Cutting sintra?

kibosh

Active Hunter
I've read a few posts here on the best way to cut sintra. It seems like the exacto knife method would be murder on my hands. I used a cutting wheel on my dremel, but it gave off terrblie oders. I'v eread that those fumes are toxic as well. My question is, how toxic are they? If I was just making a few cuts in my garage and then left everything until the fumes went away, how much danger is there? I figure I'll only be inhaling them for a couple of minutes. Any advice how to avoid inhalation all together?

I'm also concerned with sanding. Dust the sintra dust pose any additional problem? I do wear a cheap breathing mask when sanding to keep the dust out of my lungs, but is the residue on the garage floor dangerous?

Thanks guys!

Eric
 

Prymer13

Well-Known Hunter
Ok bro, here goes:

Your best bet hands down, is a stanley utility knife ($4-11 @ any Lowes, Home Depot, etc). IF you use a straight edge and score it then progressively put more pressure in you will be fine.

The fumes from cutting and heating the sintra are indeed toxic and a RESPIRATOR is highly suggested. A regular dust mask won't cut it. The dust isn't too bad, but I'd make sure to sweep up afterwards with the door open and mask on. Whenever I clean up I use a mini vac and it helps.

The main reason to stay away from a cutting wheel: it melts as it cuts, so any "lines" that you are following will have to be trimmed anyways with a knife or file. Might as well use the knife from the begining.
 

J ROCK

Active Hunter
Kibosh,


Prymer13 is pretty much right on. I used a regular cheep mask when boiling Sintra and had a sore throat afterwards.....invest in a good respirator. As for cutting, I cut out my armor from 1/4 inch Sintra using a Jigsaw. It worked well because it was fast and it didn't melt anything. I cut it all outside! I used a file and sand paper afterwards to clean up the cut, again, outside. Turned out pretty nice. The thing about the fumes is that you can't see or smell anything. I usually eneded up with a soar throat like I mentioned (Before I read that it was dangerous). It's not worth taking the risk. Work with it outside and buy a good quality mask. Sometimes the masks will say on them what type of particles they will filter, mine had a valve on the front.
J-ROCK
 

kibosh

Active Hunter
Thanks guys. We're getting into the Michigan winter months so working outside doesn't sound too appealing...

How much should I expect to pay for a respirator???
 

kibosh

Active Hunter
Man. Cutting sintra with a utility knife is SOOOO easy. I have no idea why I had reservations about doing it. Like Prymer said, just score with progressivley increasing pressure. 3-4 good swipes got me through 3 mm sintra without any pain to my hands.

Of course, I'm only doing straights at this point. Curves may be more difficult.

And watch your fingers! I came close a few times to accidentally shortening mine...
 

Prymer13

Well-Known Hunter
I think the stroke of a jig saw is more abrupt...plus it causes serious vubrations to go thru the piece. Unless you have a scroll saw like JK (They have a much finer blade, and a stable work surface to brace your piece on) I would still use a knife.
 

heart33

New Hunter
What type of blade are you using on your scroll saw? I tried cutting sentra tonight and it seemed to melt back together where I cut. Do you have any tips for how to cut it and get a clean line that doesn't melt together?

Steve
 
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