Needed some advice | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Needed some advice

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Seanhecko

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I have a sheet of high density polyethylene plastic that i want to make into a tailgate cover fof my ram. The info that i have found online for working with it says general wood working tools work fine for modifications to the board.
Has anyone on here ever worked with hdpe before and if so any advice or tips you can share on working with it or joining/welding pieces together?
 

smritte

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That exact project is on my way too big list of things to do. I never looked into joining/welding the sheets but was going to cut and bevel the corners like wood.
My response isn't to advise as much as see what you get for replies.
 
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TwoRoadsOverland

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I can't speak to bending/forming it, but when cutting it certain blades will just melt it. If a clean polished edge is what you're looking for, you may want to look into purpose-built plastic-cutting-blades. But then again, if this is a one-off project, buying the blade may not be cost-effective, and it's nothing a little sanding couldn't fix.
 

KonzaLander

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I have used HDPE sheet panels for a few projects over the years and learned a few things. On a workbench work surface project, I learned that a big sheet will warp/buckle when secured flat and it gets hot. On a truck tailgate I would suggest installing the panel in the heat of summer.

I also built a skid plate for my Yamaha WR out it it.
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I struggled producing a very clean edge with the stuff. For a power tool, I found a jigsaw on low speed with a plexiglass blade worked okay. As stated above, most power tools will melt the HDPE instead of cutting it so take it slow. If you are cutting a straight line, I found by using a basic utility knife you can score the material several times and bend and crack it for a decent edge. A rough edge produced by any method of cutting can be cleaned up using rough to fine sanding sponges.
 
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