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Cutting Cork
Posted by: Brandan Martin (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 07:19PM

I've been using my band saw to cut cork into a smaller size. I get a good clean cut but have a hard time getting the cut straight. I talked to a few people at the show about it and they didn't feel that a band saw was the best tool to use. Any suggestions? What about a mini table saw? Thanks in advance!
Brandan

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: George Forster (---.hsd1.co.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 07:55PM

chop saw with fine blade

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 08:03PM

Brandon,
A mini table saw works well if you use a very very fine toothed blade.
Another thing that works well is a small chop saw with a very fine toothed blade or an abrasive wheel on the saw for ultra smooth cuts.

One of the things with cutting cork - when it is in the form of a handle is to be able to get the bulk of the handle aligned so that it is perpendicuar to the blade or cutting wheel.

i.e. many times handles have irregular shapes - and are difficult to clamp in a saw, or grinder to get it stabilized to make the cut.

This is a little chop saw that takes up very little bench space and actually works quite well:

[www.harborfreight.com]

Another option is a small chop saw - like:
[www.harborfreight.com]

At many of the home building centers you can pick up an 8 inch chop saw for about $50. Then, either use a very very fine tipped blade or use an abrasive cut off wheel on the saw.

I really prefer using an abrasive cut off wheel rather than a toothed blade because there are no teeth to tear out cork, and there are no teeth to tear up fingers if they happen to get into the wrong area.
Also, the abrasive wheels make velvet smooth cuts with no teeth on the wheels.

You can also go with a small table saw as in:

[www.harborfreight.com]

The problem with both the band saw as well as the table saw is that you are moving the work through the cutting surface.

The chop saws on the other hand, clamp the work and the blade is moved through the stationary work.

I think that it is much easier to maintain cutting angles, etc. by clamping the work solid and then moving the wheel or blade through the work.

Note:
I use one of the mini chop saws, with a 3 inch abrasive wheel on it for all of my arbor cutting, and much of my blank cutting. It is very simple, easy and very quick.

--
I did find that over a lot of time that the sewing machine style motor in this mini chop saw seemed to lack enough power to quickly cut through some of hte larger materials without bogging down.
So, since I had a box of different industrial surplus motors, I replaced the motor in the mini chop saw with one that was made for a blender. It had considerably more speed and power.
However, because it does have so much speed, that I use a speed controller with it to run it about 1/2 to 2/3rds speed most of the time.

Take care
Roger

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 08:28PM

I put them on an scrap piece of blank and then on a drill, or lath. Cut with a fine tooth saw.

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Mark Griffin (---.lsanca.dsl-w.verizon.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 08:32PM

Any kind of circular saw is going to eat up a LOT more cork than your bandsaw due to blade width, plus the blowout on the back of the cut will waste a lot of cork...

It's very simple to make jigs for your bandsaw by boring a 1-1/4" hole into a piece of hardwood with a Forstner bit. If you want 1/8" rings, drill the hole 1/8" deep, 1/4" rings drill 1/4" deep, etc... Then take the piece of hardwood that you've bored and fasten it to a strip of hardwood the width & depth of your miter gauge slot to keep the jig parallel to your blade. If you don't have a miter gauge slot in the table, simply extend the jig to reach the edge of the table and fasten a 1X2 on it to form a "T" to index off the egde of the table.

You simply set the jig up so that the band is parallel to and just touching the face of the jig. Slide it past the blade and it will leave a ring the width you want, while allowing you to keep your fingers away from the blade.

Mark Griffin
[#$%&]
C&M Custom Tackle
San Dimas, California

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 08:36PM

I also have seen a slicer at Mud Hole.

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Harold Dean (96.1.6.---)
Date: February 22, 2010 08:46PM

Another trick if your going to use a chop saw is to install the blade backwards. As mentioned, use the finest blade you can find, the more teeth the better. The saw slices through the cork without chewing. Used this system for cutting vinyl siding in construction for many years. Plus, the blade will last forever cutting cork. Don't try using it on wood though with the blade reversed. It just burns the wood and takes forever to cut through.

Harold

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Richard Hahn (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net)
Date: February 22, 2010 09:18PM

I had the same problem until I adjusted my band saw ............... bring the guides down close ........... I'm now able to cut 1/2 rings 4 to 3 1/8 rings beautifully ..........

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 23, 2010 01:40AM

Brandon,
Perhaps, I was not understanding your original post.
Are you speaking about cutting standard 1/2 inch thick cork rings into 1/4 inch or 1/8th inch thick rings?

If so, I certainly agree with the use of a band saw, with a very fine toothed blade, and the use of a jig to hold the cork ring.
If you use a jig to hold the ring, it is pretty tough to not get a good cut. Without the use of a good jig, it is pretty tough to get a Good cut.

Take care
Roger

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.east.verizon.net)
Date: February 23, 2010 08:43AM

I use teh bandsaw as well. Instead of puching all teh way through, I roll teh cork into the blade. I find that prevents the blade from wobbling or wandering as the material passes through. I'm also using a 12, 18, or 24 TPI blade.

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Brandan Martin (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: February 23, 2010 10:41AM

I'm rolling the cork through the band saw and getting a clean cut. I'm having a real hard time getting the straight edge to line up correctly. I'm using the marks on the deck of the band saw and I've also measured from the right edge of the deck to try to get a straighter cut. Any tricks here?
And thanks for all the feedback, cork is expensive and I hate getting bad results. I'm also cutting EVA and will start cutting exotic wood as well as some acrylics that I bought at the show. I'm thinking I'll need a chop saw for the harder materials.

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Brandan Martin (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: February 23, 2010 01:12PM

Thanks guys, the light just came on. Mark's suggestion of using the miter gauge slot make sense. I'll try it today!
Thanks Mark.

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Re: Cutting Cork
Posted by: Mo Yang (---.static.rvsd.ca.charter.com)
Date: February 23, 2010 02:31PM

I just use the $10 fine toothed Japanese saw from Harbor Freight. Align it with a block of wood. Very little waste, fast, and quite clean. It cuts on the PULL stroke which gives a lot of control.

Mo

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