HDPE for TS inserts?

Hey, all,
I have a sheet of 3/4" GE "Starboard" (white hi-density polyethylene with UV blockers) that I was originally going to use on a boat, but didn't.
I was considering using it for various woodworking jigs, but I wondered also whether it would be suitable for making zero-clearance tablesaw inserts for dadoing, running various molding head cutters, etc.
Has anyone used HDPE for this? Is it stiff enough? Any problems?
Thanks-
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wrote:

HDPE will work fine.
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That's a crap load of table saw inserts! At 3/4" and a small span it's certainly stiff enough for a TS insert, but it's also thicker than it needs to be and way more expensive. Starboard also has a bit of a texture to it and I'm not sure if that would help or hurt. Have you considered selling the sheet and just picking up scrap for your inserts?
R
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Well, I would have to run it through the jointer or planer to get it thinned down enough to fit my Powermatic 64A, that would take the textured surface off.
I hadn't really thought much about selling it. It's one idea...
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<<Well, I would have to run it through the jointer or planer to get it thinned down enough to fit my Powermatic 64A, that would take the textured surface off.>>
Unless you have really good dust collection, it will also make your workshop look like a snowstorm took place in there.
Lee
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Test this out first by sucking up a dozen gophers and a couple of Grateful Dead fans through your dust extraction. If it copes with this, it'll cope with the swarf from HDPE. Certainly when I bandsaw the stuff I don't use the dust extraction - there's a wire guard in there and HDPE swarf catches straight onto it (or any protrusion) and makes the dust bunny from hell.
I'd be a bit worried about this thing sagging if left loaded for a long period. HDPE will creep over time. Rather than thinning it down, I'd machine it out on a router. If your insert is anything like mine, then 3/4" thickness is nothing to it, except for a narrow strip over the arbor and four little mounting pads in the corners.
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Don't forget to wear your gloves!
Robert
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