Working With Polystyrene.

Polystyrene is a very underused material in the workshop but can be used to great effects. Here are some of the reasons why you might consider using it;

  • It is very cheap; a 1200 x 500 x 50mm block will cost £15, far cheaper than using timber.
  • It is very quick to work and can be worked to a clean, smooth finish; it can be routed, cut with a saw, used on the band saws, table saw, sanding disks, belt sanders, pad sanders, bobbin sanders (everything you might work timber with plus the hot wires). And will work much much faster than timber.
  • It is uniform; unlike timber that might have knots or splits all of the sheet will be the same and if a mistake is made it is far easier and quicker to rectify than timber.
  • It’s clean, white and neutral; I personally feel that Polystyrene makes a great site model, by modelling the existing site in a clean white it allows your scheme or intervention to be clear and uncluttered, occasionally the grain of timber when used on site models can make them busy and distracting (examples of this to follow shortly).
  • It’s light weight; site models can be really heavy and have to be stored flat, but a polystyrene model is very light and can be kept upright or on the top of a shelf.