Would it not be cheaper to make it from scrap wood and veneer? I think doing so might significantly lower the costs.
I think this idea of replacing the plastic with wood would remove the need of an expensive piece of machinery and of using electricity to power it. If it can be done with a knife, a saw, an axe and a hammer, then a lot more disadvantage (a.k.a. dirt poor) people will be able to afford them and use them to improve their living conditions.