Board logo

Plastic Sheet Advise
myke pocock - 6/12/17 at 10:23 PM

I plan to make a full size replica of a WW1 Lewis gun. Apart from the components that can be made of steel tube I need some easily worked plastic sheet that can be easily cut by bandsaw, machined with a router and sanded where necessary and take a sprayed paint finish. As I may need to laminate it for some components ( cannot afford to buy the thickness necessary for every component) it must be of the same density throughout (ie; no rigid faces). Can anyone suggest what would be suitable and are there any companies that will sell it in smaller sizes than 8 x 4's.

Irony - 6/12/17 at 10:34 PM

Trent Plastics will cut smaller sizes. I might try foamex

David Jenkins - 7/12/17 at 08:08 AM

I don't know what sort of thickness you want, but plasticard might be useful. It's made of polystyrene, and you can get sheets, tubes, etc.


myke pocock - 7/12/17 at 10:18 AM

Unfortunately Foamex doesnt have a close enough cell structure and plasticard has a rigid outside surface meaning that laminating it leads to the joint showing when finishing off. But thanks for the suggestions anyway.

Schrodinger - 7/12/17 at 12:55 PM

I would go to Ipswich Plastics and see what off cuts of coloured perspex they have but they are a long way from you.

obfripper - 7/12/17 at 12:59 PM

I have used upvc soffit board for similar purposes, i couldn't tell you what make/type as it was remanants from a builders yard, but cut fine with a circular saw and could be filed and routed without melting or chipping.
The sheets were approx 300mm x 3m x 9mm.


02GF74 - 7/12/17 at 06:38 PM

Wood or plywood can be easily cut by bandsaw, machined with a router and sanded where necessary and take a sprayed paint finish. It can be laminated.

it is available in many sizes.

skodaman - 8/12/17 at 11:55 PM

I can't imagine what part of a Lewis gun you need this for but check out You Tube for what you can make from melting plastic milk bottles.

David Jenkins - 9/12/17 at 08:06 AM

Do you know anyone with a 3D printer? It would be perfect for parts up to a certain size, and they can be filled and painted to look like metal.

Of course, the parts would have to be drawn up on the computer so the printer can make them! This is the time-consuming part (which I quite enjoy).

UPDATE: Looks like someone's already done the design - Thingiverse. No idea how good and how printable this design is, though. Some of the parts look like they'd be hard to print properly - would require a skilled operator.

[Edited on 9/12/17 by David Jenkins]