How to Cut Textolite at Home
During construction and finishing work, the question often arises of how to cut polystyrene foam and do it so that the material does not crumble.
For these purposes, special tools and techniques are used, which are selected depending on the size of the foam plate.
In certain situations, it is very important to achieve cutting accuracy. The solution to these problems must be approached in a balanced and consistent manner.
This material, unique in its properties, is 95% air. Due to this structure, the specific gravity of the foam is very small.
If necessary, you can cut the material with your own hands with any sharp and hard object.
Polyfoam has the following properties:
- light weight;
- low thermal conductivity;
- affordable cost.
Its use can significantly reduce the cost of the construction of the object. It is important to emphasize that the material does not rot and is not affected by microorganisms.
It has high soundproofing characteristics. Most often used as a heat insulator.
Having a wide range of positive properties, polystyrene has some disadvantages. The first thing experts say is that the material is not resistant to open fire.
In such a situation, toxic compounds are released into the atmosphere, which are very harmful to the human body.
Another property, which is one of the negative, is that the foam attracts mice.
These rodents make holes in the foam massif with high speed. In order to prevent such contacts, the foam should be reliably insulated from external influences.
Tools and fixtures
Currently, foam is widely used in various industries and construction. Its unique properties allow the creation of sealed devices for long-term storage of products.
Home craftsmen make such lari with their own hands. In the construction of residential buildings, foam boards are used as heat and sound insulation.
The material is very suitable for packaging complex and fragile devices that are preparing for transportation.
In the process of using, standard foam boards have to be cut to specific sizes and patterns. To do this, you can use a homemade machine or do with improvised tools.
Daily practice shows that cutting foam at home does not cause any particular difficulties for the master.
When you need to perform an operation one or a couple of times, you should not strain. just take a clerical knife with interchangeable blades and cut the sheet into predetermined pieces. Blades need to be used sharp. In this case, there is almost no waste.
In this way, sheet cutting up to 5 mm thick is easily and quickly performed. If this value is greater, then you have to use a machine or other device.
Otherwise, it is very difficult to achieve an even cut. This creates a lot of waste and dust.
When there is no wallpaper knife at hand, it is not forbidden to cut the plate with a hacksaw. Work can be done in the short term with your own hands.
If the saw has a large tooth, then there will be a lot of sawdust, and the surface of the cut will be rough. To avoid this result, it is advisable to find a saw with a small tooth.
Video: How to Cut Textolite at Home
You can use a blade for cutting metal. In this case, the foam almost does not crumble, but fine dust is formed.
When working with polystyrene foam, the cutting tool is selected depending on the tasks set and on the production conditions. As a rule, foam boards are cut on BAL-KOne or in the bathroom.
Electric jigsaw cutting
If the house has an electric jigsaw, then it can be used in case of urgent need for cutting. Depending on the model, the length of the jigsaw reaches 10 cm.
From this condition, a simple conclusion follows that the thickness of the foam sheet should not exceed this value.
When starting cutting with a jigsaw, you need to be prepared for the fact that the smoothness of the cut will be worse than when working with a knife. The volume of garbage will also increase.
The main advantage of cutting with a jigsaw is that the master does not have to exert physical effort. However, to perform better cutting, you can use other tools.
As a rule, cutting foam at home is carried out in small quantities. Cut several sheets of material with your own hands using steel wire.
To do this, you do not have to design a homemade device, it will be enough to invite an assistant. Handles must be firmly attached to a piece of steel wire with a diameter of 0.5 mm on both sides.
Then with this tool you just need to saw the foam sheet according to the marking applied in advance. During sawing, the wire heats up and melts the edges of the plate. As a result, the edge is smooth and hard, and there is no debris.
Hot string cutting
When repairing an old apartment or finishing a new one, it is necessary to cut polystyrene in large volumes. In such situations, working with a wallpaper knife or an electric jigsaw is irrational.
When solving such problems, it is recommended to use a simple machine, which is easy to assemble with your own hands.
Currently, the foam cutting machine is on sale. The wizard has the opportunity to choose the best option in accordance with their considerations.
Schematic of the cutter for polystyrene foam: 1. nichrome wire (spiral from the electric stove), 2. screw with nut and washer, 3. handle (textolite S 4 mm), 4. power cord, 5. plug, 6. rubber or vinyl tube.
It is important to emphasize that the main working body of the machine is a nichrome wire, which heats up under the influence of electric current.
To assemble the machine, the following elements will be required:
- step-down transformer with an output voltage of 12. 24 V;
- nichrome or fechral wire;
To connect the machine to the network, in addition to this list you will need a copper wire. Specialists know that the wire should not be heated to a high temperature.
In this case, the foam will melt intensively, and the cut will be uneven. It is enough that the wire turns slightly red.
Before cutting polystyrene foam, it is necessary to prepare a workplace. First of all, it checks whether the machine is working.
The next step is to ensure sufficient illumination of the working area and ventilation, which does not cause drafts.
Then it is the turn to mark the sheet. Marking is carried out without fail, otherwise the cut is likely to be oblique. practice has repeatedly proved this.
For marking, a simple, sharpened pencil and a ruler are used. The lines on the sheet surface must be contrasted so that they can be seen through the glasses of the goggles.
Marking when cutting polystyrene can not be done in one case. when the sheets are prepared for thermal insulation of walls and roofs.
Since the amount of polystyrene foam for these purposes is always large, cutting is performed either with an angle grinder or with a circular saw.
Both that, and another method involves the use of a hard template. A machine with nichrome wire is simply inappropriate here.
The reason is simple. there are no high demands on the quality of the edges during the construction process. The main thing is that a formatted foam sheet is inserted into the crate cell.
Companies that specialize in the production of polystyrene are always ready to advise interested parties on how to cut this material.
In the last decade, foam has been widely used in modeling objects and interior design.
You can cut shaped figures from polystyrene with a special knife with a heating blade. The design of such a knife is similar to the design of a soldering iron.
This cutting tool is most often used by interior designers and fashion designers.