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Author Topic: Best way to cut carbon spars  (Read 3558 times)
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PUZZLE
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« on: May 28, 2012, 06:14 AM »

Broke a le carbon spar and need to cut the new one to size . Do you score it with a knife use a drumel?
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 06:41 AM »

dremel cut-off works great.
When using a dremel tool, I first tape the spar where I want to cut it... tape on the portion I'll be keeping. Then cut with a large fiber cutoff disc. I cut 1 mm longer than intended so that I can sand/file the end of the spar to exact dimension and taper the edge of the spar slightly to prevent it catching on the leading edge dacron. 
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DD
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 07:02 AM »

I have used dremel or a fine tooth hack saw, rotating as I cut, but still using tape
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Will Sturdy
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 07:07 AM »

I use a cutoff wheel in an arrowshaft cutting jig. That keeps lengths precise and cuts square.

Don't cut all the way through the wall at any point at first - start the cut all the way around before going through. This reduces splintering. Tape also helps.

Hacksaws are the most controllable method. I would only recommend using a dremel or any other cut off wheel not in a jig if you are 100% comfortable with it and have a very steady hand. Personally I can't get a square cut using one freehand.

Will
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tcope
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 07:10 AM »

Chainsaw... the more cc's, the better.

Be a man!

Oh... and tape of course.

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Todd Copeland
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PUZZLE
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 10:05 AM »

let family fly my innerspace and lawn dart broken le, My favorite kite!
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Smeagol
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2012, 12:00 PM »

I use an arrow saw, but I'm a rod cuttin' fool.  Wink  The Weston 8000 rpm arrow saw has been known to drop down to $99 on Amazon, pretty good for what you get.

dremel or cheap harbor freight chop saw works if you're only cutting a few rods.

-Mike
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Ara Ararauna
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2012, 12:20 PM »

Chainsaw... the more cc's, the better.

Be a man!

Oh... and tape of course.

Hugh?   Huh   Huh
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012, 12:35 PM »

If using the chainsaw you don't just cut right through it... that would be stupid. You score the edges first. Let's not get crazy. It also helps to have a (good) friend hold either side of the rod while cutting through it. Proper eye protection is a must.
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Todd Copeland
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 12:42 PM »

A hand held rotary too can cause more trouble that it's worth. They really send carbon dust flying, which is not good. If I had a vise, I'd lock it down and bring the part to the wheel. I use it when I'm in a hurry and have a cut list for a whole frame.

Most of the time I use a 32tpi hacksaw blade hand held, followed up with a fine file.

Holding the blade in your hand gives you the touch to go through even delicate rods with no problems.

Tape just seems to gum things up and slow you down. What's the point? Maybe with too coarse and/or slow blade on a hand held power tool it keeps it from skittering along the rod when starting a cut?

If I had a workshop I'd have a chop saw like Mike. I used to borrow the one at GWTW back in the day.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 02:01 PM »

Tape, measure, mark, re-measure, protective goggles, while rotating spar by hand; cut with high-speed cutoff wheel, sand flat and bevel with 220 wet sanding block.
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tcope
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 02:38 PM »

With a chainsaw there is almost no dust. Sure, a few pieces might go flying... but no dust.
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Todd Copeland
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madhabitz
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 02:56 PM »

Like Allen, I think Mike's cutoff saw looks awesome (watched a YouTube video). Way cool.

I've only cut one spar so far (heh), so take my ideas for what they're worth. I'm mainly posting because it just can't hurt to gather more ideas, right? Never know when one idea will inspire another. In any case I'm into making jewelry, so I had a few tools on hand that worked for me:

Sawing Jig
Used to hold wire or tubing in place while sawing. Perfect for when you need to make many cuts all the same size. Only drawback is the length of wire/tubing you can cut with this jig unless you remove the rod/stop-thingy.


If you need a longer length cut, a piece of wood (2x4 would work) with a v-shaped groove cut down the length of it will hold tubing, with your fingers holding the tubing down. You'd do your sawing at the edge of the wood.

Sawframes
A jeweler's saw is awesome... and not just for jewelry. I've used mine for a ton of different projects (cuts metal or wood... and spars!) and it's been worth every penny I paid for it. An expensive sawframe would be great, but I've found that my cheapie works just fine for my needs. I think I paid under ten dollars for it. Lots of video on how to use can be found online (there is a bit of technique to sawing).


Sawblades
The teeth on a jeweler's sawblade are very very fine-- the more teeth per inch, the fewer burrs and/or splintering. There are sawblades and there are sawblades. I became a believer in the really good blades after spending hours trying to saw some things as a newbie. I sucked it up and paid more money for a few really good ones and oh man, what a huge difference. The good ones will saw through a coin like butter.

The Good Ones aren't all that expensive-- you can get a dozen of one size for about four to six bucks from OttoFrei (http://www.ottofrei.com/store/Otto-Frei-Swiss-Jewelers-Saw-Blades/) or Contenti (http://www.contenti.com/products/saws/400-201-8_0.html). There are many places to buy blades, but these are the two places I would trust the most.

Sawblade Sizes
For what it's worth, I generally use a size 3/0 blade which is about average and it makes a darned smooth cut at a decent cutting pace. Here's a link to a sizing chart:
http://www.contenti.com/resources/library/sawblades.pdf


(mods: I put the links in because I didn't think they were kiteshop competitors. I will understand if you need to take them out)
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PUZZLE
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2012, 10:23 PM »

tcope can i come use your chain saw? we can practice on some of your spars?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 12:17 AM »

Tape, measure, mark, re-measure, protective goggles, while rotating spar by hand; cut with high-speed cutoff wheel, sand flat and bevel with 220 wet sanding block.

What Worldwind says, I lay the spar on a table and roll it into my Dremel, not as fancy as Steve's spar cutter but basically the same idea. I've never split a thinwall spar using this method. Handholding on the thicker wall pultruded spars can be more difficult with the possibility to bind on the blade, I tend to cut those a bit long and sand down to size. I always smooth the cut with some fine sandpaper too.


Someday I'll buy a build a dedicated spar cutter.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 12:19 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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