Plastic Moulding - Replacing A Broken Lid

plasticmoulding3_thumb.jpgAlas! The plastic lid on one of my kitchen jugs broke.

This snap-on lid was one of the main reasons for buying it - as it makes the jug useful for storing leftover gravy or custard in the fridge.

So I set about making a replacement - out of my new favourite material - recycled HDPE.


plasticmoulding3_2.jpgI needed to make a mould - so I drew around the lid onto a piece of spare softwood.

I also drew around a suitably-sized roll of tape to make a circular piece for the centre. It later turned out that this piece was too thick (it would have made the inner indentation protrude too far into the jug), so I cut it again, out of thinner fibreboard.

plasticmoulding3_3.jpgI cut out the shapes with an electric jig saw and assembled everything onto a base.

I chiselled out an indentation for the handle of the jug.

plasticmoulding2_3.jpgI melted the plastic on my sandwich toaster between two sheets of reusable nonstick baking liner, as detailed in other pages on this topic.

I pressed it thinner than usual, as I didn't want to make a lid that's too thick, and also, thicker material tends to suffer worse problems with shrinkage on cooling.

plasticmoulding3_4.jpgAfter heating the plastic circle until very soft and pliable, I peeled away the nonstick lining and draped the hot plastic over the top of the wooden mould.

Working quickly, I pressed the jug down on top of the plastic sheet, forcing it to the right shape. I used a screwdriver to gather up some of the worst of the puckering at the edges.

I kept the jug pressed down until I was sure the plastic had finished solidifying, then left it in place for an hour to cool.

I clamped a batten to my workbench, then used this as a thickness guide to cut all the way around the lid with a hacksaw.

The saw blade tended to wander a little, but fortunately, only in the direction of the waste material - so I was able to trim it back further with files afterwards.

plasticmoulding3_5.jpgA little further filing, trimming and sanding, and the lid was finished.

plasticmoulding3_6.jpgHere it is alongside the original.

And the proof of the pudding - it fits with a satisfying snap onto the jug - it's probably not a completely air and water tight seal, as HDPE is more rigid than the original, which was a sort of hard synthetic rubber, but I'm really happy with this result.



This project was a success and it got me thinking - maybe I should make lids for other things that never even had lids to start with - for example, my pyrex jugs...


1. On Thursday, December 27, 2012, 09:06 by KaveyEats

That's utterly cool! And the colours are so pretty, much more attractive than the original lid. I'd never have thought to do something like this. Very impressed!

2. On Thursday, January 10, 2013, 20:21 by MeaganJo

I have to say this is a wonderful idea and now I know what to do if I ever run into a similar problem. Thank you!

3. On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 21:39 by Riddlywalker

thought you'd like Jane Atfields chair- made from an early version of manufactured waste HDPE boar;

4. On Sunday, May 17, 2015, 21:28 by glynis

It looks better than the original :)

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