How to Process Recycled Plastic Lumber
In recent years, plastic lumber has become an increasingly popular building material, and not just in artificial grass installation.
Made from recycled plastic, it does not rot, and is environmentally friendly, low-maintenance and easy to process.
This means that it offers many advantages for use in a variety of garden and building projects such as decking, fencing, benches and play equipment.
From an artificial lawn installation point of view, using plastic lumber is a great way to form a perimeter edge restraint. It is strong enough to support the sub-base materials and the biggest advantage it offers over timber edging is that it does not rot.
Although plastic lumber is easy to process, and in many ways can be processed in the same way that wood can, there are a few key differences. In today’s article we offer up some tips on how to process plastic lumber for a quick and easy installation.
How to Drill Recycled Plastic Lumber
When fixing or bolting recycled profiles together, the profile to be fastened should be pre-drilled. When drilling plastic lumber, you should always use a low drilling speed.
Spiral bits with a helix angle from 20° to 30° and a peak angle from 110° to 120° can almost always be used.
It is also recommended that you use relaxation strokes occasionally when drilling to large driller depths to avoid high frictional heat.
How to Saw or Cut Recycled Plastic Lumber
Recycled plastic lumber can be sawn quickly and easily using a handsaw, the same as you would with real wood.
You can also use circular saws or chop saws. For best results, we recommend using saws with slightly crossed teeth, preferably carbide tipped. As with drilling, we recommend using a slow sawing speed to avoid high frictional heat.
When cutting plastic lumber, to avoid smearing the plastic, remove any shavings quickly.
How to Plane Recycled Plastic Lumber
You can also use a standard plane to process plastic lumber. The surface is mainly dependent on the feed rate, cutting speed, clearance and cutting angle, and the condition of the machining blade.
How to Rout Recycled Plastic Lumber
Plastic lumber can also be processed using a router. To keep the machining heat low we recommend that the span cross-section is as large as possible. Again, it’s best to keep the cutting speed low, but with a high feed rate and depth of cut. For best results use a router with indexable carbide inserts.
General Tips for Processing Recycled Profiles
-Do not use an angle grinder on recycled plastic lumber as their high cutting speed makes them unsuitable.
-When fixing or bolting recycled profiles together, the profile to be fastened should be pre-drilled.
-When profiles butt up against each other, leave a gap to allow for expansion.
-Recycled plastic can be nailed, both conventionally and using a nail gun, although not as easily as wood.
-When machining plastic lumber use carbide-tipped tools to avoid higher tool wear.
-When compared to wood or metal, plastic has a lower stiffness and greater flexibility. This needs to be considered when planning distance between supports for decking systems or fencing.
Processing plastic lumber for your artificial grass edging needn’t take any longer than dealing with other similar materials, such as timber.
Opting for plastic lumber means that you’ll enjoy many benefits over timber, and you can rest assured that when coupled with high quality artificial turf, your lawn will perform just as good as it looks.
If you’re considering buying plastic lumber for artificial grass, then you can do so here.
If you have any other questions regarding recycled plastic lumber, then why not leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.