1. If you follow the link in the last line of the description you will find a blog post. Paul says,

      “Sign plastic is available in many thicknesses. I use different thicknesses from 2 mm on down. 2 mm down to 1 mm can readily be planed, spokeshaved and knife cut. These thicknesses give sufficient rigidity to work with hand tools. ”

      So look for “Sign Plastic”.

    2. It looks to me like polystyrene. I work in a plastic factory and it has the behavioral properties of styrene, aside from getting it at the source I know my local hobby shop has sheets of it available. Possibly craft stores may carry it, I’m not sure about that though.

  1. Neat. I’ve used door skins for templates, but it’s hardly an optimal material. I really like your approach.

    It would be helpful if you could be a bit more specific about the type of “plastic” you are using. The term plastic is pretty generic and covers dozens of materials offered in sheet form. Not all of them will be useful for making simple templates. Most are offered in solid sheet form, and some are offered in expanded foam sheets as well.

    I’ll try polystyrene sheets, both solid and foamed, to see how they perform. But it would be nice to know what you’ve found to work so well.

    1. High Mike. This type of white polystyrene sheet is what is known as high impact polystyrene, usually referred to in the plastics industry as HIPS. Most of the model shops i have checked in the Cincinnati area offer only ;polystyrene foam… the kind used for matte backing for framing applications. Buying directly from manufactures or distributors is much less expensive that you can find on Amazon, unless you are buying rather small sizes.

      The main issue is min order requirements and shipping. I may have found a source in the US, and will let you know what I find out.

  2. A bit of a repeat question. As there are many types of plastics.
    A. What is the name of the plastic.
    B. What industry uses It.
    As it is a means of finding the said plastic.
    Ta Peter

  3. Thanks for this Paul – very inspiring, as always.

    It would be fascinating to have a video of your techniques for making various curves (like you did here with the compass point and the stick).

  4. I found a supplier in Canada for Sign Plastic (both styrene and ABS sheeting).
    4’x8′ sheets of styrene, various thicknesses and sizes. (e.g. 40mil (~1mm) for ~$26 dollars plus tax for pickup, extra for shipping)
    Multiple Canadian Locations (from BC to Newfoundland). I haven’t worked with any yet, can’t comment on the quality at this time.


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