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What tool do you recommend to contour cut Gatorfoam or/and PVC sheets?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Tony Rome, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Hi I just got a good deal on some PVC sheets about 18x24 and I want to contour cut them into specific shapes.
    What tool could I use, I do not want to do this with a hand saw, I want something electric I can guide it through.

    Want to cut Gatorfoam, Cintra, PVC etc...
    Would a dremel be the way to go or even a rotozip?
    Sorry not much experience.
    Thanks!
     
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  2. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    band saw???
     
  3. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

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    Tighter curves can be achieved with scroll saw, you'll need a variable speed one. A jig saw and a fine blade is good as well.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Scroll saw. Better yet, a CNC.
     
  5. DRamm76

    DRamm76 Member

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  6. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    If you're doing them individually or just a couple at a time then a Cutawl. The tool that was specifically designed for this sort of thing.

    If you're doing a many of the same pattern, then pad them and use a band saw or a jigsaw with a medium to fine down-cut blade.

    This side of a CNC machine, these are the best solutions. Since you mention Dremel and Rotozip, I assume you're either an amateur or a cheapskate or some combination of both.

    If you want to do professional work, get professional tools. Ignore this at your own peril.
     
  7. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Member

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    We use a bandsaw with a fine blade on gatorboard[​IMG]

    Works well and requires less cleanup than a hand held jigsaw.
     
  8. Bill Modzel

    Bill Modzel Active Member

    If they're large, a router by hand. If they're smaller, a router mounted under a table.
    Just make sure that the twist of the cutting flutes "pull" the laminated print into the substrate and not away from it. So you need a different bit for each setup.
     
  9. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    if you are making a bunch of the same shape, I would get a template made up from 0.25" MDF or similar and use a hand router with a flush cut bit, each one will be identical and will take about 30 seconds to do
     
  10. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yup
     

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  11. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Bob, "not much experience" I think was pretty clear, haha.
    Definitely not a cheapskate, I want what is right and a long term good solution.

    Here is an example of what I want to cut...
    A lot of what I do will be in the range of 15x15 and 5 different shapes that I always will use over and over.
    helmets (15x15) multiple with template 50+
    Names 15x5 custom special orders
    HS Mascot or HS Logos 100+ (15x15)
    I am totally unfamiliar with the tools and I want a good solution, not a get me by.
    Also, if this same tool could cut Sintra.
    Thanks,
    Tony
     
  12. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Thanks
     
  13. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    prob CNC then...
     
  14. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Wow, that's awesome, and a pic too, thanks so much!
    Do they make a counter top version, lol....let me guess they do it's called a .....(tell me, I really don't know, lol)
     
  15. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Ok, maybe telling you my budget was a good idea.
    Under $500 or really $300 if possible.

    This is something I am trying out, but even trying out I know I want something like the Scroll Saw, in other words not a hand saw.

    I think I really like the scroll saw.
    Will it cut sintra, PVC , and gator (with the correct blades)
    Thanks so much everyone, I thin kI am close!
     
  16. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Scroll Saw will cut all kinds of wood, plastic, PVC, acrylic, gator, foam sintra, Cor-X.... pretty much anything. It also gets into some mighty tight places. I think MacGyver has used it on occasions.

    Oh, and it cuts through fingers very quickly, so be careful.
     
  17. Tony Rome

    Tony Rome Active Member

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    Hahahaha, your a trip Gino, I am going to get one today!
     
  18. ilikespam9002

    ilikespam9002 New Member

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    I always just use a variable speed jigsaw and do it by hand.Always looks good but have a guide either printed or with a vinyl border to be peeled away after cut and always leave premask on it till your done.im not sure bout the gator board i hate the stuff damages too easily.
     
  19. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    ili..... welcome and...........

    I think you're thinking of foamboard. Gator cuts like butter.
     
  20. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    for what you have described below reproducing the same shapes in a variety of substrates with the budget you have the way to do it is with a router table with a pattern bit as has already been mentioned i believe...you will make a master template and then what i do is using double sided masking tape adhere the two pieces together and the bit traces the template while cutting out the new piece...easy and fast..and in your price budget.


     
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