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Cutting thin strips of styrene

October 6 2011 at 2:29 AM
Jim Simmonds  (Login jims1974)
Missing-Lynx members
from IP address

Hi all,

I need to cut some fairly short strips (about 60-70mm x 2-3 mm) of very thin styrene but In the past when I've attempted this I end up with 'curled' strips of styrene and so I wondered if anyone here had any tips on how best to cut these strips?

I know I could buy pre made strips but I only need a few and I have loads of spare styrene knocking around.

Thanks in advance.

Jim Simmonds

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George Moore
(Login mudeng)
Missing-Lynx members

Cutting strips

October 6 2011, 4:12 AM 

You dont say what thickness.

The thinnest sheet available is .005", so lets say that this is the one.

I really dont think you can avoid it curling up, but use a new blade, I use 10A Swann Morton.
A good steel rule, and tape the sheet to a hard surface, a tile or glass.
Tape the edge with a "lo tack" type, Tamiya or similar.
I think if the blade goes too deep into the cutting surface, it promotes curling, so use a hard surface.

If it does curl though, turn the strip over and GENTLY draw very fine emery or a fine sanding stick, in one direction, down the whole length. This will also remove any burrs.



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Dave Foster
(Login KiwiDave4)
Missing-Lynx members


October 6 2011, 3:43 PM 

The technique that works well for me is as follows;- Using a scalpel and a steel rule, score along the cut line with several light passes the full length of the material. When the score is about half way through the material, apply more pressure to the blade but stop short of the ends of the cut by maybe 1/8". When the blade breaks through you will have a strip that is still attached at the ends. Cut through that last bit and you will have a relatively straight strip.

Hope you find that helps.

Regards Dave

This message has been edited by KiwiDave4 from IP address on Oct 6, 2011 3:44 PM

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Chuck Rothman
(Login AMPSChuck)
Missing-Lynx members

Styrene Strips

October 7 2011, 12:55 PM 

Why don't you just buy styrene strips already sized to the width you need? 2mm width = 0.080 inch wide strip, 3mm is roughly 0.125 inches wide. see http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/Strips.htm

Chuck Rothman
Former AMPS Webmaster
Former AMPS Boresight Editor
Now just a regular AMPS member

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Dave Foster
(Login KiwiDave4)
Missing-Lynx members


October 7 2011, 4:07 PM 

I think Jim already answered that, but as for me the first obvious reason is cost. I already have a stock of sheet, it makes more sense to cut it than to buy strip material. Then there is convenience, I want a strip when I need it, and the easiest way to get it is to cut it from a sheet I already have.

But more than that there is the pleasure of modelling, which for me is solving the problems of how to make the bits I need with the material available to me.

Regards Dave

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Chris Grove
(Login chrismmgrove)
Missing-Lynx members


October 7 2011, 5:09 PM 

not even evergreen make strips nearly as small as I often need!


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Dan Rosecrans
(Login danrosecrans)
Missing-Lynx members

Here you go,Jim,Chris........

October 7 2011, 10:27 PM 

and anyone else who wants very thin and narrow strip. I'm working with .005 (like paper),which is what you are talking about,I guess.........Dan

1) Tape the sheet to the cutting board,making sure that you dog-ear one end of the tape (so much easier to pull up). Make 3 or 4 light passes and make sure it is cut all the way through before pulling the sheet up. Sharp blade,please.
[linked image]

2) After pulling the strip up,slowly peel the strip off of the tape with your hobby knife,making sure that it doesn't stick itself back to the tape.
[linked image]

3) Two reasons for taping the sheet plastic to the cutting board and using multiple cuts. A) You end up with a(more or less)straight curl;not a side curl. B) With the tape holding the sheet down and using multiple cuts,you end up with no ridge.
[linked image]

4) On a short strip,no problem tacking it down. On a long one,tape one,or both ends and glue from the middle to the edge. Just remove the tape before the glue contacts it.
[linked image]

5) This is the size of the strip that I cut. If you want it smaller that that,good luck......Dan
[linked image]

This message has been edited by danrosecrans from IP address on Oct 7, 2011 10:29 PM

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Jim Simmonds
(Login jims1974)
Missing-Lynx members

Thanks all

October 8 2011, 9:39 AM 

Cheers for the replies. I'll follow the tips that you've kindly provided.

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Aripin L. Sunardi
(Login Aripin11830)
Missing-Lynx members

Or you can use this ....

April 30 2012, 5:48 AM 

Olfa Stencil Cutter

It can make 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm strips

[linked image]




Delete XXX from the email
e-mail : aripinls@gmail.com

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(Login luisecortelezzi)
Missing-Lynx members

Re: Cutting thin strips of styrene

August 16 2012, 10:40 AM 

Hi, I use the following trick.
1 I cut with Plasticar a wider and thicker strip than necessary
2 I stretch the strip of plastic with the help of a candle to the necessary mesure.
I was able to strips of 0.5 mm

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