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Making Cut Outs

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  • Member since
    June, 2016
Making Cut Outs
Posted by Lightfoot on Friday, August 18, 2017 9:39 AM

I am building the RMF Tiger I which has a lot of internal detail which will be covered up when completely assembled.  I want to creat cut outs to expose some of the internal detail and was wondering what the best way do to this is?

A dremel cutter tends to overheat the plastic.  While it makes cutting the plastic easy it leaves behind melted edges which will have to be sanded down without damaging the rest of the model.

Is there a better way to do this?

 

Tags: cutouts , Tanks
  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Monday, August 21, 2017 3:57 PM

Dremel has a saw blade that I have used in the past to do this very delicate surgery. It didnt leave much "slag" on the edge ( and what was there I easily snapped off with my fingers ) I finished with an X-acto sawblade all the stuff that I couldnt reach with the dremel.( There the same size as a regular  #11 blade they just have teeth.

C A U T I O N !!!!! Keep your fingers well clear of the blade if using the  Dremel sawblade !!!!

And if possable use the slowest setting you have.

                      Dont worry about the thumbprint... paint it rust and call it "Battle damage" !

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, August 21, 2017 4:07 PM

If I get the drift, you want to have openings that are soft shapes.

I do that kind of thing by drilling (by hand) a close row of holes.

Then clean up with a sharp knife and a file.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Monday, August 21, 2017 5:53 PM

have you ever tried a razor saw by CMK , very fine tooth , excellent cut , hand use .

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Lightfoot on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:01 AM

I haven't tried the Dremel saw disk. I'll look and see if they have one with a fine enough blade. Usually the problem with the Dremel is even at low speeds it tends to generate to much heat for a clean cut. I do have some exacto saw blades and am going to test them on some scrap. In the past I have found the saw blades to be a little difficult to get through plastic without damaging it.

 

Part of problem is most of the tank is assembled so I can tell what parts would need to be cut to give the maximum view without destroying important parts of the model. Some areas of this tank like the drive shafts just are to deeply buried to expose without destroying the model. The other choice is to leave the top areas unglued so the interior can be viewed by just lifting off the top. I would prefer cutaways so it is always visible. I have been researching what others have done but noticed some of the cutaways are quite complicated cuts which I am not sure the tools I have can do without damaging the tank.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:55 AM

Hi Lightfoot !

   I see a problem , but not one that cannot be overcome . Usually I lay out areas to be removed , Before , assembling the model , after dry fitting as many components as I can safely .

   Then take a grease pencil and mark out the areas you want removed in a small or large flowing " Cloud " shape . These " Clouds " can then be created by using a drill bit of 1/8 " size at the perimeter of your " Holes " .

 Now carefully cut between the holes you've drilled , smooth and there you have it . Now in Armor I believe it's best to leave very Blunt edges to give the effect of armor thickness .

 On Planes and Ships I usually chamfer the edges inward so the exterior edge is a scale thickness or close without losing any strength . There you have my way . Good Luck .

   Oh , by the way .Do NOT use a DREMEL to do this ! Even at the slowest speed , even on the rechargeable one it's too high in R.P.M.s for plastic ! I bought a small Hand sized re-chargeable drill . I believe it's a Black and Decker and the R.P.M. Is controlleable two ways . By the switch setting to slow and then the trigger pressure . This works best for me .

  • Member since
    February, 2017
Posted by ugamodels on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 11:05 PM

There are cutting bits for the dremel, rather than disks. Carbide ones for tile which might be overkill and ones that look like a drill bit but a sharp edge in the spiral to cut. Of course you need enough depth to use, but moving up and down helps keep things cooler.

However I have not tried this with plastic, so test on some scrap first.

I type on a tablet. Please excuse the terseness and the autocorrect. Not to mention the erors. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 24, 2017 1:18 AM

Dremels have little to no use on plastic.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, August 24, 2017 3:31 AM

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:55 AM

Dremel hand grinders, even the variable speed models, vary in how slow a minimum speed they have.  There are, however, Dremel models that do have quite good speed control, though they tend to be the more expensive models. If you are able to buy one of these more expensive models, I find them an excellent modeling tool.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:32 PM

I second GMorrison--I would not use a rotary tool for this operation, I would use a pin vise to drill out small holes and remove material, till you can fit a razor saw into the cut.  I find that even at the slowest possible speeds, a rotary tool is too fast and it is too easy to slip and damage the piece, the tool and blade, and yourself.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

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  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:48 PM

Here is another way to cut out irregular-shaped holes without messing up the immediate area around said holes (yes, I have actually seen this performed during a demo at a club meeting a while back):

As previously mentioned, mark your areas to be cut with a pencil of some kind; drill a small hole somewhere along that line; then, insert either some dental floss in the hole, or some very strong thread, and use that as your saw. A curved piece of springy metal, or a Flex-I-File U-shaped sanding handle, with both ends of the thread/floss secured to the handle (think of something horseshoe-shaped to hold the floss/thread), will work great handling the thread/floss while you saw with it. Won't overheat anything, and cuts curves very, very easily.

Gary Mason

 

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Lightfoot on Sunday, August 27, 2017 9:05 AM
Some interesting ideas especially floss. The model has quite a few extra pieces so and can test some of these methods before trying them on the real thing. Thanks all.
  • Member since
    February, 2017
Posted by ugamodels on Sunday, August 27, 2017 10:59 AM

Devil Dawg

Here is another way to cut out irregular-shaped holes without messing up the immediate area around said holes (yes, I have actually seen this performed during a demo at a club meeting a while back):

As previously mentioned, mark your areas to be cut with a pencil of some kind; drill a small hole somewhere along that line; then, insert either some dental floss in the hole, or some very strong thread, and use that as your saw. A curved piece of springy metal, or a Flex-I-File U-shaped sanding handle, with both ends of the thread/floss secured to the handle (think of something horseshoe-shaped to hold the floss/thread), will work great handling the thread/floss while you saw with it. Won't overheat anything, and cuts curves very, very easily.

Gary Mason

 

 

 

There are coping saw blades that are flexible and grit covered. Slightly larger diameter than floss or thread.

I type on a tablet. Please excuse the terseness and the autocorrect. Not to mention the erors. 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:05 AM

 There is a good consensus here !

 This is an aside . I have a coping saw that takes the rounded , any direction blades like I use in my Scroll - Saw . They work very good !

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