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 Post subject: Cutting bakelite
PostPosted: Feb Tue 27, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7193
Location: Portland Oregon
I have some blank pieces of bakelite that I need to cut down so I can mount some terminals but when I try with a hacksaw but it tends to chip some. How did they originally cut it and make such nice clean edges?
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting bakelite
PostPosted: Feb Wed 28, 2018 12:34 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 28691
Location: SoCal, 91387
I would suggest first, placing masking tape over the cutting area on both sides, and then marking the tape with a pencil or pen where the cut is to be.

Then, use a Dremel rotary cutoff wheel at near top speed to do the cutting. The tape should prevent chipping. I've used this method on Plexiglass, plastic, and wood with NP but haven't tried it on Bakelite, so, YMMV.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting bakelite
PostPosted: Feb Wed 28, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 13, 2011 8:26 pm
Posts: 295
Location: Isanti MN
If you have a table saw, set the blade to just above the board surface.

The trick is to keep the blade angle to the work surface very small. Shallow as practical. If you are using a hack saw the same thing applies. Keep the blade angle to work surface very shallow, small. Maybe clamp the piece to be cut to a table top so it lays horizontal.

The tape idea is also very helpful. Also, a fine tooth blade. Experiment but usually the finer tooth the better.

Also, if the work still has chip out problems, make the cut out from the finish line a small amount and then sand or file up to the finish line.

If you are going to do a lot of this type of work, purchase a combination disk / belt sander. I have a cheap one and use it a lot to clean up and finish edges on just about everything I cut; even metal. Can shape things, make profiles, on it too.

I've always had trouble using too high a blade speed. The friction usually melts the plexiglass. Sometimes it even melts back together again. Cutting is a skill, somewhat different for everyone. Good Luck


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting bakelite
PostPosted: Feb Wed 28, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Posts: 1352
A masonry or tile cutting blade (abrasive) works well.

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