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RogerS

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Reading one of the US sites, the guy uses a sheet of what he calls foamboard underneath the sheet material that he's cutting as it supports the offcuts and protects the bench.

Looking at the pictures it appears to be much denser than our typical polystyrene foam sheets and is also faced off with some silver foil (not that that's particularly important but may help identify it). Size was 8 x 4 ft.

Seems like a cracker of a good idea to me but what would we call it?

Roger
 

MikeW

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Hi Roger, no help on the name over there I'm afraid.

What is used (which is why the foil back) is polystyrene foam insulation boards. In the US, these typically are purchased from a building supply or big box home supply center. Relatively inexpensive.
 
A

Anonymous

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The foam stuff is easily bought from sign makers. I bought a load of sheets for advertising recently and is was £20 for a big sheet (8x4')
 

Michael S

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I think Roger might be referring to this FWW article which, unfortunately, is no longer free :(

As I recall the author was using something which looked very like celotex as Jake suggested. You can get it from builders merchants.
 

trevtheturner

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Roger,

Kingspan (Pembridge, Herefordshire) insulation boards 'seconds' are shifted through Seconds & Co., Industrial Estate, Presteigne, Powys, LD8 2UF. I believe the boards come in various sizes, down from the max 8' x 4', tend to have only slight superficial damage, and are inexpensive.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

tibbs

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As an alternative, for not much more than the cost of a sheet of Celotex, I've found that 4 of those cheap mini pseudo workmates (e.g. £7.88 each from Toolstation http://www.toolstation.com/index.html?code=12739) can be arranged to support a sheet of 8x4 with a few clamps for almost any cut.

They're pretty cheap & cheerful, but fold up fairly flat when not in use. I think Screwfix & Axminster also do something similar for a bit more. Although they're supposed to be rated for 100Kg the tops are made of a fairly lightweight type of MDF (LDF ?) and you can't apply anything like 100Kg to the top via one buttock :oops:

Maybe worth considering as an alternative.

Richard
 

RogerS

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Good thought, Richard, particularly as I've just seen the price of one sheet! The advantage of using the sheet, as I see it, is that you can put your workpiece on top...any old how, you can rout down or in or through without worrying what you'll hit the other side and you don't need to worry about any damage to the faces of your workpiece.
 

tim

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Roger

As Trev said:

'seconds' are shifted through Seconds & Co., Industrial Estate, Presteigne, Powys, LD8 2UF. I believe the boards come in various sizes, down from the max 8' x 4', tend to have only slight superficial damage, and are inexpensive.
They are very cheap this way.

Cheers

Tim
 

dedee

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Roger,
did you get around to sourcing any of this?

I'm awaiting prices and min order quantities from Seconds and Co but I fear this will be palleted quantities only. Or course I'm keeping my eye out for skips.

I noticed in Tombo's TV cabinet thread he was using some "insulation blocks" and I was thinking that a 6" wide strip attached to some thin ply or mdf and laid on the floor would make cutting sheets of ply at the timber yard a lot easier than using trestles.

Andy
 

RogerS

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dedee":1ybq3vx5 said:
Roger,
did you get around to sourcing any of this?

I'm awaiting prices and min order quantities from Seconds and Co but I fear this will be palleted quantities only. Or course I'm keeping my eye out for skips.

I noticed in Tombo's TV cabinet thread he was using some "insulation blocks" and I was thinking that a 6" wide strip attached to some thin ply or mdf and laid on the floor would make cutting sheets of ply at the timber yard a lot easier than using trestles.

Andy
Hi Andy

No I never pursued them as I was only after the one sheet which I bought at the local Travis Perkins albeit at a steep price. But it's a superb base to cut sheet material on. Stiff enough that it doesn't need any strengthening at all.

I also have used fibreboard which doesn't last as long but is cheaper.
 

George_N

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Roger, have a look at this article in Popular Woodworking. The set-up consists of two knock-down saw horses and three 8ft 2x4s. I built this a couple of years ago and have used it lots...it works really well and stores easily. I now use a couple of Triton multistands rather than the saw horses to support the grid because the heads swivel down to almost vertical, which makes loading on a 8'x4' sheet very easy. I have a couple of 1" dowels that fit into the ends of the 4' wide cross members to support the sheet as it is swung back to the horizontal. It makes handling large and heavy sheets single handed much easier (possible at all). I hope that description makes some kind of sense.
 

RogerS

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Hi George. Yes, I saw that article. Still reckon my way is best. My sheet material lives leaned up against the wall. All the weight is carried by the floor. My foam board is outermost (but being light doesn't have to be). I simply lift the foamboard temporarily out of the way. Then pivot down the boards onto the floor until I get to the one before the one I need. Dead easy to do and NO heavy lifting at all.

Lay the foamboard down on top of the stack, then pivot down the board I am going to cut and away I go. Reverse the sequence to restack the boards against the wall. At no time do I ever have to physically lift a complete board or faff around setting up trestles or what have you...but each to their own I guess :D. Another benefit is that my board is supported everywhere automatically and at all times.
 

George_N

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Roger,
I don't have the floor space to do that. I have to set up outdoors so the tressle system works better for me and the workpiece is at a convenient height.
 

wrightclan

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Roger Sinden":1f6gtrp9 said:
...Another benefit is that my board is supported everywhere automatically and at all times.
So is the board when using George's system. I use an almost identical system. It's a bit more than just trestles. It is a grid that supports a full 8x4 sheet and you can cut through the sheet at any point, and still have all pieces supported. I've even extended mine at times to handle 4m sections of worktop. When you cut through, you set the blade to just score the grid. And when it gets too eaten up, you replace the long boards. Having said that, the foamboard idea works well too. It's just a little more cost effective in the States, where you got the idea from, as PU foam boards are more common and less expensive.

Brad
 
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