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Can you recommend a UK supplier for good quality "mill board"?

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John Smith 4704/06/2021 00:54:44
206 forum posts
11 photos

Hello

Can any of you recommend a UK supplier for good quality "mill board"?

(Clue: My understanding is that "mill board" is very much like grey board, but it is a virgin material and tends to be very much stronger. It is recyclable and it does not have to toxic/carcinogenic chemicals contained in MDF)

I need a thickness of about 1400 or 1300 microns (1.4 or 1.3mm) thickness. I have found some good stuff by the supplier has a Minimum Order Value of £330!

It is for a model-making project. Grey board is WAY too soft.

Many thanks

J

Bill Phinn04/06/2021 01:51:17
562 forum posts
86 photos

I've been using mill board from various sources for twenty-five years, but don't know of any UK supplier who currently sells it in 1.3mm or 1.4mm thickness or insists on a minimum order of £330. Maybe the minimum order is because you have requested a non-standard thickness.

Since you've come here for information, perhaps you'd be good enough to return the compliment and inform us who the supplier you're referring to is and provide a link to the product, regardless of whether the company is based in the UK or elsewhere.

Packmule04/06/2021 06:57:16
115 forum posts
6 photos

Hi John,

Woolies have milboard @ £17.80 per sheet. It is thicker at 2.3mm 

millboard

Edited By Packmule on 04/06/2021 06:58:55

Ron Laden04/06/2021 07:00:55
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2236 forum posts
443 photos

Don't know what it's intended for but have you considered Birch Ply it goes down to 0.4mm thickness wise.

JasonB04/06/2021 07:42:14
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21315 forum posts
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Could you not use a good quality "6 sheet" mount board as that comes out 1.4mm and is a lot more solid than grayboard. I've not knowingly used Millboard so can't compare the two.

There are quite a few paper and card modelling forums, may be worth asking on those what they use and from where.

Edited By JasonB on 04/06/2021 08:10:47

Ady104/06/2021 08:02:09
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4689 forum posts
713 photos

"Due to the bulk of these millboards shipping overseas may be prohibitive"

Now that's a proper caveat

Is it possible to buy 2.3 mm and thin it down? (assuming small piece use)

John Smith 4704/06/2021 09:37:27
206 forum posts
11 photos

Fwiw, the supplier who's mill board is excellent quality with a MOV of £330 is Limehouse Board Mills. Their stuff is good but their MOV is a deal breaker.

A thickness of 1.5mm would be my absolute maximum.

Birch ply is a good suggestion if all else fails, but it's basically too expensive. Fwiw, it seems as you go below 3mm thick birch ply gets more and more expensive per square metre! Some sources of it seems much more rigid than others. Sometimes its can be rather directional too. Do you have any particularly good sources?

Yes, I've tried various types of "mount board" (whatever the technical difference is I don't really know!) but they are seem fairly weak. Do you have any brand that you would particularly recommend as being stronger than most?[Fwiw, my quick & dirty test is to see how easily a board creases between 2 fingers and a thumb!]

Ady1 - no, there would be zero chance of thinning it down - the areas require are too large. I wouldn't be shipping it overseas - just UK mainlaind.

If pushed, another option I might use would be a good quality (i.e. rigid & strong!) "Tawny Board" - Double-sided Kraft paper lined grey board", which Limehouse can supply - but same MOV! But if so it must strong stuff and be between 1300 and 1400 microns (abs max 1500microns) in thickness.

TVM

J



Steambuff04/06/2021 09:51:02
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517 forum posts
7 photos

Hi,

What type of model are you making and what size/scale?

Have you thought about Plastikard (Slaters) this comes in various sizes.

Dave

Edited By Steambuff on 04/06/2021 09:51:22

Michael Gilligan04/06/2021 09:53:40
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18734 forum posts
916 photos

Well at least we now know what’s special about Millboard:

a49ecc8f-ef4f-43d0-8ebf-a62783b9f508.jpeg

MichaelG.

.

Edit: This may be more cost-effective than buying the current [2003] version of the standard:

ftp://ftp.iks-jena.de/mitarb/lutz/standards/dstan/13/184/00000100.pdf

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 04/06/2021 10:00:41

Bill Phinn04/06/2021 10:22:06
562 forum posts
86 photos

You can get excellent quality mill board in 1.5mm thickness from several UK suppliers, in some cases with a minimum order of only half a sheet.

FWIW, I gave you the names of these suppliers in a previous thread of yours.

SillyOldDuffer04/06/2021 10:37:57
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7482 forum posts
1657 photos

I think John may have to experiment to find exactly what he wants. 'Millboard' isn't a particular material, rather it's a generic name for a finishing, trimming or cladding product that can be made in different ways from different materials. A quick search found Millboard made of selected oak, 'wood free Millboard', Millboard made of recycled materials, and Millboard containing polyurethane, which John might consider toxic.

Whether or not an individual Millboard is 'good quality' when used for an off-piste purpose like modelling is anybody's guess. It would help to know much more about John's application, for example we only know it has to be 'strong stuff', which is meaningless in engineering terms. Does it have to bend round a particular radius, be hard or tough, resist tension, or tearing, or whatever? Does it matter if the material is brittle, or isn't waterproof? Etc, etc. John mentions millboard is recyclable: is that a requirement or an observation?

In engineering it's best to defer deciding what the solution is for as long as possible; that is don't start by deciding the answer, and work back from that. (In this case 'good quality Millboard, what Brand should I buy', when perhaps the answer is tinplate, fibreglass, or vacuum formed plastic.) Better to clearly identify the requirement, identify options that meet it, and only then chose one. At the moment only John knows what he has in mind, and why one product would be more suitable than another. For example, what is it exactly about the Limehouse Mills product that makes it's specification more suitable than other millboards?

Dave

Andrew Entwistle04/06/2021 10:43:05
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101 forum posts
200 photos

If you could go down to 1.2mm then would fibreglass PCB material do the job? Standard thicknesses are 0,4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.6, 2.0, 2.4. It can be ordered machined to the desired dxf profile (usually 0.4 mm minimum radius) from a PCB manufacturer (JLCPCB, PCBWay) for as little as £10 for 5 off 100 mm x 100 mm.

Andrew.

Michael Gilligan04/06/2021 12:31:48
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18734 forum posts
916 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 04/06/2021 10:37:57:

I think John may have to experiment to find exactly what he wants. 'Millboard' isn't a particular material, rather it's a generic name for a finishing, trimming or cladding product that can be made in different ways from different materials. […]

.

Hence my enthusiasm for the DEF-STAN

MichaelG.

Paul L04/06/2021 12:43:14
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69 forum posts
24 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 04/06/2021 10:37:57:

I think John may have to experiment to find exactly what he wants. 'Millboard' isn't a particular material, rather it's a generic name for a finishing, trimming or cladding product that can be made in different ways from different materials. A quick search found Millboard made of selected oak, 'wood free Millboard', Millboard made of recycled materials, and Millboard containing polyurethane, which John might consider toxic.

Whether or not an individual Millboard is 'good quality' when used for an off-piste purpose like modelling is anybody's guess. It would help to know much more about John's application, for example we only know it has to be 'strong stuff', which is meaningless in engineering terms. Does it have to bend round a particular radius, be hard or tough, resist tension, or tearing, or whatever? Does it matter if the material is brittle, or isn't waterproof? Etc, etc. John mentions millboard is recyclable: is that a requirement or an observation?

In engineering it's best to defer deciding what the solution is for as long as possible; that is don't start by deciding the answer, and work back from that. (In this case 'good quality Millboard, what Brand should I buy', when perhaps the answer is tinplate, fibreglass, or vacuum formed plastic.) Better to clearly identify the requirement, identify options that meet it, and only then chose one. At the moment only John knows what he has in mind, and why one product would be more suitable than another. For example, what is it exactly about the Limehouse Mills product that makes it's specification more suitable than other millboards?

Dave

Why do I get the feeling that whatever is suggested will not be suitable?

john halfpenny05/06/2021 13:07:03
185 forum posts
25 photos

Traditional millboard, as formerly made by eg Jacksons of Bourne End, was a paper based dense material and quite difficult to cut. It was typically used until the 1970s for parcel shelves and untrimmed door cards for cars and trucks. Usually plain grey on one side and slightly embossed on the other with a hard wearable finish. Woolies sell the best alternative that I have found, but the term now encompasses a variety of substances.

John Smith 4710/06/2021 19:55:42
206 forum posts
11 photos

I have been off-grid, hence the delay in responding.

Yes, I have already experimented with a wide variety of materials.

MY REQUIREMENTS

1. I need a material that is as broadly "eco-friendly" as possible.
"Grey board" (being made from some kind of recycled paper/"dead trees" is the default material for hardback books and the like but it is way too soft and creases permanently very easily. "Mill board" appears to be a virgin material that is a much better engineering material. Yes, there are many different grades - I am open to suggestions. From what I can see most suppliers just seem to call it "mill board".

2. Thickness: The walls have to be made up from 2 layers of material bonded together. The total wall thickness must be no more than 3.0mm, ideally more like 2.6 to 2.8mm thick... Hence each layer should be about 1.25 to 1.5mm thick. Any smaller or any larger will be of no use to me.

One complicating factor is that for added strength and durability I may possibly bond a layer of craft paper, or 'eco-friendly' (recyclable/biodegradable) film onto the base material.

APPLICATION
Since you ask, my application is that I am creating a sort of A4+ sized box for indoor, room temperature use. I have already tried plywood but when you get less then 3mm thick the price seems to go through the roof. Also some plywood grades seem to be vastly more flexible than others of the same thickness.

For our 'box' structure to more rigid and generally strong the better. But resisting permanent damage through bending non-elastically is much more important. i.e. It is fine to be somewhat elastic/flexible if necessary, but it is not fine to be brittle nor to crease/crumple/wrinkle when bent.

If all else fails, I would also consider "Tawny Board" i.e. Kraft double-lined greyboard. The craft paper lining on both sides seems to greatly help the overall strength of the material.

All suggestions much appreciated.

J

Bill Phinn10/06/2021 20:11:34
562 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 10/06/2021 19:55:42:

Since you ask, my application is that I am creating a sort of A4+ sized box for indoor, room temperature use. I have already tried plywood but when you get less then 3mm thick the price seems to go through the roof. Also some plywood grades seem to be vastly more flexible than others of the same thickness.

For our 'box' structure to more rigid and generally strong the better. But resisting permanent damage through bending non-elastically is much more important. i.e. It is fine to be somewhat elastic/flexible if necessary, but it is not fine to be brittle nor to crease/crumple/wrinkle when bent.

If all else fails, I would also consider "Tawny Board" i.e. Kraft double-lined greyboard. The craft paper lining on both sides seems to greatly help the overall strength of the material.

All suggestions much appreciated.

J

For your box, two layers of AFBG13 looks to be what you want:

https://www.johnpurcell.net/arcbox.html

It is used by the British Library and other major institutions for their archival box work.

I did link some time ago to Purcell's in the hope that you would detail your requirements to them and get appropriate suggestions back.

Frankly, if Purcell's can't supply what you need in the way of board, no-one can.

SillyOldDuffer10/06/2021 20:47:37
Moderator
7482 forum posts
1657 photos

Posted by John Smith 47 on 10/06/2021 19:55:42:

...

For our 'box' structure to more rigid and generally strong the better. But resisting permanent damage through bending non-elastically is much more important. ...

All suggestions much appreciated.

J

Thin and strong means suggests sheet metal, reinforced as necessary by metal angle.

  • Tinplate for cheapness
  • Aluminium for lightness and good electrical conductivity, think radio chassis.
  • Brass for looks, corrosion resistance, brazing/soldering

They can all be papered or painted...

Dave

Michael Gilligan10/06/2021 20:50:31
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18734 forum posts
916 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 10/06/2021 19:55:42:

[…]

"Mill board" appears to be a virgin material ...

.

I feel obliged to ask : Did you read the DEF-STAN ?

MichaelG.

Roger Best12/06/2021 14:17:08
293 forum posts
31 photos

This is hilarious.

I think I will stick to shoeboxes and box files for my document storage. laugh

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