Cutting dibond

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tlm
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Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 10:50 am

Hi, hoping for some advice please 😊

What’s the best way to cut dibond?

I’ve seen Rotatrim Technical 54" A0 Rotary Trimmer, secondhand and also
KEENCUT LASER 400 48” PROFESSIONAL MOUNT CUTTER.

Are either of these good for the job? Thanks!!

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by GeoSpectrum » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 11:06 am

It depends how much you are planning on cutting. If it’s just occasionally a stanly knife and a good straight edge work. A little slow perhaps. I use an Excalibur 5000 but it can leave a mark close to the cutting edge so make sure you cut with the reverse towards you. I have tried on anything else apart from a CNC which I happen to have. Messy though.
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tlm
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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 11:45 am

Thanks, yes I’ve tried Stanley knife and like you said it’s a little slow. I’m looking to mount paper and canvas to it, as a painting support so will be fairly low volume. I was just tempted by these when seen on eBay.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 12:40 pm

Sign makers usually cut Dibond which a table saw and a fine toothed blade, which some very seroius dust extraction, dust mask and probably clamped down on to a sliding table. It seen Perspex cut like this and it produces a very clean and neat result, but the dust from perspex is very light and can remain in the air after cutting if the extaction system does not get it all, so quite dangerous, if you breathe any of the dust.

I guessing that something like a Keencut Steel track, or Javelin cutter might be adequate for the job, but I don't have any experience to know this for sure. I'm guessing that one of the framing suppliers would be able to give some much more definitive information about this. If I needed to cut some Dibond, I'm guessing that I might lay it on a bench and cut it with a panel saw, which is a fine toothed version of a hand held rip saw.

I was fortunate to have had the chance to get one at a table top sale a few years ago. Having said all that, I am still yet to use it. I suppose, it will get used one day!
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tlm
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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 1:39 pm

Thanks, we don’t have a table saw unfortunately but the dust is also a good point I hadn’t considered. I suppose a Stanley knife or rotatrim at least wouldn’t have that issue, very minimal dust at least.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 2:52 pm

I did not think about this earlier, but a fine toothed jug saw blade and an electric jig saw might do quite well. or I having a band saw and if the piece of Diboand was not excessively large, then I would probably use the band saw.
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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by prospero » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 7:51 pm

Table saws are great if you have a lot of room. For sheet materials you'd need a big area all round for support. :roll:

Band saws don't really suit sheet cutting. Not enough 'reach'.

Wall-mounted saws are maybe more suitable, but for 8x4 sheets you need a motorised carriage or arms like a gibbon. :lol:

** Rotatrim cutters are OK, but (at least mine did) they use a single wheel. The Excalibur has two, so makes a neater cut.
Unless you are planning on doing a lot I would stick to a track-mounted plunge cutter and get plenty of blades.
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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Sun 17 Jan, 2021 8:39 pm

Yes we struggle for space so the bigger saws aren’t really an option.

I’m yet to develop my gibbon arms too 😂

Thanks for the advice about plunge cutter, any recommendations on make/ model?

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by Gesso&Bole » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 7:51 am

I have a Keencut Steeltrak. This is a beefed up version of the Excalibur and has been designed for sign makers. It cuts dibond without drama or dust.
Here for the love of picture framing - happy to share any knowledge I have

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by KeencutTechSupport » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 10:18 am

Dibond or ACP (Aluminium Composite Panel) is made by a whole host of manufacturers and their behaviour when cutting can vary. This material is used widely in the sign and construction industries and comes in a number of colours/finishes. It can be cut in a number of ways each with its pros and cons. Briefly:

Hand or Jig Saw- Noisy, dusty, jagged/sharp edge, requires finishing with abrasive block file or wet/dry paper
Routing (on guide) or Circular Power Saw- Noisy, dusty, sharp edge, requires finishing with abrasive block, file or wet/dry paper
Keencut SteelTrak- Designed to cut ACP, use Twin Wheel cutter to produce safe (slightly rounded) edge no further edge finishing required. No dust or noise. Not economical if cutting small amount.
Keencut Excalibur 5000- TW cutter geometry modified a number of years ago to cope with occasional cutting of ACP, sliding bearings should be checked for loose play. No dust or noise, cut same as backing board and no further edge finishing required. Overall the best option for the framer.

I have left out cutting with a hand knife because there are different methods:

Score & snap- Many types of ACP can be cut using this method but a test would need to be done on the board first to make sure the method works. This can be done using a hand knife and safety straight edge (do not use a normal ruler unless you don't value your fingers) or it can be done on a mountcutter or any machine that uses a utility or mountcutting blade. Run the blade along the surface of the board until you have broken through the top aluminium foil, place the board on the edge of a table such that the score line is directly over the edge and push hard and fast to snap it, then bend it up and down a few times to break the rear foil. So, score, snap, wiggle. The edge will be sharp and require finishing with abrasive block, file or wet/dry paper.

Cut through- We have recently developed a way of cutting ACP using a TECH D 012 blade on our range of Evolution3 cutters used in the sign industry. We have found that if both the board and the blade are clamped firmly with only just enough blade exposed to get through the board, with 5-6 cuts you can get through all the way and leave a good quality cut that only needs the minimum of finishing. We have not tried this on a mountcutter but to have any chance of working it needs a very rigid bearing system to guide the blade accurately and absorb the cutting pressures or it can divert the blade on subsequent strokes. Cutting in this way does require a lot of effort and a good number of strokes.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by Richard Photofusion » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 1:00 pm

Cut through- We have recently developed a way of cutting ACP using a TECH D 012 blade on our range of Evolution3 cutters used in the sign industry. We have found that if both the board and the blade are clamped firmly with only just enough blade exposed to get through the board, with 5-6 cuts you can get through all the way and leave a good quality cut that only needs the minimum of finishing. We have not tried this on a mountcutter but to have any chance of working it needs a very rigid bearing system to guide the blade accurately and absorb the cutting pressures or it can divert the blade on subsequent strokes. Cutting in this way does require a lot of effort and a good number of strokes.
I've tried this only once using our Javelin cutter (needed to rip down an 8x4 Dibond sheet to 8x2') It was not fun, but had dibond and cutter bar held down with quick clamps.

In the distant past, I've had sheets of dibond cut down by suppliers, presumably using a panel saw. On occasions, the results were very clean, no finishing needed, but the panels were covered in DiBond dust, which was a real PITA to remove.

Just got the new C2 cutter head for our SteelTrak - first impressions are it produces less curl on LHS, and slightly less rolling of edges. Down side, it is larger and weighs more, so the cutting head drifts down to the bottom of the machine, where it lurks, waiting to take a bite at my shins.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 9:42 pm

KeencutTechSupport wrote:
Mon 18 Jan, 2021 10:18 am
Dibond or ACP (Aluminium Composite Panel) is made by a whole host of manufacturers and their behaviour when cutting can vary. This material is used widely in the sign and construction industries and comes in a number of colours/finishes. It can be cut in a number of ways each with its pros and cons. Briefly:

Hand or Jig Saw- Noisy, dusty, jagged/sharp edge, requires finishing with abrasive block file or wet/dry paper
Routing (on guide) or Circular Power Saw- Noisy, dusty, sharp edge, requires finishing with abrasive block, file or wet/dry paper
Keencut SteelTrak- Designed to cut ACP, use Twin Wheel cutter to produce safe (slightly rounded) edge no further edge finishing required. No dust or noise. Not economical if cutting small amount.
Keencut Excalibur 5000- TW cutter geometry modified a number of years ago to cope with occasional cutting of ACP, sliding bearings should be checked for loose play. No dust or noise, cut same as backing board and no further edge finishing required. Overall the best option for the framer.

I have left out cutting with a hand knife because there are different methods:

Score & snap- Many types of ACP can be cut using this method but a test would need to be done on the board first to make sure the method works. This can be done using a hand knife and safety straight edge (do not use a normal ruler unless you don't value your fingers) or it can be done on a mountcutter or any machine that uses a utility or mountcutting blade. Run the blade along the surface of the board until you have broken through the top aluminium foil, place the board on the edge of a table such that the score line is directly over the edge and push hard and fast to snap it, then bend it up and down a few times to break the rear foil. So, score, snap, wiggle. The edge will be sharp and require finishing with abrasive block, file or wet/dry paper.

Cut through- We have recently developed a way of cutting ACP using a TECH D 012 blade on our range of Evolution3 cutters used in the sign industry. We have found that if both the board and the blade are clamped firmly with only just enough blade exposed to get through the board, with 5-6 cuts you can get through all the way and leave a good quality cut that only needs the minimum of finishing. We have not tried this on a mountcutter but to have any chance of working it needs a very rigid bearing system to guide the blade accurately and absorb the cutting pressures or it can divert the blade on subsequent strokes. Cutting in this way does require a lot of effort and a good number of strokes.

I hope this helps.
Thank you that’s very helpful! I’m interested in finding out more about the Excalibur 5000

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 9:43 pm

Gesso&Bole wrote:
Mon 18 Jan, 2021 7:51 am
I have a Keencut Steeltrak. This is a beefed up version of the Excalibur and has been designed for sign makers. It cuts dibond without drama or dust.
Sounds ideal but a bit out of budget sadly

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by Richard Photofusion » Mon 18 Jan, 2021 10:14 pm

You could go down the track saw route - a fine tooth blade with a negative rake along the lines of these https://www.swedex-shop.co.uk/index.php ... path=20_26, then clean up with a hand plane and or sanding block. There is a brand of blade whose name escapes me, that people rave about. Smaller, cheaper and lighter than a table saw.

Noisy, messy, and contributes to the world's collection of plastic particulates, but with a bit of care and attention, could make clean cuts. Check out Peter Millard's youtube on using track saws. There are options out there that are not wildly expensive.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by KeencutTechSupport » Thu 21 Jan, 2021 12:21 pm

tlm wrote:
Mon 18 Jan, 2021 9:42 pm
Thank you that’s very helpful! I’m interested in finding out more about the Excalibur 5000
Hi Tim, you should find all you need on our web page here https://www.keencut.com/product/excalibur-5000/. Any questions, please ask.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Thu 21 Jan, 2021 1:20 pm

Thanks, can I ask you at Keencut, I’ve just seen the keencut 4000 model on eBay which would be great in other ways and help with the budget, do you think this will also cut dibond? Thanks!

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by KeencutTechSupport » Thu 21 Jan, 2021 1:27 pm

Tim, the System 4000 is over 20 years old now and we have no parts for it. Secondly the bearing system and plate that holds the cutting wheels are not man enough for it. The plate that holds the cutting wheels is 10mm thick on the current machine and only 3mm on the S4000. We don't have a machine to try it on unfortunately but I am quite sure of the outcome.

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Re: Cutting dibond

Post by tlm » Thu 21 Jan, 2021 1:30 pm

Ok thanks for the quick reply, that’s useful to know I think I’ll avoid it.

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