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How to get thin, clean and crisp cut through styrene and resin?

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Would like to hear a few suggestions/methods  how you acquire a thin, clean and crisp cut when working with styrene and resin  (e.g. cutting a front end on a gasser build to make a removable front clip) other than the back of a Xacto blade and patience.  Thanks

Jim

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Xacto #11 blade, non sharp edge is the best way to go.
But, there is also numerous saw blades out there.
Back in the days of my youth, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we would use a hot knife. They are still available (maybe?) and have a #11 blade attached to a plug in hot knife.

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I don't normally cut body panels off of a body, but if I were going to, I would use the same procedure that I use for scribing panel lines.

I start with the sharp side of a #11 blade with a few passes to get the line that I want and then a few passes with a sharp dental tool to give it enough depth to use a scribing tool.

Then I would use the scriber to get at least half way through the thickness of the plastic.

From there, once the panel line is well defined & deep enough to guard against the blade wandering, I would use a sharp #11 blade again to complete the cut.

 

 

Steve

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The best thing I've found are the photoetch saws from Model Car Garage. They're thinner than an Xacto blade and I've found the make a finer cut with much less of a gap left when the panel is out. I don't saw along the panel line, just run the tip of the blade back and forth in the line and it slowly works through with barely a hair breadth of plastic removed. They also work great for making cuts where your razor saw won't fit.

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9 hours ago, Fat Brian said:

The best thing I've found are the photoetch saws from Model Car Garage. They're thinner than an Xacto blade and I've found the make a finer cut with much less of a gap left when the panel is out. I don't saw along the panel line, just run the tip of the blade back and forth in the line and it slowly works through with barely a hair breadth of plastic removed. They also work great for making cuts where your razor saw won't fit.

X2. I have found the MCG p/e  saws to work a treat too.

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I like to have two kits. One body that I hack-up to save the hood...door...boot, or whatever, and the other to save the main body. You don't have to be as careful, and its quick and easy!....plus, you have spare parts already if needed. I just roughly cut out around the part to be saved, and then use a diamond barrel bit in my dremmel to grind to the edge...sand, and there it is.....nice, klean, and stress-free!!

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I have been using these for 20 years.  They are extremely thin photo etched saws with very fine teeth.  You have to be carefull to cut on the pull stroke only because they will bend.  I bought three sets of them 20 years ago and still have an unused set, so take care of them and they will serve you well.

I recently cut the fuselage of a 1/48th scale aircraft model in half lengthwise with them(a cut about 2 feet long).    They remove such a small amount of material, on occasion, I have reglued the pieces cut out by running a bead of thin solvent based glue in the cut and they reattached without filler. 

HASEGAWA Trytool TP-4 Modeling Saw Scriber Model Tool

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6 minutes ago, Pete J. said:

I have been using these for 20 years.  They are extremely thin photo etched saws with very fine teeth.  You have to be carefull to cut on the pull stroke only because they will bend.  I bought three sets of them 20 years ago and still have an unused set, so take care of them and they will serve you well.

I recently cut the fuselage of a 1/48th scale aircraft model in half lengthwise with them(a cut about 2 feet long).    They remove such a small amount of material, on occasion, I have reglued the pieces cut out by running a bead of thin solvent based glue in the cut and they reattached without filler. 

HASEGAWA Trytool TP-4 Modeling Saw Scriber Model Tool

Do you use them with just the blade in hand. They look interesting.

I've cut bodies with every technique mentioned and still use many depending on the situation at hand.

It's been interesting to see all the techniques uesd.

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Just now, Foxer said:

Do you use them with just the blade in hand. They look interesting.

I've cut bodies with every technique mentioned and still use many depending on the situation at hand.

It's been interesting to see all the techniques uesd.

They are finger saws.  No handle.  By the way they will also cut your finger with ease.  They are not sharp like a knife or razor but the little fine teeth(some you need magnification to see) go through flesh quite nicely.  I keep a little super glue handy when I am using them for a quick skin repair.  ;)

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Jeweler's Saw. I picked one up then bought a mess of different tooth-count blades from India off eBay, cheap of course.

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Though I've not tried it myself, I have seen guys get good results using thread. It acts like a band saw or coping saw, but on a smaller scale. Drill a pilot hole just big enough to feed the thread through, and then pull the thread back and forth as you make your way along the panel line.

Anyone out there use this method successfully?

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20 minutes ago, Mr. Metallic said:

Though I've not tried it myself, I have seen guys get good results using thread. It acts like a band saw or coping saw, but on a smaller scale. Drill a pilot hole just big enough to feed the thread through, and then pull the thread back and forth as you make your way along the panel line.

Anyone out there use this method successfully?

This works really well if you use the thread with a Flex-I-File frame.

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27 minutes ago, Mr. Metallic said:

 I have seen guys get good results using thread. 

Anyone out there use this method successfully?

Thread works by melting the plastic. It works on styrene but can be hard to steer. It does no good to use lubricant because that prevents the styrene from getting hot enough to melt. Heavy-Duty thread holds up a little better but be prepared to deal with a LOT of broken threads. Never tried it on resin for obvious reasons. Obvious reasons? Ya, we don't mess with rosin down here on the farm.

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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 9:39 AM, Jon Cole said:

Xacto #11 blade, non sharp edge is the best way to go.
But, there is also numerous saw blades out there.
Back in the days of my youth, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we would use a hot knife. They are still available (maybe?) and have a #11 blade attached to a plug in hot knife.

WE USED ONE OF MOMS KITCHEN KNIVES HEATED WITH MATCHES...I miss the good ole days...lol

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14 minutes ago, jeffdeoranut said:

WE USED ONE OF MOMS KITCHEN KNIVES HEATED WITH MATCHES...I miss the good ole days...lol

...not that kind of hot knives.... lol

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 Bruce:  The Ultra Sonic cutter sounds very intriguing.   Anyone, have any experience with this?

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