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Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

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Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

Old 07-01-2003, 01:45 PM
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Big Sasquatch
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I have a cheap Jig Saw that I use to cut the wal-mart cutting board and the plastic melts back together behind the blade when I cut. How do you guys get around this problem. Should I just use a hand saw or something (but I like power tools....), or should I use a hot knife?
Old 07-01-2003, 02:18 PM
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rsieminski
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

Adjust the speed of the blade to a slower setting, use light machine oil on the cut line, use the opaque HDPE,... The translucent stuff is hard to cut!

I just use the opaque type. It's been posted that it's more brittle, but I haven't found that to be true. It could be a climate thing though.
Old 07-01-2003, 02:30 PM
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`3D
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I use a hand saw for the straight from the edge cuts, then put a small drill in your dremmel and use it like a rotor zip/ router, take your time and let it cut. It might melt back a little but you can just break it off and trim with exato knife.
Old 07-01-2003, 02:47 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

HACK SAW eats it up, good new blade of course works for me and a VISE helps also
Old 07-01-2003, 03:45 PM
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Tattoo
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I use a band saw with a very course blade, and go slow. Too fast and it does the melting thing. I've tried several types of cutting board, and I'm a believer that the harder it is to cut, the better it is. I'm sold on the milky white translucent Wal-Mart ploy boards that love to melt and are generally a pain to cut out. Kraut got some opaque poly board from LOWES, and it cuts much easier, but he has also had trouble with self tapping screws losening up, and has had to go to bolts and nuts. I haven't had anything come loose and have yet to break a translucent mount, and use nothing but self tapping screws.
Old 07-01-2003, 03:46 PM
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nukes
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

Try a coping saw.
Old 07-01-2003, 04:44 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I used a fine tooth wood saw (from the miter box), a regular wood saw, a Hacksaw, a KeyHole Saw (for sheetrock), hobby saws and a RotoZip tool (sears brand).
The only saw that failed to cut (melt-behind) was my Saber Saw.
It only has 2 speeds Super-Fast and the slower Melting-fast.

The RotoZip routes out servo holes real fast. But you have to go slow and easy or it will eat up areas that you want to keep!
Old 07-01-2003, 05:58 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I use my Craftsman 14.4V cordless circular saw. On a fresh charge, it cuts through the poly board like butter.

Since my cordless worked so well, I thought a regular circular saw would work equally well. Not so. Handheld circular saws, table saws, and power miter boxes all get bound up in the plastic.
Old 07-01-2003, 06:01 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I use a Rotozip with a tile cutting bit and it does great. I just go slow and it does a good job.I then take my dremel with a sanding drum and clean up the edges.
Old 07-01-2003, 07:02 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I picked up one of those tile cutters (carbide?) and I'm going to try it out on some 1/8" G-10 (FG PCB) to see if I can make a lighter motor mount.
I have a bunch of G-10 and only 3/4 of a cutting board
Old 07-01-2003, 07:06 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

bar soap or a old candle or a little kerosene will help
tinker
Old 07-01-2003, 07:39 PM
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Tattoo
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

this brings up a good point...BE EXTREAMLY CAREFUL if you try to cut the poly on a table saw!!! We have shot the stuff across the room at EXTREAMLY high speeds trying this. Luckly no one was in the way, but it was with enough force to cause injury. BE CAREFUL BE CAREFUL BE CAREFUL!!!
Old 07-01-2003, 08:40 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

This is another area of mystery, just like various coro gluing methods work for some and not for others. I use HDPE from a plastic supply place. It's milky white in color, but you can't see through it. It is about the easiest material to cut, with any tool, that I've ever used. I usually use my radial arm saw with a carbide tip blade, and it just makes nice little soft chips. I've never seen the melting thing you'all describe. I use an Xacto knife to trim it. Drilling makes nice little curvy things up the drill flutes.

It appears that the stuff called HDPE comes in a lot of variety.
Old 07-01-2003, 09:30 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I use a scrollsaw to cut mine, low speed setting and a low tooth count on the blade. I use the poly boards from walmart. I first tried some stuff I got a Target and it melted real bad even on the slower setting. I tried a "hammer test" between the two types and the Target stuff broke in half with 2 hits, the walmart stuff broke too but with about twice the hitting power and after about 5 hits.
Old 07-02-2003, 03:41 AM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

I used two tools to cut my motor mount, for the rough dimensions I used a regular wood saw by the Stanley Works, then when i got my motor, I used a RotoZip to cut out the place for the motor to go. I was really surprised that the RotoZip didn't cause any gooing of the poly board. Just a thought.
Old 07-02-2003, 12:56 PM
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rlt55
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

The streamers of super-thin plastic that come off the Rotozip float around and stick to everthing in sight.
Next time, I'm making the mount outdoors!
Old 07-02-2003, 04:39 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

My small bandsaw cuts it like butter no melting. thudriver
Old 07-02-2003, 04:56 PM
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Default Cutting HDPE Is Not Fun....

Originally posted by Tattoo
this brings up a good point...BE EXTREAMLY CAREFUL if you try to cut the poly on a table saw!!! We have shot the stuff across the room at EXTREAMLY high speeds trying this. Luckly no one was in the way, but it was with enough force to cause injury. BE CAREFUL BE CAREFUL BE CAREFUL!!!
If you feel you must cut this stuff with a tablesaw, be sure and use a push stick. Safety glasses, and it wouldnt hurt to have on a atheletic cup, hockey goalie mask, and a catchers chest protector. Dont ask how I know this

Dwight

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