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Author Topic: Square windows into styrene  (Read 7182 times)

Jani

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Square windows into styrene
« on: November 18, 2009, 07:35:39 PM »

Evening everyone,

Has anyone a nifty technique for making small square windows into thin styrene?

I've tried all approaches I could think of; cutting the whole row out and then building the vertical frames, drilling holes and trying to eat the material with dremel from between, cutting them individually with sharp knife and staring angrily at the pieces. I'm not impressed with any of these techniques...

It would be all the same if there were just a handful, but I'm looking at nearly hundred such...

Sizes are most commonly some 4mm by 6mm.

Is there a smart way to make this easier or will this be painful slaving all the way?

Cheers,

^Jani
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2009, 07:51:00 PM »

Not an easy job, but I find that scoring the diagonals first makes it easier to get consistent results.

And you need a very sharp knife/scalpel

Colin
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wideawake

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2009, 09:15:13 PM »

With that number to do it might be worth considering making up a punch to cut them out.    I think it's Brian King who says that time taken to make a tool or jig can be saved many times over if you need to turn out multiple items all the same.

I've not thought it through in detail but I guess you'd start with an inch or two of 6mm x 4mm steel bar and drill throug say 3mm, leaving 0.5mm on the 4mm dimension and then file until you had a square hole 3mm x 5 mm at one end.   The other end doesn't matter.   Then file to an edge at the outside dimension and use the punch to cut out the holes.

Any good as an idea?

Guy
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Jani

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2009, 09:21:01 PM »

With that number to do it might be worth considering making up a punch to cut them out.    I think it's Brian King who says that time taken to make a tool or jig can be saved many times over if you need to turn out multiple items all the same.

I've not thought it through in detail but I guess you'd start with an inch or two of 6mm x 4mm steel bar and drill through say 3mm, leaving 0.5mm on the 4mm dimension and then file until you had a square hole 3mm x 5 mm at one end.   The other end doesn't matter.   Then file to an edge at the outside dimension and use the punch to cut out the holes.

Any good as an idea?

I will most definitely attempt this idea, as so far the most progressive technique has been glaring angrily at the tools and styrene (other methods produce noticeable discrepancies in the shapes)  >:-o

I wonder if I could embed suitably sized knife blades deep enough into some piece and build it like that...

Cheers Guy - that may be the right way to go about it.
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wideawake

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 09:34:07 PM »

Hi Jani

yes I'd think it's worth having a go with bits of stanley knife blade or the like.   Maybe you could embed them iin epoxy resin and then fix that assembly to a wood or metal handle.

BTW I see that I referred to a m x 5mm square hole.   To be accurate - I'm a pedant :-) - I meant a rectangular hole of course.

Actually, thinking about it; it's possible that 3mm x 5mm rectangular brass tube might do the job.   It is thin enough to have a virtually raeady made edge.   It'd blunt more quickly but could be treated as disposable and another bit could be cut from the length purchased.

Cheers

Guy
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2009, 09:49:00 PM »


 Sorry to tell you Jani, these guys are having you on... it simply can't be down.
  ... well not without very expensive CNC machinery  or  a laser cutter!  >:-o

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wideawake

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 09:54:14 PM »

I have to say that I'd assumed cutting the apertures with the styrene flat on a cutting mat not after the superstructure had been built!   I'm working away from base forthe next few days but if the punch idea is still a possible goer when i get back I'll see if I can knock one up to test the idea.

Cheers

Guy
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Jani

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 10:03:43 PM »

Fortunately, I am in a situation where I can work with flat sheets.

Former company I worked at had in the assembly line a manual press and there were number of custom profiles for it, mostly for cutting out the oddly shaped seals. While I don't have a plan (yet) to buy that kind of a press, I'm still hopefull I could gently hammer the cutting tool through the 0,5mm sheet without undue deformation. This obviously would need very straight outer edges and the sloping machined to the inside of the profile. ...or so I think in my current aggravated and very tired state of mind  {-)

Might pay a visit to the vocational school and see if they still accept small jobs for reasonable fee. That way I might get one made out of very durable material, one which I can't do at home.

Could be that Martin is right yet still, but I'm gonna give this thing a try...

^Jani
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boatmadman

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 10:56:51 PM »

I tried using a sharpened brass punch to cut the windows in Blue Marlin - featured on the masterclass section - but I found that I couldnt get consistently square windows, tried using a fixed end stop, but still it looked awful, in the end, I cut each window individually with a sharp blade, really labour intensive but at least the results were ok, well, I thought so anyway.

I found that the punch went blunt after 2 or 3 holes, so had to re sharpen with a needle file.

If anyone else can come up with an effective solution, shout out!

Ian
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hopeitfloats

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 08:08:01 AM »

i have a similar situation and so far i have managed to make them out of evergreen strip styrene - rectangular tube. mine are 6 x 9 but i cut a small strip of 3 x .5mm flat and glued it between them to give 2 windows in one frame at 6 x 4 approx. it seems to be working ok but its a bit fiddly gluing the strip. for individual windows i will have to make another trip to the model shop and try for some 6 x 4 tube.
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 09:43:50 AM »

I mill mine

Peter
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CGAux26

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 09:47:39 PM »

How about a really sharp chisel, ground off to the smaller dimension of the window?  Or go to one of the woodworking sites like woodmagazine.com  The guys in that hobby have a whole different mindset and set of tools.

I don't have that many holes to cut out, but the old score and snap method works for me in styrene.
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Landlocked

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 03:50:57 AM »

CGAux26 was reading my mind as I scrolled thru the thread. 

Woodworkers not only have chisels, they have square corner chisels.  A good tall straight edge to keep everything in line should work better than freehanding.

Landlocked
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2010, 04:13:03 AM »

I built a drilling jig, that would guide my sheet and give me a straight line of holes.
Then I drilled all the top corners, then reset the jig and drilled all the bottom corners.

I then went back and used an Xacto knife to connect the corners and remove the
center of each window. There were a few baubles here and there, but I was happy with the results.

Also framed out a Damen tug pilot house using styrene.

For those square corners, just cut out the fillet in the corner.
However,  putting the mullion back in should really work...
I do that quite a bit also...

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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2010, 07:43:11 AM »


   :o     Witchcraft and Sorcery!!!     :o
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Fifie

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2010, 07:56:46 AM »

Why try my laser cutting service
Maximum sheet size 600 x 450mm
Fifie
www.bellrockmodels.com
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2010, 08:59:58 AM »

   :o     Witchcraft and Sorcery!!!     :o
Martin VERY Sexist,,,  don't be calling heir a witch because she can cut out windows, and we cannot.

Peter
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truman06

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Re: Square windows into styrene
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 05:04:47 PM »

Have you got a picture of the jig drill piece?
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