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Thread: best way to cut plastic?

  1. #1
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    best way to cut plastic?

    Hi guys-

    well- i'm getting closer to my install and now I'm starting to think about some fabrication stuff and I was wondering what's the best way to cut plastic? I'm going to need clean edges and no cracks? Is there a way I can melt it to cut it or do I need to purchase a dremel and some special tips? Thanx in advance.

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    Michael
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  2. #2
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    I've been workin with plastic for years and I'm using old kitchen knives! Mark your cutting lines with aliminum tapes and heat the knives above open flame before slowly using them to cut. Finally a sand paper or a sharp cutting tool may help you to remove any residues...

    (please work out on a spare part of plastic first because needs some practice)


    Hope this helps...
    Upgraded to a Civic lately and just started construction...

  3. #3
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    water jet cutter - but i doubt you have one of those.

    as volcano says, use knives but i would use a hard edge against the blade protecting the part you don't want to slip into. And be very careful.

  4. #4
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    is there a dremmel bit that is recommend? or do you stay away from the dremmel al together?
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  5. #5
    Low Bitrate VehicrossPC's Avatar
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    I used a file and filed away the excess plastic... drilled a hole and then made it bigger to fit, came out ok
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  6. #6
    Low Bitrate ernie's Avatar
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    I saw a special toothy cutting wheel for dremmel that cuts wood and plastics. I think i saw it on ebay or on this forum.
    No need to reach for them though, as standard cutting wheels work really good. They melt a plastic a little even in l,owest 5000 rpm- no biggy, worked for me nice, specially on epoxy.
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  7. #7
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    with normal cutting wheels on a dremel, only cut in stages, giving the wheel itself a chance to cool for a few seconds (i.e. 1sec pressing on plastic, 1 second away from plastic)

    Otherwise you risk shattering the disc with possibly painful consequences.

  8. #8
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    Wow-

    thanx for all the great replies so quickly. You guys kick ***.

    Michael
    Mazda 3, meet Mac Mini. Mac Mini, meet Mazda 3.
    Mac Mini in-car coming soon.
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  9. #9
    Low Bitrate Vacheron's Avatar
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    When I did my dremel cutting I used the toothed steel saw wheel (like a tiny circular saw blade). I didn't think it would work well at first, but if you keep the revs very high i had some very good results, though this was for plastic removal where finish wasn't critical.

    If you want to cut very straight and neat edges though, I would recommend volcano_c's knife technique above (which I wish i'd thought of when I was doing mine ) or a junior hacksaw with the work clamped against a steel plate as per scouses comment. (it's so easy to slip once and wreck the finish on the surface you want to keep).

  10. #10
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    I was going to suggest a dremel as well since that's what I've used. We just use the regular cutting wheel that comes with it to get a general cut, then just sand it down to get rid of all the burrs and clean it up.

    Pretty easy....just be sure to wear a set of goggles and a mask for your mouth.....that plastic stuff can release some nasty fumes that will make you gag, not to mention it will throw crap everywhere.....=]

    have fun!
    Jan Bennett
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