Customs: getting really thin cuts

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by whiskeytango, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. whiskeytango

    whiskeytango Combaticon

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    I was just wondering how some of you guys cut things that are too strong for an exacto, but still get the cuts so thin. I've used so many different dremel cutters, but they always take out a pretty good sized chunk.
     
  2. chlokai

    chlokai Well-Known Member

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    what shape is it?

    if its somthing flat i would use a stanley knife, sliceing at it for about 20 mins, it takes a thin layer off every time,

    but be warned, it is dangerous, i just cut a 2 inch slice down my finger about 3 hrs ago
     
  3. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    you need patience. Though an x-acto takes forever, it's very precise. I sometimes resort to the cutting disc on my Dremel, but like you said, that takes out a chunk (it's 1 mil thick)

    Another option would be to do like I did with the BB project I am working on, I heat up the X-acto blade until piping hot and it'll melt a thin slice...it's clean too.

    here's a pic of it...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. whiskeytango

    whiskeytango Combaticon

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    hmm. both seem like good ideas. Have either of you ever tried one of those razor saw attachments for exactos?
     
  5. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    I typically use a hobby saw or jewelers saw.

    The hobby saw is large-ish and has a rigid blade, very good for fast clean straight line cuts. I believe mine is .030" in width, very thin.

    For cuts that require a more delicate touch, or for following lines that may curve, I use the jewelers saw. Looks like a mini hacksaw, but with a blade thickness of just .010", you can easily follow panel lines and make curved cuts. The jewelers saw blades are interchangeable, and can come in a variety of thicknesses, and teeth per inch.

    I would say a strong 75% of my work can be done with the hobby saw. Cutting model car bodies and following door, hood, and trunk lines is usually when I break out the jewelers saw.

    Both can be found at a proper hobby shop, the hobby saw shouldn't cost more than $12, the jewelers saw no more than $20, with a 12 pack of replacement blades being about $3-$5. I'll snap a pic and link it later, looking at the replacement blade package here, the brand is The Zona Tool Company, I'll dig out my hobby saw and list the brand as well! Hope this info is helpful!:thumbs2: 


    *EDIT* Here's the jewelers saw pic:
    http://www.hobbylinc.com/gr/zon/zon35-750.jpg

    10 bucks and change on line!

    Here's what a hobby saw looks like:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-35-150-Zona...in_0?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116#ebayphotohosting

    It is less than 5 beans on Ebay Auction #120285808599 (not my auction)

    These prices are pretty good and you will for sure get your money's worth from 'em!!:thumbs2: 
     
  6. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I'll second the jeweler's saw. It's not as fast as a Dremel, but it's great for finesse work.

    If you ever want to cut something out of a closed area, you just need to Drill a tiny hole, then feed one end of the saw through, and then tighten up the saw again. When you're done, just detach one end of the saw, and pull it out again. Remember though... the bigger the frame on the jewelery saw, the deeper the cuts you can make, so it's good to get a fairly large frame.

    You have to be careful though... if you let the piece twist while you're sawing, it can snap the blade. The blades are flexible, but when they're tightened up in the saw frame, they get quite brittle. Gotta keep it straight.

    Also, it goes better if you only cut on the downstroke. Dont' try to cut going up and down. As well, the teeth can get caked with half-melted plastic from the friction, so it's good to clean it off every few minutes that you're cutting.

    There's a trick for doing tight corners with the saw... you basically just use short strokes to saw a tiny circle so the saw can make the turn.

    I'm usually too lazy to break out the jeweler's saw, and i just use the cutting disk on my Dremel... but when you really need to do some fine work, there's nothing better.

    zmog
     
  7. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Hah! I'm usually too lazy to hook up my Dremel! Mine is a no-name version, real low (like 7000rpm) speed, which is actually pretty good for plastic. I leave the rotary tool for grinding, drum sanding, and de-burring typically. I don't even use it to drill, I find a pin vise much more precise.

    And thanks for giving some insight on using the jewelers saw, I guess I'm too lazy to type all that as well!:p 
     
  8. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    gotta toss out the generic Dremel....they are nothing but problematic...between bits falling apart and not staying in the chuck tight enough, to shitty battery life and/or poor power supplies.

    I'd bet you can get a cordless Dremel online for under $40.00

    Back on topic, I need to get myself one of these jewelry saws.
     
  9. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Yeah, I have a real Dremel and a Rotozip as well, I just don't seem to use any of the powered stuff as much. I guess it goes back to my aircraft and car model days, I just always seem to use the hand tools. I just get the sense I can "feel" what I'm doin'! But back on topic, definitely check out both the Jewelers and hobby saws! They will become indespensible (sp?) tools. The hobby saw is truly a blessing for fabricating styrene blocks and shapes! In your hands it may become one of your best friends!:thumbs2: 
     
  10. turboedguy

    turboedguy minibotologist

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    Becides the already mentioned exacto saw, and jewlers saw, I have an old exacto blade that I reshaped with a sharp hook at the end. I use it to drag along and scribe the plastic, removing a little every time. It takes a while, but it works great, especially when there is already a molded line where you want the cut, like door lines on model kits.
     
  11. asphalt

    asphalt King of the road

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    Ebay:
    Jewelers saw, best way to go, cuts diecast too.
     
  12. anovasinn

    anovasinn THE PAINTS MUST FLOW!!!

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    i do it like this as well except i do not reshape the blade i just use the back side of the blade at the tip i have cut out many a door and trunk lid this way. also with this method you can lay down 2-3 pieces of masking tape and follow that edge for non recessed lines. one thing to be careful of this method is blade wandering away from your line. however when you mess up with this method it is much easier to correct than when mess up using the saw :tongue: 
     
  13. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Quite true, using the back edge to score away a line til you break through works very well also. I just don't like that method for non existing lines you have to create! My hands just ain't that steady! :D 
     

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