Hot Cutting

In article <63514@hydra.gatech.EDU> sc5@prism.gatech.EDU (CSEPLO,STEPHEN P) writes:

>wood burner has replacable/interchangable tips and normally I use a knife
>type tip which is ok but requires some patience going around curved surfaces.
>Curved surfaces can be tricky with a flat tip as opposed to a point.

How big is the blade on your flat tip?  The only trouble I've had with
curves is when I'm doing extremely small, tight curves (such as the ~1" round
holes for a t-fitting)

It helps a lot to have a template to cut around, but when I don't, it's usually
because my template doesn't include seam allowances and I've drawn them on
with a pencil.  When I do this, I don't worry about cutting all that neatly
anyway, since the chances are likely that the edge is going to be rolled

>As far as cutting surfaces, I have to agree with Marty. Glass is the ticket.
>Just get a big enough piece and treat the edges some way or you can
>cut yourself very nastily and easily.

Is it safe to bet that I'm the only one around here who does his hot cutting
on top of a pinball machine?  It's the perfect height, and you get used to
the slope...;-)

>One thing I normally do is make cardboard templates for my pieces.

Note:  I use posterboard, not cardboard (the corrugated variety)  The problem,
of course, is finding posterboard for templates.  It's not much of an issue
on kites that are made up of many panels.  You can get fairly large pieces from
art supply stores.  Cardboard does have its uses.  You can get extremely large
pieces by going to various stores and asking for old boxes.  Bike and large 
home appliance boxes are good, and I've a friend who's gotten some big boxes
from a grocery store.  Hunt around...

Marty mentioned metal templates, which are great, but completely impractical
for the hobbyist who probably won't make more than one or two kites with a
single template.  Even if you're doing more than that, posterboard will
hold up; I've got one pattern that's been used for 10 kites now, and it's
still usable.


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