The same tools and blades that you currently use on wood can be used with Plasticlad®.
Plasticlad® can be cut utilizing circular saws, reciprocating saws, band saws, table saws, multiple blade gang rip saws, or any other saw commonly used to process wood. Best results are achieved when using blades that are designed for cutting wood or plastic. Care should be taken to not allow excessive frictional heat build up while cutting. Finer tooth band or hacksaw blades generally do not work well, because the tooth spacing will create excessive heat. When cutting Plasticlad® the same safety guidelines used for cutting wood should be followed. The material should be cut at the proper feed rate, well supported, and the tooling should be sharp. Rough cut edges can result from improper cutting techniques. Power shears and guillotine cutters are generally not an acceptable method of cutting, as they tend to crush the edges.
Circular Saws: Carbide tipped blades are recommended. Standard carbon steel blades will work, but must be kept sharp. Rough cuts can result from dulled blades.
Best results will be achieved with a triple chip ground blade. Cutting speed 8,000 to 12,000 rpm, feed rate 90 to 120 fpm, rake angle 0 degree to 15 degree, clearance angle 10 degree to 20 degree, tooth pitch .080" to .400".
Band Saws: Blades that are normally recommended for wood or plastic should work. High speed steel, hook type, cutting speed 3,000 to 5,000 rpm, 4 to 8 teeth per inch, feed rate up to 40 fpm.
Reciprocating Saws: Rough cut blades for wood or plastic are recommended. Finer tooth blades are generally unacceptable, as they allow excessive frictional heat build up.
Plasticlad® can be drilled using most twist type drill bits recommended for metal drilling. Cutting speed of 150 to 1,300 rpm, point angle 90 degree to 110 degree, spiral angle 30 degree, relief angle 10 degree. Feed rate should not exceed .01 to .020 in/rev. In deeper holes, bit may need to be removed to facilitate waste discharge. Care should be taken to not allow excess frictional heat to build up in work piece. Best results will be achieved if bit is kept sharp at all times. Bits specifically ground for normal rigid PVC drilling are not acceptable.
Plasticlad® can be milled utilizing most standard milling machinery. Cutting speeds up to 18,000 rpm, feed rate .130 in/rev, relief angle 5 degree to 10 degree, rake angle -10 degree to 0 degree.
Plasticlad® can be routed with virtually any piece of equipment that is used to fabricate wood. The density and consistency allow Plasticlad® to shape better and hold tighter tolerances than most woods. Multi-fluted carbide bits are highly recommended. Machinery that allows for multiple cutting speeds may require some testing to obtain the smoothest finish. Sharp inside corners, that could possibly lead to stress cracking, should be avoided. An example of a sharp inside corner would be a dovetail joint. To help prevent stress cracking, tooling that creates a small radius, rather than a sharp angle should be used.
Plasticlad® can be finished by machine edging, sanding, grinding, or filing. Care must be taken to not allow excess frictional heat to build up. The edges will display the texture of the interior cell structure, which will allow for a cosmetically smooth finish. If desired, a smoother edge can be obtained by applying spackle or painting.
Plasticlad® has been developed to have a density similar to wood, and will show the effects of being compressed. When using hold downs to secure the material, care should be taken to distribute the force over a large area to eliminate marking.
Tooling sharpness and operating speeds will determine the quality of finished surfaces of machined work. In most cases, sanding should not be required to achieve a smooth finish.