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work table top

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by wes70, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    Getting ready to build another work table and was looking too see what most use for their work surfaces?
    My old 4x8 table has a sheet of 1/4" hdpe (puckboard) and has been working well for the past 3 years. The problem is the new table will be 5x10 and I can't find / purchase hpde in that size.
    From checking old posts there seems to be a preference for glass. I'm not keen on cutting mats as I have had one in the past and it couldn't handle the "heavy" cuts. Has any one used acrylic or polycarb for a work surface?
     
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  2. Greg Kelm

    Greg Kelm Member

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    Glass makes a nice cutting surface but can be scratched as well. 5x10 piece of glass will not be cheap! Have plenty of support under it, because it does flex.
     
  3. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    LDPE we special order pallets in 5x10. Acrylic or poly I think will scratch your prints after you cut on them a couple times.
     
  4. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    Yikes! Glass is around $1300 a sheet (Canadian)! That's one option eliminated.

    I have a supplier that has 5x8 hdpe sheets for $125.00 but it's only 1/8" thick...but it may have to do.
     
  5. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    1" MDF come in 5x10 at most lumber yards/building supply. we have 12 tables that are 5x10 and built this way.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Are they for print production or fabrication? I think he's making a 'vinyl table'
     
  7. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    I will be using 3 sections of 3/4" plywood 2 - 5x4's and 1- 5x1. I have the plywood in stock. Looking for a cutting / work surface to go on top of the plywood.
     
  8. wleong

    wleong Member

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    Wouldn’t LDPE be too soft?

    In the end, it seems you would still need a cutting mat to provide a smooth surface or opt for tempered glass which would be heavy.
     
  9. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    We use LDPE all the time. It's basically the same as those cutting mats just not quite as nice but I can do 5 LDPE sheets before I pay for the one cutting mat. LDPE on top of rolls roller table.

    Also on our wood masking tables.
     
  10. wleong

    wleong Member

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    How thick is the LDPE? Where do you special order from?
     
  11. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    See if any of your local glass companies have damaged glass they can't sell.Guy here has some glass that has scale on it that can't be removed without the labor cost ending up more than the sheet. They let them go cheap - saves the labor time needed to smash them down into small enough pieces to go into the dumpster.
     
  12. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    Just sent an email to
    I called a couple...no such luck for tempered glass that size.
     
  13. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Ahh, too bad - maybe we just get low quality glass here along with tropical humidity and temperatures.
    Glass ends up with a white mold looking pattern that can't be removed. Doesn't bother anything when the glass is used as a table top.
     
  14. finish it with a self healing mat
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    we use MDF 5x10x3/4 for the base and then put a piece of PVC 5x10x12mm for the surface.
    gets and takes a lot of abuse.
    when we notice burs, we take a razor and "shave" the surface smooth again,
    flip it over for side 2.
    Toss and order a new piece as needed.

    don't like using glass, dulls blades too easy
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    None of my suppliers carry 12mm 5x10 pvc, just 3mm, a little too thin for cutting on but the price is right
     
  18. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    I wish that was in Canadian dollars! A 5x10 Rhino mat is $500 here.

    Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. Found a local plastic supplier that can supply me with a 5x10 1/8” hdpe sheet for $122. So I ordered it.
     
  19. Sindex Printing

    Sindex Printing Member

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    We have 2 4 x 8 tables. One with a pvc board the other one has tempered glass. (The glass only cost us around $450. 5x10 would have been $525) for the glass we went to a local glass shop to get the glass. The only down side that I have with the glass top is that I go through a lot of blades the last 6 years.
     
  20. Boss Cat

    Boss Cat New Member

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    For my work tables I build them out of steel and have them on rollers (everything is on rollers even the old shear) For the top I like to use .040, you can cut on it and it doesn't go all that deep until you go over the same place many times. After a while I just take a razor scraper to the damaged areas and it's pretty smooth again. When that side becomes too damaged, I just flip it over and have a fresh new side to work with. I hang the edge of the .040 about an 1/8" over the side and use a break blade to make most of my cuts so I've been able to use one sheet for about 6 years. You don't have to use an expensive 5x10 base sheet, I just used scrap MDO or 3/4" plywood and lay the .040 sheet right on top. My designer has to have the self healing mat so I built him his own table. We can even roll them end to end and have a long table for wraps and banners as long as the floor is level.
     
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