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Recycled plastic wood

Started by TG, Mar 05, 2019, 07:56 pm

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TG

I've been investigating recycled plastic timber (not composite wood) with the idea of a second full-size outside build. It's produced in a lot of different sizes for use in fencing and garden furniture.
It seems to have a nice texture and looks a bit concrete-y in grey  :)
This sort of thing:
TG_outer_plastic_shell.jpg

It appears quite heavy but it cuts ok with a circular chop saw - and it's fine to screw and drill (I got a sample).

Has anyone worked with this? do you know if it twists or keeps its shape, expands/shrinks more that timber?
Any obvious downsides that I'm missing?

Thank you for your help!

ps. I do quite fancy a monochrome build, like it looked on the telly

Davros Skaro

Check the price of it. Here in Australia it is more expensive than normal timber.

Chris.
Chris.

Volpone

DISCLAIMER: I have no actual experience with plastic wood and I haven't really read anything on it either.  So what I'm about to say is strictly my reasoning:  Shouldn't warp, shouldn't expand or shrink noticeably.  Shouldn't rot.  I think it's fairly resistant to UV radiation.  It seems to me like it would be slightly harder to work with than wood.  The other downside I can think of (and yeah, price might be a downside, I dunno) is that it's not *real* wood.  So if you're a snob or fancy, you might turn your nose up at a plastic deck. 

When I renovated my old house, I had to put on some exterior siding.  Apparently it's hard to find the classic, conventional wood siding I'm familiar with but the Lowe's people steered me towards this Hardiboard cement siding.  It's thinner than wood but looks much nicer than vinyl (IMO).  Also 1/3 of the cost of cedar siding, IIRC.  I did wind up destroying a power miter blade for the project (they make a ceramic cutting blade, but a wood blade will get the job done if it's a small job and you're willing to buy a new blade when you're done) and you have to use special nails when you put it up, but it was very simple to work with, looked very sharp (again, IMO) and will never ever rot. 

Which is a long way of saying plastic wood would probably be a great choice.  Shoot, you could use Hardibacker instead of plywood and you'd have a TARDIS that would be impervious to decay.  The fasteners would rust before the material failed. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

TG

Quote from: Davros Skaro on Mar 05, 2019, 10:20 pm
Check the price of it. Here in Australia it is more expensive than normal timber.
Chris.

Yes, a good point, it is more expensive here too, considering it's made out of waste rubbish.

Volpone - I will investigate the Hardiboard, fibre cement board, looks a really good alternative to ply.

Quote from: Volpone on Mar 06, 2019, 05:48 am
... The fasteners would rust before the material failed. 

I hadn't even though of that! the fasteners would need to be long lasting too.

Oh, I just got an email back from a company that produces it, they said that painting it is very tricky and not recommended - because the product is graffiti proof.

So that's a no for recycled plastic wood then  :-\

Thank you for your help!

Volpone

Hadn't thought of the paint.  

This is the stuff I've used to patch a couple spots of rotted plywood on my TARDIS:  https://www.jameshardie.com/products/hardiebacker-cement-board

This is the siding: https://www.jameshardie.com/products/hardieplank-lap-siding

The siding, I think, would be too thin to be useful on a TARDIS.  And the backer board would be too difficult to work with for the cornerposts, etc.  And then there's the roof...  

Actually, back when I was building mine, I briefly explored some kind of shower stall floor for a weatherproof roof, but I never found one that met my needs.  
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

kutan66

Have you heard of Tricoya MDF?     Its described as an 'extreme' exterior grade MDF, guaranteed for 50 years!

Volpone

That is intriguing!  Looks like it is still fairly new in the US.  Be interesting to see how it prices out.
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

TG

Thanks kutan66, this Tricoya Extreme looks really interesting! Waterproof, suitable for outdoor use and as you say, a 50 year guarantee! It is v.expensive though (about 8 to 10 times the cost of MDF !!).

They describe it as "incredibly dimensionally stable" which sounds brilliant (presuming it doesn't prevent it being dimensionally transcendental  :-\)

Now all I need is a few sheets of this...and mverta's CNC file... ;)

Osric

Here in the northeastern US, a lot of folks are using Azek PVC materials as trim on houses:
https://azekexteriors.com/

It's about 2x the price of pine per linear foot and a little less than cedar. It's easy to paint and readily available at home improvement stores, so it's becoming common outside of historic districts. I think it could be great to make a weatherproof box!

Volpone

Apr 22, 2019, 02:36 pm #9 Last Edit: Apr 22, 2019, 02:37 pm by Volpone
Also interesting.  Of course I can't push my brain past 1990s technology vinyl siding, so I'd have to see it to get sold on it.  But then again I wasn't particularly thrilled with the idea of Hardiplank until I had to use it on a project and now I think it's pretty nifty (apart from destroying your sawblade and requiring special nails).
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.