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Tip #201
Straight line cutting of plastics

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The next time you need to cut a straight edge on a piece of plastic, try the snap-cut approach.

First, you'll need to find yourself a plastic scoring knife. Most look a lot like a utility knife…with a hooked tip…and they're readily available at most hardware stores or home centers for around $6 or $7.

STEP 1: Start by using a straightedge and a scoring knife to score your line on the UNDER-SIDE of your plastic.

STEP 2-A: If it's a small workpiece, clamp it into a vise having jaws that are at least as wide as your piece of plastic. Be sure your score line is AWAY from you and visible, just ABOVE the top of your vise jaws…then pull the non-clamped top of your plastic firmly and quickly TOWARD you, snapping the piece in two.

STEP 2-B: If it's a large workpiece, begin with STEP 1, above. Next, lay your workpiece on the shop floor with the score line on the UNDER-SIDE. Place a RIGID, straight-edged board or piece of heavy gauge steel on top of your workpiece, at the score line.

Stand on top of your straightedge…bend over and firmly grasp the opposite edge of your workpiece and pull up on it briskly, snapping your workpiece at the score line.


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