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sheet material, how do you ?

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Post Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:33 pm

sheet material, how do you ?

I have recently seen the demo on correx cutting. It was a real eye opener for me because I have tried this many times myself without great success.
This got me thinking, I really do not know that much about sign boards like Foamex, Perspex, di-bond. The list goes on!
Buying in sheet material is one thing, but cutting it is another.
I try and keep clear of these types of jobs and concentrate on vehicle, window graphics & that kind of work.
Does anyone else feel this way & only offer vinyl work?
If not, How do you cut your sheet materials?
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Post Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:47 pm

All of the suppliers I use offer a free cutting service, so I just buy the panels in at the right sizes. Any offcuts that I need to cut for small signs, I use a small, hand held circular saw for acrylic, or a stanley knife for foamex.
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Post Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:57 pm

I use a table saw wich cuts forrex, correx, acrylic, and dibond with ease. It has a variable depth straight edge which can be set to cut different widths of board. It only cost a few hundred pounds. The downside is it produces a lot of dust when in use.

I find it invaluable and keep stocks of all of the above named materials ready to cut to size when needed.

Maybe you should consider something like the excalibur which can cut the materials mentioned without producing the dust but is a bit more expensive.
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Post Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:28 am

Two brilliant suggestions there Sally if you don't want the mess or might be a little uncomfortable using hand held tools etc

The Exalibur, a bit pricy but a good investment

or

Get the supplier to cut

They charge a reasonable price, depending on the number of cuts to a sheet.

Last time I ask for something to be cut it cost about £6

Well worth it in my opinion

John
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:26 am

Cutting is a doddle:

For most materials it comes down to one thing:

YOUR FIRST CUT!!

make sure this is a straight as possible, because any cut afterwards will follow the very first one:

If cutting a very long stretch of material, use a long straight edge and use a small amount of double sided tape to hold it down. Always make sure you cut on the scrap side of the material, this way if you go off line, you wont be cutting into the side you want.

Foamex: Cut as above, but then if possible, hand the material over the side of a bench and hold the weight of it, then just keep slicing through, the weight of the material allows the knife to slice through better. obviously this wont be as smooth as throwing it through a table saw, but a damn site cheaper than having to buy one.

MAGNETIC: easy peasy!!!, just cut it once with a sharp scalpel, then bend it across the cut and tear along dotted line!!, never cut mag material along the same line more than once.

As with all the above, the easiest way is to get a table saw... OR::

Find a local joinery company that might need some favours doing and ask if they will cut up material for you, when and if its needed.. :D
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:00 am

Only being new to this we have only had two jobs where we have used a board and our supplier has cut it to size for free, thankfully.
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:53 am

A tool I use for laminate floors might prove useful, its an Exakt precision sawhttp://www.exaktpt.com/ Easier to use than a conventional circular, especially if your not used to power tools.
Just run it down a straight edge, also less dust thrown around, it only cuts up to about 15mm. but with the correct blade should cut all your thinner material.
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:45 am

This looks like a good tool and very useful for alot of aplications. How much was it, and where did you get it?
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:57 am

Would be nice to have one machine to cut everything , but some materials require different blades (like you cant use the same blade for acrylic as lets say , engravers brass on a table saw)
We use a few machines. the MOST useful is a contractors table saw , then we have a wall mount panel saw for BEEEG stuff , a guillotine for most metals up to 2mm thick and a bandsaw for other stuff as well as a sort of cut off saw for tubing etc. often we use our overhead router as well.
Thing is , our suppliers really jack up the price of "cut to size" stuff as it generally is a part of a sheet. If it's a massive amount which takes multiple sheets , we get it free cos we buy such quantities from em. We HAVE to send em either a drawing or a fax of the cuts , they wont accept sizes per telephone.
I would say a table saw is the no 1 product to go for and use a non ferrous blade which is the most "universal" , get one with a decent Extending guide/gate - Ie that allows you to do 1+ m cuts , a 2 hp motor is also nice as well as the abiltity to raise , lower and tilt the blade , often you get "mitre" guides included.
The biggest "secret" to table saws is the surface the material runs on , it must be smooth - we use teflon sheeting which doesnt scratch and allows the material to "glide". These are pretty dangerous machines , so leather gloves , safety glasses , a good blade guard , protective clothing, emergency stop or a foot switch etc are vital.
Our's werent that pricey and paid for themselves in a very short time
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Post Mon Jul 05, 2004 12:31 pm

There are some distributor links on the site, I got mine from a flooring wholesalers in London. Cost about £130 if I remember correctly and I have occasionaly seen them on ebay. I'll try and sort out the link where i get my blades and post it later.

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