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Aluminium Composite cutter

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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Aluminium Composite cutter

We have an Excalibur 5000 but don't think it is very good, it's very hard to keep it cutting square and it doesn't cut a very straight line, has anyone got a better piece of cutting equipment? We have thought about a wall mounted panel saw, has anyone tried this?
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:17 pm

I could be wrong, but I thought that the Excalibur isn't for cutting composite - the
SteelTrak is more suitable, as it has a different cutting head.
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:21 pm

I know someone who has a Steeltrak but they have similar problems.
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:09 pm

As long as you take the time to set your steel track up square and do not try to cut less than an inch off they are very good !
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Post Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:42 pm

I've got a wall mounted panel saw & although it is good at what it does it produces a lot of dust no matter what type of material you are cutting. I have an area of the workshop for messy work which is where the saw lives to try & prevent the spread of the dust it produces.
Difficult to cut small bits of material square so those get cut on the table saw.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:57 am

Martin wrote:I've got a wall mounted panel saw & although it is good at what it does it produces a lot of dust no matter what type of material you are cutting. I have an area of the workshop for messy work which is where the saw lives to try & prevent the spread of the dust it produces.
Difficult to cut small bits of material square so those get cut on the table saw.


martin,on your table saw how fine a blade do you use??
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:11 pm

I have asked this question myself a few times and there is no easy answer. We started out using a keencut Javelin (yes i know this is not meant for cutting composite sheets), but the cut is never straight, straight and we spent so much time filing and sanding the edges We were going to buy a steeltrak, but then found out you could not cut and 8x4 sheet in half (to make 2 8x2's) In the end, we went for the wall mounted panel saw, its accurate, it does give a nice smooth edge but like martin says with his saw, it creates a lot of dust!!!! And although it has an extraction unit on it, it does not extract enough of the dust. We should maybe replace the extraction pipe and get a more powerful hoover and see if it makes much difference as it does cut very, very well
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:19 pm

What sort of panel saw did you get? I'm interested as i can't seem to find one that is less the £5k.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:54 pm

We travelled down to london (from cumbria) for ours, bought it second hand on ebay, it was definately worth the journey and wait to find one. I was scouring ebay for months to find a good one for under £1000. It is a SMS Machinary wall panel saw (dont think the company exists anymore) :-(
With the steeltrak being such a high price £2500, i would look towards the vertical panel saw. Just keep an eye out for one as they seem to be scarce.
Last edited by Reza Faezi on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:28 pm

Michael Maltby wrote:What sort of panel saw did you get? I'm interested as i can't seem to find one that is less the £5k.


www.zapkut.co.uk do an upright panel saw around £1000.MDP were selling them but i dont see it on the site anymore.they were supplying it without the saw but it would take a number of different makes of saw.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:41 pm

John, is that the mobile one? We looked into getting that one as it folded up and you could take it with you on jobs and sounded great! However when i contacted a distributor, they said they had stopped supplying them as they werent up to the job and im sure there are some posts here regarding this saw, saying it was flimsy, inaccurate at cutting straight (due to it being folded/unfolded all the time
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:49 pm

Reza Faezi wrote:John, is that the mobile one? We looked into getting that one as it folded up and you could take it with you on jobs and sounded great! However when i contacted a distributor, they said they had stopped supplying them as they werent up to the job and im sure there are some posts here regarding this saw, saying it was flimsy, inaccurate at cutting straight (due to it being folded/unfolded all the time


We have one of these which I bought at the sign show a few years ago. I agree that they are probably no good if folded and re set up but once they are set up they are fine. I made the mistake of getting the 10 x 5 one though which is a too big for the space we have.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:30 pm

John, I have several blades for both the table saw & the panel saw but the ones that live in them most of the time are 80 tpi with a 5 degree negative rake, the blades aren't cheap but if you cut a lot of composite/acrylic & other plastics then you will find using the right blade not only gives a better finish but also helps to extend blade life.
Can't remember where I got them from now as I don't do a lot of work anymore so haven't had to buy new ones for a long time.
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:22 pm

Martin wrote:John, I have several blades for both the table saw & the panel saw but the ones that live in them most of the time are 80 tpi with a 5 degree negative rake, the blades aren't cheap but if you cut a lot of composite/acrylic & other plastics then you will find using the right blade not only gives a better finish but also helps to extend blade life.
Can't remember where I got them from now as I don't do a lot of work anymore so haven't had to buy new ones for a long time.


Thanks martin :thumbup2:
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Cutting composite

HI John started with various cutting devices but never really foud anything clean enough or accurate enough.

For the last approx 7 years have used a Elcon wall mounted panel saw accurate to 0.1mm cuts all material, for aluminium compostie we use a 96T negative 5 deg blade which of which we have three and are sharpened each month
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:05 pm

Re: Cutting composite

Adrian Hewson wrote:HI John started with various cutting devices but never really foud anything clean enough or accurate enough.

For the last approx 7 years have used a Elcon wall mounted panel saw accurate to 0.1mm cuts all material, for aluminium compostie we use a 96T negative 5 deg blade which of which we have three and are sharpened each month


Thanks adrian,just wondered who manufactured the blades?
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Post Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:26 pm

Composite cutting

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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:54 pm

I bought an apollo 210

It turned out to be the following.
Unreliable
Non repeatable
Non square.
not grippy enough
Adjustments very difficult and hard to understand how anyone could be that stupid
The cut off piece was always twisted, no matter how big or small.
The end of the cut jumped and made a sharp point. hard to explain
Work usually needed planing after cutting
the dibond wheels worked better for corflute than the corfltute cutter blades LOL
There were two important plusses
. It produced no dust, and it took up little space.
So they sent someone last week to dismantle it and take it away.
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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:44 pm

I bought an apollo 210

It turned out to be the following.
Unreliable
Non repeatable
Non square.
not grippy enough


Oh ! we just brought one last week :(

John
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:53 am

To clarify my own point, I said work needed planing. I meant the edges cos they had sharp bits
and didn't look terrific either.
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:53 am

We are back to scoring the back with a stanley knife five or six times, then snapping the sheet over a flat bench corner. This way needs about eight passes of the plane to make it acceptable.
But at least its accurate.
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:50 pm

Simon, when you cut and score with a stanley blade, do the edges turn up slightly? When we cut sheets using this method the edges turn up slightly whether we buy cheap stanley or actual "stanley" blades
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:08 pm

Hi Reza

They do that's why I like Simon I cut the back side.
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:27 pm

Like Tim says you can cut from the other side if you don't have another way to cut, you can also remove the edge with a deburing tool which are very cheap to buy, only problem with doing this is that you can end up with a slight silver line where you have removed the paint coating.
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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:29 pm

Martin I rather like the silver line as long as it is consistent all round the edge.
I usually do a pass with the plane at 45 degrees on the edge once the vinyl is laminated onto the sheet, to set back the edge which reduces the chance of the vinyl lifting.
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:42 pm

Apollo cutter

Hi John just wondered how you are getting on with the Apollo cutter
Neil..
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:59 pm

I have the excalibur but couldnt tell you the last time it was used for cutting composite. we really only use it for foamex and correx.

the best bit of advice i could give is to look at the trade machine mart type magazines. they have piles of old machines but more so guillotines, folders, rollers and the like. all in different sizes and shapes.

around 17 years ago we bought a 5ft foot operated guillotine. it was brilliant and never let us down. two years later we went for an old Morgan 10ft wide guillotine. it has never missed a beat since and is used throughout the day every day. clean cuts steel, aluminium, composite and more. sign manufacturing is so much easier, quicker and super clean finish. not to mention zero air born dust, debris....
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:09 pm

Thanks Rob
great advise we are stuck for space and looking for a dust free option that can be fitted along the wall of the vehicle fitting workshop.

currently we are cutting composite with ruler and blade on the bench it works but I am looking for a safer alternative.

cheers Neil..
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:57 pm

Neil Kelly wrote:Thanks Rob
great advise we are stuck for space and looking for a dust free option that can be fitted along the wall of the vehicle fitting workshop.

currently we are cutting composite with ruler and blade on the bench it works but I am looking for a safer alternative.

cheers Neil..


Hi Neil.
We managed to find a Keencut Steeltrak on Fleabay, Fantastic piece of kit.
Will cut composites Foam & correx with no effort, leaves a good edge & will v goove foam & composite as well if you spring for the extra cutting head.
Had it three weeks & its saved me tons of time.
Knowing what I know now, I wish I'd sprung for the full priced one years ago.
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:37 pm

I have a Bosch circular saw, with a special 6" fine toothed blade, makes a clean cut.

If you haven't got a steady hand (or you've had a few beers the previous night) you can clamp a straight edge in position and use that as a guide.

Cheap and effective.
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:53 pm

Nick Minnery wrote:I have a Bosch circular saw, with a special 6" fine toothed blade, makes a clean cut.

If you haven't got a steady hand (or you've had a few beers the previous night) you can clamp a straight edge in position and use that as a guide.

Cheap and effective.

That's why I had to buy the Steeltrack
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Post Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:13 pm

We have one of these. It works great for Alum comp, thin aluminum sheet and coroplast. Can also be used for foamcor, etc. I don't know if they are available in the UK.
http://www.fletcherviscom.com/FFSC/main.html
A head for cutting "V" grooves in Composite is also available...
Image
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Post Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:41 pm

We have a Triton saw and saw table, its a woodworking table but we fitted a blade that can cut plastics and aluminium composite and it works fine for small jobs. The only problem is it creates lots of dust and is kept in a separate area.

Daz...

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