Measuring and Cutting Styrene Tube

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.

Measuring and Cutting Styrene Tube

Joined: July 6th, 2006, 1:34 am

June 27th, 2016, 11:07 pm #1

This may seem like a simple question, but I am looking for a precise cut. I have a 3/8" styrene tube that I need to quarter into a 90 degree curve for a curved hull plate conversion. So, what is the best means to accurately measure the cut line?-- I foresee as a cut line down the length of the tube (and how to ensure straight). Also, how to ensure that the angle is a 90 degree angle.

If there are any recommended tools for making these cuts, any insight into those would be great.


Thanks in advance for any guidance/recommendations.
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Joined: August 29th, 2013, 5:05 pm

June 28th, 2016, 11:50 am #2

This is not a simple question. It took me a while to solve this problem when scratchbuilding.

Prepare the tube by marking on the end, centre lines at 90 degrees.
One easy way to mark the centres is to draw on plastic sheet two lines as horizontal and vertical centre lines. Drill, or make a hole in the centre that will allow the tube to fit snug. Then you can mark the points at the end of the tube.

There are some simple jigs you can construct, use two strips to form a 90 degree angle. Measure one strip "the upright" to be the size you want, or 1/4 the dia of the tube.
The tube can be secured in the angle, or the jig and tube held down on the bench.....make the sections you want longer than required. Line up the edge of the jig with the centre line on the end.
Carefully scribe a line on the tube, using the jig as a template......slow and easy.....make deeper cuts as you progress, but the harder you press, the more chance of a mistake, or the blade wandering off.

I have found that the tube does not need to be cut through, but will "break" where scored.
Lay the parts flat on grit paper, gently flatten the cut surfaces.
Check the shapes are equal quarters by Mk1 eyeball, any slight difference can be adjusted by adding a thin strip to one edge to make up size.

Hope this helps.

George.
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Joined: July 1st, 2005, 6:33 pm

June 28th, 2016, 11:51 am #3

This may seem like a simple question, but I am looking for a precise cut. I have a 3/8" styrene tube that I need to quarter into a 90 degree curve for a curved hull plate conversion. So, what is the best means to accurately measure the cut line?-- I foresee as a cut line down the length of the tube (and how to ensure straight). Also, how to ensure that the angle is a 90 degree angle.

If there are any recommended tools for making these cuts, any insight into those would be great.


Thanks in advance for any guidance/recommendations.
Use a piece of 3/16" thick stock and scribe along the length. you could create an end piece that ensures you center it the same way, by lining up the previous cut.

Pic:

Last edited by Matt Leese on June 28th, 2016, 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 6th, 2006, 1:34 am

June 29th, 2016, 2:53 am #4

This may seem like a simple question, but I am looking for a precise cut. I have a 3/8" styrene tube that I need to quarter into a 90 degree curve for a curved hull plate conversion. So, what is the best means to accurately measure the cut line?-- I foresee as a cut line down the length of the tube (and how to ensure straight). Also, how to ensure that the angle is a 90 degree angle.

If there are any recommended tools for making these cuts, any insight into those would be great.


Thanks in advance for any guidance/recommendations.
Thanks for the assistance gentlemen. You both gave really good advice/pointers and the quick graphic by Matt clearly illustrates an approach.
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Joined: March 22nd, 2007, 12:02 pm

August 11th, 2016, 12:06 am #5

This may seem like a simple question, but I am looking for a precise cut. I have a 3/8" styrene tube that I need to quarter into a 90 degree curve for a curved hull plate conversion. So, what is the best means to accurately measure the cut line?-- I foresee as a cut line down the length of the tube (and how to ensure straight). Also, how to ensure that the angle is a 90 degree angle.

If there are any recommended tools for making these cuts, any insight into those would be great.


Thanks in advance for any guidance/recommendations.
Might be of interest.

Cheers

Jeff
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