Topics

Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...


Charles Hladik
 

Steve,
Don't know if you can cut as small as you would like but you might try
a paper cutter.
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 8/20/2009 7:03:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
stevelucas3@yahoo.ca writes:




I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder
car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial
stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the
steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x
.050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I
have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a
digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to
have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale
rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@...>
 

I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x .050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


Andy Carlson
 

NWSL's duplicator is especially designed to perform this very function. With a little practice (mostly in keeping the knife orientation consistent) good, even widths result.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA




________________________________
From: stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:02:51 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...


I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x .050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.


Darren Plants
 

Have a look at this.
http://www.micromark.com/WOOD-STRIP-CUTTER,6625.html

It says it steps in 1/32" increments so you won't get exactly .030 but .03125 might be close enough.

Darren Plants
Cedar Rapids, IA

-------------- Original message from "stevelucas3" <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca>: --------------

I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the steel stock

that these were formed from.
I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x .050"
for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.
Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale rule. My
efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



Tim O'Connor
 

An easy (but more wasteful) way to cut narrow strips is to make
a small cutter with 2 blades exactly .050 apart. Then draw the
blades across the styrene sheet. Because both sides are supported
while you cut, there might be less "curl" to the strips, and even
though the strips may not be 100% perfectly straight, you can be
sure the sides of the strip will be exactly parallel which is
more important.

At 8/20/2009 07:51 PM Thursday, you wrote:
NWSL's duplicator is especially designed to perform this very function. With a little practice (mostly in keeping the knife orientation consistent) good, even widths result.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA




________________________________
From: stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:02:51 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...


I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x .050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.








------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



bierglaeser <bierglaeser@...>
 

Steve,
Would brass be a viable alternative? There are some fairly well-done brass shapes available.

Darren,
Thanks for the link. Am ordering one right now.

Gene Green

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, dplants22@... wrote:


Have a look at this.
http://www.micromark.com/WOOD-STRIP-CUTTER,6625.html

It says it steps in 1/32" increments so you won't get exactly .030 but .03125 might be close enough.

Darren Plants
Cedar Rapids, IA

-------------- Original message from "stevelucas3" <stevelucas3@...>: --------------

I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the steel stock
that these were formed from.
I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x .050"
for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.
Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale rule. My
efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


cornbeltroute <cornbeltroute@...>
 

Steve,

I've meant to try CNC milling Z-bar but haven't yet given it a shot. What are the scale lengths that you need? If you don't mind, I'll give it a shot this weekend. I make jigs to cut parts into shape all the time, but this jig is gonna be tiny. . . . Whew.

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa

I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder car that I am working on. -Steve Lucas <


jerryglow2
 

I can almost guarentee you a paper cutter will put a "twist" on the strips and it would probably be difficult to maintain consistant pieces. I would second on Andy's suggestion about the NWSL duplicutter.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, RUTLANDRS@... wrote:

Steve,
Don't know if you can cut as small as you would like but you might try
a paper cutter.
Chuck Hladik


In a message dated 8/20/2009 7:03:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
stevelucas3@... writes:




I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder
car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial
stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the
steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x
.050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I
have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a
digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to
have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale
rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.









stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@...>
 

Jerry--

Thanks to you and everyone that suggested ways to do this.

I made a tool that uses a pair of razor blades (steel backing removed first) with a .020" styrene spacer between them. A 2" long piece of 1" wide by .032" thick brass strip, with three holes drilled in it to hold 4-40 screws, serves as the handle.

The blades and shim are assembled, the screws pushed through them and into the holes drilled in the handle. A 1/4" nut driver is used to tighten the nuts, and we have our tool.

I draw the tips of the blade at about a 30-degree angle along a steel straightedge across a sheet of .005" styrene, and can produce approximate .050" wide strips.

I tried making a similar tool without the spacer for .030" wide strips, but found that the blades flex too much for consistent width strips. Maybe a backing piece on the exposed side of the blades would help prevent blade flexing. But Evergreen makes .010" x .030" strips--I'll can live with the overthickness of these strips as the outside member of the Z's.

I had experimented with using a Fiskars "Eurpoean rotary paper trimmer"

http://www.fiskars.com/CA/en/Crafts/Product+Detail9596.html

for these strips, but found that paper strips of this width were hard to cut consistently with this tool, so did not progress to cutting styrene with it.

BTW, they make a nice diagonal cutter that isn't too expensive, and that I use as a parts trimmer and small diameter wire cutter--

http://www.fiskars.com/CA/en/Crafts/Product+Detailf5b7.html



Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "jerryglow2" <jerryglow@...> wrote:

I can almost guarentee you a paper cutter will put a "twist" on the strips and it would probably be difficult to maintain consistant pieces. I would second on Andy's suggestion about the NWSL duplicutter.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, RUTLANDRS@ wrote:

Steve,
Don't know if you can cut as small as you would like but you might try
a paper cutter.
Chuck Hladik


In a message dated 8/20/2009 7:03:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
stevelucas3@ writes:




I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder
car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial
stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the
steel stock that these were formed from.

I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x
.050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.

Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I
have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a
digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to
have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale
rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.

Any thoughts on how to make these strips?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Lucas.







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


VINCE PUGLIESE
 

For the record, I am fairly certain Evergreen uses waterjet technology to
produce their strip material.

.vp

--- On Sun, 8/23/09, stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca> wrote:

From: stevelucas3 <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Received: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 1:45 PM






 





Jerry--



Thanks to you and everyone that suggested ways to do this.



I made a tool that uses a pair of razor blades (steel backing removed first) with a .020" styrene spacer between them. A 2" long piece of 1" wide by .032" thick brass strip, with three holes drilled in it to hold 4-40 screws, serves as the handle.



The blades and shim are assembled, the screws pushed through them and into the holes drilled in the handle. A 1/4" nut driver is used to tighten the nuts, and we have our tool.



I draw the tips of the blade at about a 30-degree angle along a steel straightedge across a sheet of .005" styrene, and can produce approximate .050" wide strips.



I tried making a similar tool without the spacer for .030" wide strips, but found that the blades flex too much for consistent width strips. Maybe a backing piece on the exposed side of the blades would help prevent blade flexing. But Evergreen makes .010" x .030" strips--I'll can live with the overthickness of these strips as the outside member of the Z's.



I had experimented with using a Fiskars "Eurpoean rotary paper trimmer"



http://www.fiskars. com/CA/en/ Crafts/Product+ Detail9596. html



for these strips, but found that paper strips of this width were hard to cut consistently with this tool, so did not progress to cutting styrene with it.



BTW, they make a nice diagonal cutter that isn't too expensive, and that I use as a parts trimmer and small diameter wire cutter--



http://www.fiskars. com/CA/en/ Crafts/Product+ Detailf5b7. html



Steve Lucas.



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "jerryglow2" <jerryglow@. ..> wrote:

I can almost guarentee you a paper cutter will put a "twist" on the strips and it would probably be difficult to maintain consistant pieces. I would second on Andy's suggestion about the NWSL duplicutter.
Jerry Glow
--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, RUTLANDRS@ wrote:
Steve,
Don't know if you can cut as small as you would like but you might try
a paper cutter.
Chuck Hladik
In a message dated 8/20/2009 7:03:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
stevelucas3@ writes:
I want to make some scale 3 1/8" high x 5" wide "Z" stock for an HO cinder
car that I am working on. But to build this up I cannot find commercial
stock that is thin enough and sometimes of the proper width to represent the
steel stock that these were formed from.
I plan to use scale 2x2 for the centre of the Z, and want to use .005" x
.050" for the bottom. The top of the Z is .005" x .030" wide stock.
Both of the .005 thick strips need to be cut from styrene sheet. But I
have trouble replicating the .030" and .050" widths uniformly. I have used a
digital vernier to scribe a reference line on the sheet, but it's hard to
have a hand-held scalpel follow this line consistently along a steel scale
rule. My efforts so far have produced strips of varying widths.
Any thoughts on how to make these strips?
Thanks in advance,
Steve Lucas.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


spsalso
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, VINCE PUGLIESE <gigitreosei@...> wrote:

For the record, I am fairly certain Evergreen uses waterjet technology to
produce their strip material.
I just checked the edges of some Evergreen strips from .010 to .250 and found tooth marks on all of them.

Ed


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "stevelucas3" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:
I made a tool that uses a pair of razor blades (steel backing removed first) with a .020" styrene spacer between them. A 2" long piece of 1" wide by .032" thick brass strip, with three holes drilled in it to hold 4-40 screws, serves as the handle.

The blades and shim are assembled, the screws pushed through them and into the holes drilled in the handle. A 1/4" nut driver is used to tighten the nuts, and we have our tool.

I draw the tips of the blade at about a 30-degree angle along a steel straightedge across a sheet of .005" styrene, and can produce approximate .050" wide strips.

I tried making a similar tool without the spacer for .030" wide strips, but found that the blades flex too much for consistent width strips. Maybe a backing piece on the exposed side of the blades would help prevent blade flexing. But Evergreen makes .010" x .030" strips--I'll can live with the overthickness of these strips as the outside member of the Z's.


Steve, why don't you try using 2 - #11 X-Acto blades with a spacer as a scriber or even better use 2 - #11 surgical blades (much sharper).

These blades are pretty rigid.

Ed


VINCE PUGLIESE
 

Folks...

I stand corrected. I spoke with Evergreen and they do not use water jet technology. However the approach they do use is proprietary.

.vp

--- On Sun, 8/23/09, spsalso <Edwardsutorik@aol.com> wrote:

From: spsalso <Edwardsutorik@aol.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Received: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 8:44 PM






 





--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, VINCE PUGLIESE <gigitreosei@ ...> wrote:

For the record, I am fairly certain Evergreen uses waterjet technology to
produce their strip material.


I just checked the edges of some Evergreen strips from .010 to .250 and found tooth marks on all of them.



Ed




























[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, VINCE PUGLIESE <gigitreosei@...> wrote:

Folks...

I stand corrected. I spoke with Evergreen and they do not use water jet technology. However the approach they do use is proprietary.

.vp
I actually had some samples of Evergreen sheet cut on a waterjet, and all I can say is, it ain't pretty. Waterjets are used to cut hard materials. Styrene isn't that hard, and just kind of shreds.

Anyone who is familiar with horizontal milling machines, and the concept of mounting multiple slitting saws and spacers on the arbor should have a pretty good picture of how Evergreen makes both patterend sheets and strips.

Dennis


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory

I actually had some samples of Evergreen sheet cut on a waterjet, and all I can say is, it ain't pretty. Waterjets are used to cut hard materials. Styrene isn't that hard, and just kind of shreds.
----- Original Message -----

Harder materials can be cut (*), but they are not the exclusive application for WJC. Diapers, fabric blanks for clothing, foam, and carpet (Did you ever see an intricate logo or emblem in the lobby of a hotel or business?) are among the many "soft" things it is used for.

(IIRC, really hard things like ceramics can't be cut because of surface fracturing or something.)

KL


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Have you considered bending this from .005 brass sheet, using a photoetch bending tool like this:

http://ausfwerks.com//techniques/FB/main.html

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/tnt1/101-200/tnt143_PE-bending-tool_Tan/tnt143.htm

KL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
(IIRC, really hard things like ceramics can't be cut because of surface fracturing or something.)
That can happen, but the biggest reason is when the ceramic is harder than the cutting tool. That just won't work <g>. The real issue is whether the material to be cut is brittle or not. Very hard materials which are tough, like high-alloy steels, are perfectly cuttable without fracture problems--provided of course that the cutter is harder than the cuttee. As it were.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


proto48er
 

Guys -

Just a wild guess, but I would think that Evergreen would have cut thin styrene sheet with a guillotine shear. The very small edge serations, if vertically oriented from top to bottom on the strips, would confirm this. Another wild guess would be that their scribed styrene sheet is made in an horizontal milling machine-like device.

I have used a 12" Di-Acro shear to cut 0.005" thick shimstock half-hard brass into 0.070" wide boiler bands ("O" scale). The width of the cut strip is set with a backgauge (in my case, a "frontgauge" for the real thin sheet), and the sheet adjacent to the cutting blade must be held down on the table while cutting to achieve an even width down its entire length. The shear will cut thin stuff all day long - have sheared styrene and phosphor bronze up to 0.030" thick, too. The width varied about 0.001" plus or minus down the length of the strips. I set the "frontgauge" with a pair of Scherr-Tumico depth micrometers so that the cut strips are not tapered.

I just sold three small 8-1/2" press brakes on Ebay. They will make a somewhat sharp bend in thin sheet brass. However, simply bending brass to a right angle will not make a dead sharp bend. The thickness of the sheet will cause a radius on the corner of the bend equal to about 62% of the sheet thickness. In other words, if you bend 0.005" thick brass sheet, you will still have a radius in the corner of the bend of about 0.003". The same rules apply to styrene.

To make a dead sharp bend in brass, you have to use sufficient "tonnage" to cause the brass to actually flow at the corner ("coining.") That is difficult. However, it may be possible to cause the styrene to flow at a much lower pressure. Frankly, I have never tried that!

Here is the Di-Acro website:

<http://diacro.com/>

Their machines sometimes sell for reasonable prices on Ebay.

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Kurt Laughlin" <fleeta@...> wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory

I actually had some samples of Evergreen sheet cut on a waterjet, and all I
can say is, it ain't pretty. Waterjets are used to cut hard materials.
Styrene isn't that hard, and just kind of shreds.
----- Original Message -----

Harder materials can be cut (*), but they are not the exclusive application
for WJC. Diapers, fabric blanks for clothing, foam, and carpet (Did you
ever see an intricate logo or emblem in the lobby of a hotel or business?)
are among the many "soft" things it is used for.

(IIRC, really hard things like ceramics can't be cut because of surface
fracturing or something.)

KL


CJ Riley
 

--- On Mon, 8/24/09, Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@verizon.net> wrote:

From: Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@verizon.net>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Cutting styrene sheet into narrow strips...
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, August 24, 2009, 4:48 PM






 





----- Original Message -----

From: soolinehistory



I actually had some samples of Evergreen sheet cut on a waterjet, and all I

can say is, it ain't pretty. Waterjets are used to cut hard materials.

Styrene isn't that hard, and just kind of shreds.

----- Original Message -----



Harder materials can be cut (*), but they are not the exclusive application

for WJC. Diapers, fabric blanks for clothing, foam, and carpet (Did you

ever see an intricate logo or emblem in the lobby of a hotel or business?)

are among the many "soft" things it is used for.



(IIRC, really hard things like ceramics can't be cut because of surface

fracturing or something.)



KL


I would respectfully disagree on both counts. As the proprietor of Industrial Heritage Scale Models back in the '90s. I used water jet cut styrene for my line of structure kits. At the time, it was considered not possible to cut styrene with a laser, which I was able to have done successfully  several years later.The bents for the coal tipple were .100" and water jet cut, but there was a substantial "grooving" across the pieces that was a little too rough to represent rough sawn woodAs an architect, I also saw ceramic materials cut for intricate logos using a waterjet.CJ Riley
Bainbridge Island WA








I would respectfully disagree on both points. As the proprietor of Indi








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