How to Make Plastic Furniture

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Plastic furniture can have the same clean look as glass furniture but with greater durability. Plastic is highly impact resistant. Wood furniture tends to have heavier lines whereas plastic furniture has a more modern and sleek look. With a few basic techniques you can make simple plastic furniture inexpensively.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic
  • Gluing jig
  • Clamps (optional)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Solvent cement
  • Squeeze bottle applicator
  • Sandpaper (220- and 400-grit)
  • Plastic polishing compound
  • Design your piece of furniture by breaking it down into its constituent parts. A simple table could be a top with two sides that extend to the floor. Another table design might be a round top and base with a length of acrylic tube supporting the two pieces. Keep the design simple.

  • Measure the pieces you need to have cut by a plastic retailer. For a “U” shaped table you have a top and two sides. For a round table you have the diameter of the top and base and the diameter and length of the support tube.

  • Sand the cut edges of the plastic to remove any saw blade or cutting marks. Leave any protective film on the plastic to avoid accidentally scratching it. Use a 220-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth edge for joining the plastic. Use finer grit sandpaper (400- to 600-grit) on any edges that will be polished. Wipe down all the material with a 100 percent cotton cloth to remove debris.

  • Fill the squeeze bottle applicator half way full of solvent cement. Remove any protective film from the cut plastic. With the “U” shaped table, attach the supports to the bottom surface of the table top. Clamp or double stick tape your gluing jig at a 90 degree angle so it holds the support in place. Line up the face of the table top with the sanded edge of the support. Run a thin line of cement along the inside joint where the two pieces meet. Allow it to dry for an hour and repeat the process on the other side. For round tables, center the acrylic tube on the circular top and glue. A gluing jig is not necessary. Repeat the process for the bottom piece.

  • Apply the polish to the exposed edges until you achieve a glass-like finish. Allow the table to sit for at least 36 hours before putting any weight on it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The fewer pieces there are the easier and less expensive the project is to build.
  • You can have the edges of your pieces routed to save time on sanding.
  • Never use solvent cement on plastic that has been flame polished because it can develop tiny cracks when the glue is applied.

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References

  • Photo Credit Red patio furniture image by Scott Latham from Fotolia.com
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