Cutting thin strips of styrene

Hosted by Dave Parker from AFV Modeller magazine and Adam Wilder, this discussion group is geared towards modelling technique questions ranging from construction to final weathering. This forum was created so that "newbies" can post without being intimidated by the sometimes highly technical nature of the other discussion groups.

Cutting thin strips of styrene

Joined: May 31st, 2005, 11:00 am

October 6th, 2011, 6:29 am #1

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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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 1:37 pm

October 6th, 2011, 8:12 am #2

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.

HTH

George.
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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 4:32 am

October 6th, 2011, 7:43 pm #3

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
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
Last edited by Dave Foster on October 6th, 2011, 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 7th, 2004, 5:17 pm

October 7th, 2011, 4:55 pm #4

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
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

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Chuck Rothman
Former AMPS Webmaster
Former AMPS Boresight Editor
Now just a regular AMPS member
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Chuck Rothman
AMPS 2nd VP - Canada
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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 4:32 am

October 7th, 2011, 8:07 pm #5

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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Joined: May 1st, 2005, 8:47 pm

October 7th, 2011, 9:09 pm #6

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

Chris
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Joined: March 8th, 2005, 3:16 am

October 8th, 2011, 2:27 am #7

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
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.


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.


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.


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.


5) This is the size of the strip that I cut. If you want it smaller that that,good luck......Dan
Last edited by danrosecrans on October 8th, 2011, 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 31st, 2005, 11:00 am

October 8th, 2011, 1:39 pm #8

Cheers for the replies. I'll follow the tips that you've kindly provided.
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Joined: June 6th, 2005, 2:35 am

April 30th, 2012, 9:48 am #9

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
Olfa Stencil Cutter

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



HTH

Regards,

Aripin
from INDONESIA

Delete XXX from the email
e-mail : aripinls@gmail.com
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Joined: May 30th, 2011, 7:26 pm

August 16th, 2012, 2:40 pm #10

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
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
Nabrazo
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