Material suggestion?

(Anders Troberg) #1

I want a material that is somewhat sturdy (think thick cardboard), safe and easy to cut, easy to source, not too expensive, but a bit more lasting than cardboard. It needs to be able to be rolled into a tube of maybe 200-300 mm diameter.

I need it for some custom lamp shades for my house, where I intend to cut a pattern which leave nice shadows in the room.

Any ideas, other than thick cardboard?

(Allen Massey) #2

If you have a Home Depot or Lowes near you, the tempered hardboard is great stuff. 1/8 inch thick it is very sturdy and very easy to cut. Plus it’s less than $7 for a 4x8 foot sheet.

(Anders Troberg) #3

I’m in Sweden, so wrong continent. We do have stuff like that, though, in various variants, but I don’t think it’d hold up to being rolled into a 300 mm diameter tube. I use it for “flat projects”, though. Easy to engrave and cut, with a consistent quality.

(Allen Massey) #4

If you are bending material like that into a tight radius, then you would need to use the laser to make cuts about 1/16 inch deep across the back. The closer the partial cut lines are together the tighter the radius you can make.

(Anders Troberg) #5

Either that, or use thin plywood and boil it before bending. But, I was hoping for something simpler…

I’ve seen waxed cardboard used for packaging, but I don’t know where to find the stuff.

Another option is to use a good quality cardboard, and then place it in a sturdy frame.

Or build a rotary and simply buy the cardboard tube used when making concreted foundations or buy polypropylene sewage pipe, but, then again, then I’m past “keep it simple”.

(Rick James) #6

Googled “waxed cardboard sheets Sweden” - first link…


With expertise and experience going back to 1917, aPak offers the most advanced costomized solutions as well as a wide range of high quality standard products. When it comes to packaging, we work with all available materials such as corrugated cardboard, cardboard, VCI, plastics and combinations of these.

(Doug Fisher) #7

What about HIPS, high impact polystrene? Low power and multiple fast passes is the best way to cut. It usually comes in black or white. .040"/1 mm and.060"/1.5 mm are common. Don’t roll it very tight. You may have to let it sit in the sun to totally flatten again after unrolling (or reverse curl it). About $13 for a 4x8’ sheet here in the US

(Anders Troberg) #8

Googled “waxed cardboard sheets Sweden” - first link…

Yep, but that’s not the kind I was looking for. I’ve found it now, it’s used for floor protection when painting. That kind won’t roll well, it’ll crease.

(Anders Troberg) #9

What about HIPS, high impact polystrene?

I’ll see if I can find a local source for it.

(Doug Fisher) #10

Try to get a free sample first to make sure it will work for you. From your limited description it sounded like it might work for you and thus would be worth researching. Don’t pay lots of money on the product and shipping if you can’t test a sample first.

(David Fenton) #11

How about plastic laminate? I have used that for a variety of projects. It’s tough, rolls well at only 0.5mm thick, and comes in lots of colours. Should laser ok, although I haven’t tried it yet. common brand is Formica.

From a forum I use:

Let me know how you get on.



(Anders Troberg) #12

That could work. I’ll have to check if I can get it for a reasonable cost.

(Craig Thompson) #13

I think Formica would work. I buy 4x8 sheets and roll them up to carry home. White is the cheapest in my neck of the woods.

(Allen Massey) #14

Where do you find formica sheets? Home Depot has stopped selling them.

(THX) #15

I found them in the flooring section of the local Home Depot. When I asked everyone pointed me to the section with kitchen countertops, but I found the bare sheets while wandering around. They took up a lot of room so the stock probably overflowed into the other isle.