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cutting fiberglass

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  • cutting fiberglass

    Could use some advise on methods and techniques of cutting fiberglass.

    I will need to rough cut 6mm cubes (saw) from rectangular pieces 25mm X 12mm X 6mm.

    I will then need to true these rough pieces up using a conventional mill.

    What type of cutter, speeds/feed and should I keep cool with airstream?

    I'm essentially making small cubes out of larger stock. I can't alter the properties because they will be ultrasonic test specimens for a project. I also do not know the exact composition of these fiberglass specimens.

    thanks

  • #2
    I don't know a lot about fiberglass, only worked on it a little bit..I'm sure you already know this but I will tell you any ways..Wear a dust mask...fiberglass in the lungs is worse than tobacco..fiberglass stays inside forever...I have never used any liquids of any kind, just a blast of shop air..but don't blow fiberglass everywhere..I haven't milled fiberglass, but I have bored it..and i could not get a good finish..hope this helps a little bit..

    brent

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    • #3
      People working with printed circuit boards use carbide drills kind of like forstner bits.
      Fiberglass is quite abrasive.You can saw with regular bandsaw, and mill with carbide. Probably at a high speed.
      Use a shop vac, or a real dust collector if available.
      If this is to be a way of life, a dust collector is a must.
      Jim H.

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      • #4
        A structured grit carbide hack saw blade works nicely. Wear Eye protection and a respirator! It would be better to machine the blocks with a structured tooth Carbide burr - Lee Valley Tools sells these for wood carving. A regular endmill will tear the glass fibres (A Diamond burr could also be used) and will dull extremely fast. DO NOT blow the fibrglass dust around, vacuumn it up with a shop vac (equipt with a HEPA filter would be best). Water may keep the dust down when milling.

        Use of a Diamond or structured tooth Carbide burrs will give a smooth surface at high speeds.

        Good luck.

        Dave


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