UHMW polyethylene

Been reading some stuff posted to this group about UHMW polyethylene.
Using a band saw, should I use a wood cutting blade instead of metal cutting blade? Use inserts to make sure the cut doesn't close behind the blade? Any other cautions?
It looks very useful for my purposes, but of course I don't want it damaging my tools or injuring me.
Thanks.
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You don't want too fine a tooth. You also want a bit of rake on your blade. I cut it successfully with a 6 tpi ripper
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I've found that a bandsaw makes a lousy cut - I use a table saw when ever I can (but for small pieces, the bandsaw is safer, of course.
If you're cutting anything thicker than 2", a small wedge at the back is a good precaution in case the material does close up after the cut. I've seen a bansaw balde stopped instantly when the plastic grabbed it suddenly. Left a kink in the blade that was impossible to straighten. Black UHMW seems especially bad for that, although I have seen it on white as well.
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The stuff is relatively stable so a splitter isn't really necessary and most any blade will cut it safely, although a good sharp fine tooth blade will produce a cleaner cut. It's softer than most wood, so treating it like metal isn't necessary, but you need to realize that it will melt if your blade is real dull and excess friction heats it up. If you plan on making small pieces, the usual saw safety precautions, a zero clearance plate, and push sticks apply.
Charley
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John Doe wrote:

Just on tip. I cut some on my band saw one time. When I was finished, my garage looked like it had snowed. Make sure you turn on the dust collector. :-)
Wayne
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On mine I have to turn _off_ the dust collector. A raked blade generates a lot of "polyethylene wool" and it clogs any sort of hose - especially if you've a saw with a finger-stopper grating on the extraction port.
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