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tbow33

Cutting Photo-etch

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I am new at Photo-etch. I would like to know the best way to cut parts from the tree????

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Personally, I use a small Exacto 3209 knife to remove the attachments points and then Xuron PE cutters for trimming. I have a small resealable cutting board that I do all my cutting on. I used to cut on glass but had many parts go flying.

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To keep the little bitty bits from flying off, I've often laid the PE fret down on a piece of masking tape, after mostly de-tacking the tape in my hands and securing it to a cutting surface. There may still be a minor challenge separating fine, delicate parts from the tape without bending them, hence the de-tacking.

Edited by VonL

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I've also found that a new x-acto blade works best for me.

I also use a very hard surface to make the cuts on. I found that if I used my cutting mat, I would end up with a bend in the part. I have been using a scrap piece of glass to make cuts on. (Not sure how to describe the glass, but I picked it up from a fellow in our modeling club. It is about 3" x 5" and about 1/2" thick - it was made for some purpose, as the edges are rounded) Since I have been cutting on the glass the only thing I need to worry about is having the parts "fly" after being cut. If I use a small piece of tape - that solves that issue too!

 

 

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Thank you all this has helped a lot.

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I've also found that a new x-acto blade works best for me.

I also use a very hard surface to make the cuts on. I found that if I used my cutting mat, I would end up with a bend in the part. I have been using a scrap piece of glass to make cuts on. (Not sure how to describe the glass, but I picked it up from a fellow in our modeling club. It is about 3" x 5" and about 1/2" thick - it was made for some purpose, as the edges are rounded) Since I have been cutting on the glass the only thing I need to worry about is having the parts "fly" after being cut. If I use a small piece of tape - that solves that issue too!

 

 

 

The glass bits I use for this are extras from formerly framed pix, hence the edges are cut glass and kinda sharp. Another good use for masking tape is to cover these edges with it, to prevent those irritating little finger cuts from handling the glass.

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Currently I'm working on a 1/200 Arizona. The PE is sandwiched between to clear plastic films. You can separate the PE from the fret and then cut around it and lift the piece out. They should be congratulated on this packaging. Other companies should follow suit. It shouldn't cost that much and it would do away with tape and parts flying all over the place. I might add I always try to avoid working with PE. In this case the model is for a friend, so I have no choice.

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There's one other technique not mentioned so far. You can use LARGE clear storage bag (freezer bag, food saver bag, etc.). Just place the parts in the bag and then reach inside and cut off the needed part. Even if it does go flying, it's trapped in the bag!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Gil,

Have you had any issues with the baggie distorting your vision? Sounds like an idea I might try.

 

Mark

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It's not a baggy. It's a tacky film the surrounds the fret. After you cut the piece off, you cut around it and lift the top layer off and take off the PE part.

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Some baggies are clearer than others. Find one that is clear enough to see what you're doing.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I suggest you give my sophisticated :smiley23: high tech method a try. I use an old 4x4 ceramic tile as a cutting board and a piece of masking tape with the sticky side up to grab on the pe fret. I use a curved xacto blade to cut the part clean off. Works like a charm every time, parts don't fly off cause the tape keeps it from going awol. Remove the small part with tweezers that had the tips dunked in plastic dip. This stuff goes on liquid but dries creating a very thin plastic coating giving it better grabbing power.

Edited by plastickjunkie

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I use a pair of scissors that were made for fly tying (fishing lures). They've got super-fine serrations along one blade that helps hold the PE. Put the edge of the scissor blade against the edge of the PE part and cut it off. You can do any necessary trimming with the scissors once the part is free. You can find them at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shop, or any fly fishing store. They normally cost about $10, though. I haven't had any parts run away and join the Flying PE Brothers since using them. Just lucky, I guess.

 

Steve

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If you use the tape method and the piece is delicate, just brush over some alcohol and/or nail polish remover. It de-activates the adhesive but doesn't harm the part. The piece is then easily removed.

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I agree with Jessee, the Xuron product is great for cutting PE from the frets. I've had a pair for over 10 years and they're still as sharp as the day I opened the package. :smiley20:

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You guys are no fun at all :smiley15: !!! Where's the excitement when cutting PE. I use a #10 X-acto blade on a piece of plexiglass. It all leads to the thrill of launching the cut piece of PE and searching for it on your knees for at least 1/2 hour :smiley29: .

I just hate when that happens.

 

Just kidding,

Mark

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