ABS is a great material for a wide range of interesting home decor and craft projects. ABS is a great substitute for wood in small projects where the item may come into contact with food and can be easily glued for a watertight seal that cannot be achieved with wood.
When it comes to working with plastic, your mind may automatically wander to mills and lathes. In a lot majority of situations, these machines are perfect to get the job done. In other situations, the use of a hand drill along with a hand coping saw - or more ideally, a small electric or pedal-operated Scroll Saw - allow you to cut intricate parts such as gears, children's toys or kitchen gadgets.
A Scroll Saw is a small machine that uses a small reciprocating blade - essentially a motorized coping saw - to cut materials. They are fairly simple to use and do not require any prior computer knowledge or machining experience to operate. One major advantage of a coping saw is that its blade can be removed and placed through a pre-drilled starting hole, allowing interior cutouts to be made without an entry slot. The use of plastic in this situation minimizes the amount of airborne dust. Many scroll saws offer illumination in the blade area, a tilting table that allows for easy and precise angled cuts, and variable-speed to allow working with all kinds of plastics and other materials. Scroll Saws come in many sizes, with variety of blades, but even a small machine with a 12 inch (300mm) distance between the blade and the throat can make many amazing projects. Before the age of computer-controlled machines, Scroll Saws were used in a large variety of industries. A good Scroll Saw can often be purchased pre-owned for $75-$125, while a good new one can cost upwards of $300. The more expensive saws are a lot more accurate, easier to maintain (i.e. changing the blade), and minimize vibration. Always check to see if you are comfortable and satisfied with your ability to insert and remove the blade in a Scroll Saw you are thinking of purchasing as this can be a fairly common occurrence depending on your projects.
In the coming weeks, the Plasti-Block team will be showing off their Scroll Saw creations and sharing plans for toys of interest, kitchen gadgets including serving trays, and many other fun projects that can make great heirloom plastic gift items as ABS is durable and beautiful.