of any kind. I wouldn't try polycarbonate, but soft plastics are fine.

    John

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •