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Thread: ? about UHMW

  1. #1
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    Question ? about UHMW

    A friend and I are going into a mini-business venture making gunstock, and other, duplications. We both have Terrco 200 Dupli-Carvers with the gunstock extensions. I also have a 200 without the extensions. For gunstocks we need tracer styluses that are slightly over sized from the matching cutter. To get these, I suggested using UHMW, putting a shaft in the back of a piece then machining down to dimension and shape needed. Sounded like a plan. I bought 20 feet of 1" stock. Friend put some on the machine lathe and immediately we had a problem. This stuff does not machine cleanly. Even at the slow speed of a machine lathe it gums up and melts something awful. Truth be known, I had never even seen UHMW before buying this but, from what I had read, believed it was hard as woodpecker lips and highly machinable. We both believe what I got was nylon by mistake. Enneybody here familiar with the characteristics of UHMW? Any ideas what I can do with almost 20 feet of 1" soft white 'stuff'?
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  2. #2
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    It's most likely UHMW. You can handplane UHMW like butter and it will distort fairly easily under screw pressure if tightened too hard. Other than brief runs through a TS blade I've never machined it to the point that heat started melting it but it doesn't surprise me. It makes pretty fair router sub-bases and TS runners but not at 1" thick. Wish I could be more help.
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  3. #3
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    Frank, my experience goes along with Dougís. UMHW is not hard, in fact Nylon might actually be harder. Iíve turned a lot of different plastic type materials, if I were turning UMHW I would choose a high RPM (1500-2000) and a high speed tool bit with strong negative rake.
    But, I also think you should be able to machine it on a wood lathe using a normal chisel and get good results.
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  4. #4
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    Frank have you thought about trying Delrin rod? it machines well and is durable. US Plastics is a good supplier
    Charles

  5. #5
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    frank, for stylusus, stylie?........why not use aluminum or brass? if you`re using a wood template and are worried about abrading it turn some from bois`darc or maple......
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    Delrin is what you want, they make crash bobbins or sliders for motorcycles out of it, hard, but slippery.

    UHMW is soft, good for certain things but difficult to machine, as you found out
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. I bought the UHMW because I thought it was a very hard, machinable, material. Obviously I was wrong. I can still turn it on my wood lathe. Tod, making the styluses (styli ?) a tad oversized is for inlets on gunstocks. If made even slightly oversize they would look lousy and ruin a fine stock and cost me, builder and maybe even customer a lot of money and aggravation. By making the stylus slightly large, the inlet is cut a bit undersize and the builder/gunsmith can (must) then fit precisely by hand. I'm sure Delrin would work. I have used a lot of it for other projects but it isn't all that different in hardness/softness than this stuff I have. Now to figure out what to do with 20' of white rod. I'm sure I could sell it to penturners. Many of those guys like trying almost any material for penmaking.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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