Anyone familiar with using Polybak on a laser cut project?

material

#1

I just learned of this through a project post and did a little investigation. Just curious if anyone has used it, what was the project and if there are any issues I should be wary of. I am thinking of using it as a backer to strengthen wood veneer. Thanks!

http://www.richwoodind.com/polybak.html


#2

The MSDS mentions hazardous decomposition products are CO and CO2, so it must not be PVC based. So that’s good. There may be some other hazard specific to laser use that is not obvious to me. They do mention dust hazard, so if you were planning to cut/drill/sand the stuff, appropriate precautions should be taken.


#3

If you check out this thread: Cool Star Wars scale model on Tested.com

I found a source for the stuff in small quantities, but they don’t seem to want to sell to the public.
Maybe @dan can take a look and see if it would be a good addition to the Proofgrade line.

There was at last one place I saw that said they sold polyback with veneer facing, but I can’t find the link right now.


#4

Thanks Team! Their website says that it’s safe to laser cut, just not sure about any other properties I should be aware of. Would love a sample pack of their products to test out.

Anyone else?


#5

Want. It’s apparently uniform, water-resistant, strong, and just on that edge of stiff and flexible.

I think I also want some Taskboard. Laserable and can be permanently bent/formed. Anyone worked with it?


Taskboard Masquerade Mask
#6

Here are a few links to polybak on veneer that I collected last night:

McFadden’s

Holdahl

wisewoodveneer These folks also have a “reconstituted” veneer which looks like it has potential for interesting effects.

Here, they have sheets & rolls of double sided adhesive which might come in handy. Artgrafix

@paulw thanks for sharing the link to the taskboard, looks like fun!


Cool Star Wars scale model on Tested.com
#7

Has anyone found a distributor of this stuff? I’d like to add it to my shop inventory.


#8

Seems like this stuff can only be purchased by lumber yards, from a distributor. You can’t buy it from Polybak, or a distributor directly.

That’s a huge drag. I spoke to a distributor this morning, and they said a business like a lumber company would have to buy it from THEM, and then you would buy it from the lumber company. They are sold in standard sheets of 49x97 and are less than 1/4" thick.

Sku # is PB6949x97

Hope that helps.


#9

It certainly sounds like something GF should consider for its selection of materials. And other companies that sell materials for laser cutting should also look into it.


#10

I have used task board with my jenky Chinese laser. It’s relatively easy to cut, but it doesn’t bend as much as one might hope (example: I cut out a mask and it had a moderate amount of trouble with the nose). What were you thinking of making with it?


Taskboard Masquerade Mask
#11

I’m not sure. I was thinking maybe masks, maybe also some fanciful vehicle bodies. But not if it doesn’t really bend. I was also thinking, though, that since I have a 3d printer I could try making dies for it. Or is that really stupid?


#12

Taskboard does sound really interesting, and not terribly expensive. Did you see their instructions page? They do mention that it bends more in one direction than the other. Since they show making tubes out of it, I would think that would indicate pretty good bending.


#13

You can try, I’d love to see a result out of it, but it didn’t give me one. Try working with it with scissors before you commit. Think of it as starchy cardboard… It’s not immune to tearing and even more so when it’s wet.


#14

Yes, I did. It’s bendy but it doesn’t render detail well. It’s very much like starchy cardboard as I mentioned above. It has potential, but you need to cut it like you would papercraft or it wrinkles and rips. It’s not stretchy either, obviously, so making a tube with a sheet is fine, but using it in a similar manner to, say, a vacuum forming plastic simply wouldn’t work. The mask was especially hard to make because faces are bowl-shaped and even cutting the task paper into an oval won’t allow it to make that shape. You’d have to make strategic cuts, and it may not end up looking how you’d like as a result.

Play with it with scissors before wasting laser time on it


#15

Awwww, nuts. Was hoping it was a bit more flexible. Thanks for the info!


#16

just saw this tiny house done with polybak on the Laser Engraving and Cutting group on facebook.

looks pretty well detailed for the scale.

this is what the user wrote there:

Tiny laser cut/engraved house. This is at the limit of what my 100W tube will do. Less power would be better in this case but my 80W machine is not hooked up at the moment. A 40W tube would be even better.
I will be stocking the material in the not too distant future. It is called Polybak and cuts like a dream. It is also cheaper than similar thickness plywood and takes paint better. It’s an industrial backer for laminate table tops and not normally sold in small amounts to the general public but I have taken a leap of faith and ordered a very large amount (close to a ton!). The house is made from 0.024".


#17

I just did a search and this place has veneered polyback at what looks to be good prices and a very good selection of woods.
http://www.homecraftveneer.com/default.aspx

I may have to get a couple sheets when the forge makes it here.


#18

My first thought when I looked at that picture was “Man that’s a big battery!”.