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If you’ve ever worked plastic with woodworking tools, you’ve probably noticed that the chips usually melt to the side of the cut, or chip welding as it’s commonly called. Not only does cleaning it up add more work, but you don’t get a nice crisp edge.

I discovered that several of the blades designed to cut plastic without melting all seem to have the same features: They use a modified triple chip grind and the carbide teeth have a -2ยบ hook angle. It turns out this is not a coincidence. Both the moderately priced A.G.E. and the inexpensive Timberline brands are also made by Amana Tool.

The Timberline blade is 10″ in diameter and will run you about $20, the A.G.E blades come in sizes ranging from 7-1/4″ to 14″ and run anywhere from $50 to $160, and the Amana blades come in sizes ranging from 8″ to 16″ and run between $100 and $270.

Non-Melt Blade [Amana Tool]
Non-Melt Blade [A.G.E (Amana)]
Non-Melt Blade [Timberline]
Non-Melt Blades [ToolsToday]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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3 Responses to Plastic Melts In Your Oven, Not On Your Saw

  1. fred says:

    Amana produces a very good product in our experience – but we use a Forrest alternative:

    http://www.forrestblades.com/nomelt.htm

    One thing we like about Forrest is their sharpening service – which provides very good and fast service.

  2. Brau says:

    Just in case less than absolutely perfect budget cuts are needed, I’ll share a redneck solution I found for cutting plastics (even shaving & dadoing soft aluminum), on a normal tablesaw. The trick is to keep the cutting speed low to reduce heat, so I gutted an old vacuum cleaner with a speed control and made an variable speed extension cord out of it. Using this I have been able to drop the rotational speed of the saw, and, using a nice slow push rate, easily make clean cuts, with a standard carbide bit blade.

    I only had to do this for a single project, so the fun was in the effort to see if it could be done. While the results were better than I expected, if I wanted to cut plastics more regularly, I think one of the above blades would be a better idea.

    Hint: After cutting plastics (IE:ABS), the edge can be made nice and shiny by rubbing it with a Q-Tip wetted with Acetone. (Also, Actetone melts ABS so it also works perfectly as an instant welding agent.)

  3. Ed Skinner says:

    If you do not have the proper blade, a carbide blade works fine if you direct a stream of compressed air at the leading edge of the blade/material while cutting. This is best done by a helper so you can keep both hands on the saw. This also works using a band saw to cut plastic.

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