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Nice “short form” Instructable from user mfoster, who cuts up milk jugs and cleans and dries the pieces before heating them to 350°F, loose, in a pot of canola oil. The temperature is monitored with a candy thermometer. The HDPE pieces soften into a clear “gel” at this temperature, but do not come apart, and are removed from the hot oil with a slotted spoon. They are transferred to a simple press made from a few scraps of lumber, and the press is closed and operated using a set of three manual clamps. The cooled blocks can be shaped with normal woodworking tools.

Making Blocks out of HDPE milk jugs

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.

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