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  • Cutting sheet products

    I'm just starting out building some craftsman kits and trying to develop the needed skills. One of these is to accurately cut wood or plastic sheet goods. The three basic cuts I'm thinking about are 1) a straight cut, 2) a two sided interior cut (think of a "L", and 3) and interior box (think a window cut out).

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks- Jay

  • #2
    Jay,

    For straight cuts of sheet - a good steel straight edge and a sharp knife with a #11 blade. Personally I purchase #11's by the 100-pack and change blades often. More often than you think. [^]

    For the inside corners many folks use a right-angle punch. While not cheap Micromark has some nice ones.

    If the sheet is particularly dry then masking tape helps prevent splitting. :up:
    --Rich

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    • #3
      To what Rich said, let me add, "make several light passes, rather than one cut-through-the-first-time pass." Also, you can glue fine sandpaper onto the back of your straightedge (spray glue or transfer tape), which will help prevent the straightedge from moving. Don't use your good measuring ruler as a straightedge, it will mess up the ruler, and more importantly, they're usually so thin your knife is likely to slip and cut your fingers!

      dave
      Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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      • #4
        I agree with both Rich and Dave on all aspects of the above, but I also measure window openings then use a square to make sure they are perfectly square before cutting.

        Rich

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        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by Pennman


          I agree with both Rich and Dave on all aspects of the above, but I also measure window openings then use a square to make sure they are perfectly square before cutting.

          Rich


          And if you cut slightly inside the opening's perimeter lines, you can then carefully file out to the necessary dimension or until the insert fits the hole.

          Pete

          in Michigan

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the responses. I didn't know about a right-angle punch. Seems like it would handle the inside corners very nicely.

            -Jay

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            • #7
              Jay,

              When cutting styrene sheet you can score it a few times and finish the cut by bending and snapping it apart. Styrene particularly dulls blades quickly

              Mike
              _________________________________________________

              Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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              • #8
                Jay, take a look at the "ZONA" graphic artists knife. It is a razor knife. The blades last much longer then the No. 11 blades. I use this knife exclusively with balsa and bass woods. I also have a large collection of Exacto Knifes, but rarely use them.. As far as straight edges. There are rulers made for cutting with a handle in the middle.

                They are excellent. They are named "DUROEDGE".

                Both items are on Amazon, for about $14.00 for both...Worth a look at least..


                Ted

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                • #9
                  Ted probably bought his Duroedge 30 years ago.

                  Today's Amazon pricing is as follows.

                  8 inch 17.00

                  13.5 inch 24.00

                  19.5 inch 30.00

                  25.5 inch 44.00

                  ed

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                  • #10
                    An alternative to those scales is an aluminum triangle scale that Engineers use. Staedtler has one on Amazon for $6.51

                    Staedtler 12-Inches Engineer Aluminum Triangular Scale

                    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00094GVM8..._t1_B01MQSQJCJ

                    and another by OCM for $12.99 at

                    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MQSQJCJ...p_detail?psc=1
                    Tony Burgess

                    Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

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                    • #11
                      Some tools I buy are from Woodpeckers. These tools are all hand made using CNC machines, and are extremely accurate.

                      One I like is their T-square.

                      https://www.woodpeck.com/tsquare.html

                      They are a little expensive, but the quality is top notch. Watch their video, gives you a good idea on how they work. The 12" would be my choice for modeling, the longer ones for woodworking (which I also do).

                      They have a lot more tools of which many I use on my models only.

                      A good one I didn't know they has is:

                      A square:

                      https://www.woodpeck.com/641851.html

                      They also have a "one-time tool" which is a limited production. The last one I bought is their triangle:

                      https://www.woodpeck.com/4590sstriangles.html#3307

                      Just thought I'd share.
                      Tony Burgess

                      Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

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                      • #12
                        Tony, Good information. Thank you. A use the triangle most of the time.

                        ed

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                        • #13
                          quote:


                          Originally posted by ed k


                          Ted probably bought his Duroedge 30 years ago.

                          Today's Amazon pricing is as follows.

                          8 inch 17.00

                          13.5 inch 24.00

                          19.5 inch 30.00

                          25.5 inch 44.00

                          ed


                          Actually Edward', I bought it 3 years ago' 8 inch..$8.00 bucks. Amazon has been increasing their prices. How do think Jeff Bezos is now the richest man and King of the world'..

                          Tony, Woodpecker, nice stuff, but a little pricey for modeling'...


                          Ted

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                          • #14
                            ..........
                            Dave Mason
                            On30Kits.com

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                            • #15
                              That is the same one I use Dave'..works great and like you said...NO splitting'...Never'...And 0 Zero hand pressure required for cutting...


                              Ted

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