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Thread: Tools for cutting darkslides?

  1. #1

    Tools for cutting darkslides?

    I'm looking to hack into some 8x10 darkslides soon and was wondering if anyone could recommend a saw/blade that worked well for you (short of 'em new-fangled inverted jig-saws they're selling at the big box stores these days) to make a straight cut in what seems to be at first glance rather fragile, bendy material.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

  2. #2

    Re: Split darkslides: tools?

    A box cutter and a straight edge will work just fine. Remember to undersize the cut to leave a border between halves when you flip the darkslide and enough on the handle end to seal the slot. You only need to cut 1.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    Don't try a saw if you're going to use typical plastic darkslide material. Use a thick steel straightedge and box or utility knife with a sharp blade just like Chauncey prescribed. Practice on some scraps first (not on your own fingers!). The only thing big box stores seem to have is thieves in every parking lot and minimum wage boneheads in every aisle, ignoring customers.

  4. #4

    Re: Split darkslides: tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Walden View Post
    A box cutter and a straight edge will work just fine.
    Chauncey, Drew--thanks, I was definitely seeing the possibility of blowing one up!

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    When using a box cutter/ utility knife, make many shallow passes, don't try to make the cut in one pass.

  6. #6

    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    make many shallow passes.
    Good advice, a real potential for scalloped edges otherwise!

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    I used a hacksaw, followed with a file -- but I was cutting metal darkslides...more robust in the pack, bends rather than breaks, and can be hammered flat again if needed. I broke one made of more conventional material (clumsy move).

    A fine file might be nice for clean up. Don't forget to round the corners of the darkslide going into the holder.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails modified darkslide.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    Well, at least it's better than using your teeth or claws, Vaughn. But not much better. Non-bending triple-jaw tinsnips (shears) were developed long ago, and aren't terribly expensive. But as far as plastic slides go - I do it in one pass. But I cheat - I have a huge dual-rail glass cutter which also accepts both knife and scoring blades, equipped with measuring stops and a hold-down bar. However, doing it by hand instead is just a matter of practice. Lesson no.1 : count all your fingers both before and after the cut. If you're bad at math like me, but have normal color vision, splattered red liquid is not a good sign. So let me recommend yet another option : many print trimmers, either rotary or guillotine-style, will also render a good darkslide cut.

  9. #9

    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    So let me recommend yet another option : many print trimmers, either rotary or guillotine-style, will also render a good darkslide cut.
    Excellent, I was actually setting up to do a little paper trimming, so that might serve dual use. (BTW, Vaughn, I've had that dimensional drawing bookmarked for a while--thanks for sharing.)

    Otherwise, Drew, you can certainly out climb me and maybe out walk me, but growing up in hardscrabble Arkansas I can hold my own telling tales of traumatic amputations...

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tools for cutting darkslides?

    We once had a beloved hardscrabble "Arkie" at our workplace, who literally died of old age at only 52 just plain worn out due to such a hard life in lumber mills and then working for the railroads. He lost multiple fingers in the process. But he was a wonderful friend and enjoyed practical jokes, so I drew numerous cartoons of him, which his wife framed and proudly displayed in their kitchen. In one cartoon, he was the President, but frustrated, unable to press the red button on the desk in the oval office. In another, he was Col. Custer, but unable to make the peace sign to hostile Indians, and thereby lost his scalp and flowing locks (he was a totally bald fellow). Similarly, he couldn't respond with the proper "live long and prosper" finger sign when Spock and the Starship arrived. So much experience stacked into a short life! I saw the same kind of thing growing up around lonely cowboys and tough Indians.

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