Whelen edge lens cutting

wolfman

Member
Prof installers --- what type of jig or device/saw do you use for cutting Whelen Edge lenses? I built my own jig a while back using 2x4 wood & use a fine-tooth blade hacksaw for getting a nice straight cut. I've been doing more and more, though, and would like to upgrade to some type of electric saw. What types are you using (miter saw, chop saw, etc), and what type of blades are you using to get a nice flat finish on the lenses? I'd like to incorporate some measuring tape or device into it, also, while I'm building it out. I'm even wondering if there is something I can just purchase from a third party that would do the job.


Any help is appreciated, and thanks in advance!


wolfman
 
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wolfman

Member
What type of blade for that saw are you using? I have something similar, but I thought it would be too fast for cutting lens as the blade would heat up too much and start melting it.
 

Stendec

Banned
FWIW, a lot of hobby shops carry smaller miter boxes from brands like Exacto, and smaller backsaws and coping saws that I've used to cut up Jetstream filters. It'd be a little extreme, but a lapidary saw should go thru them like a laser.
 

TVFD39

Member
I use a craftsman chop saw and works great...I use it with a fine tooth blade like for plywood and plastics and I got the blade from home depot...just a cheapy and works great. Has I think 72 teeth.
 

cromwell

Member
Is it possible to cut Whelen Edge lenses into smaller pieces without cracking them?


I´m thinking about using for example a hacksaw to try to split up a longer lens into two smaller pieces.


Will it work or will the lens crack and break apart??


Anyone here tried this before??
 

cmb56

Member
Normally Federal, Whelen and other companies used a band-saw to cut lenses when making split lenses or similar.


I should not recommend using a hacksaw to do this.


You need a smooth sawing with as little lost material as possible.
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
cromwell said:
I have got a jewelery saw.. have to try with that when I am going to try.
I put mine in a wooden miter box with the so I can keep the cut straight.  I have also had success with other fine tooth saws in the same miter box, or with a sacrificial piece of lens over top as a guide.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

philyumpshus

Established Member
I've used hack saws many times and never had a problem. Just make sure it's sharp and go slow.
 

shues

Lifetime VIP Supporter
I have used a hack saw with no trouble. I found that a brand new blade is best. Also, a blade with a higher number of teeth per inch makes for a much cleaner cut.


However, I have only done vertical cuts. If you are trying to make horizontal cuts to split a lens, then you might not be happy with the edge that a hacksaw leaves.
 

danh

Junior Member
I too have used a hack saw with a fresh blade. I used two bench vices one on each side of the cut to stabalize the lens. Be sure to place folded rags between the vices and the lens to protect the lens.
 

Stendec

Banned
jdh said:
A++


Hobby shops will have smaller miter boxes, and Xacto and other companies make razor saws, some with backs, some that are miniature coping saws, just for fine cuts in plastics, metals or resins. Check wherever you local modelers, RC guys and model railroad guys get their stuff. Those guys are the experts on super-clean cuts in these types of materials.


I usually tape cut lines, and on the rare occasion I use a power saw like a bandsaw or a dremel I try to watch the speed and will use water to lube and cool the cut. I don't know if it's strictly necessary or not.
 

EVModules

Premium Verified Member
You can use a sliding top table saw equipped with a back-cut blade where the teeth are actually angled back as the common front angle. With that, cut slow and it's golden. Another alternate is a powered drop band saw that's used to cut metal, which is not common but I had that in my shop and it made very straight cuts.
 

FedSigFan

Member
If you don't mind slow and steady, I've used a dremel and a cutoff wheel with some pretty good results. It will melt the plastic, so cut it a bit longer than needed then sand. Again, this is the slow and steady method but works in a pinch.
 

OFD7

Junior Member
I have used an miter box for a nice straight cut. I have taped the cut line and it has worked for me. I have heard people using band saws.
 

ChargerLighting

Site Veteran
Pretty much anything with fine® teeth that will cut straight. I use a band saw...


I also use tape (usually masking) for my lines - just make sure you cut on the correct side of the tape.
 

PC Comms

Veteran Member
Honestly? I have been using a chop saw for years, I have a wooden jig with felt hot glued to it to prevent scratching to the inside of the lens and rubber glued to the jaw clamps of the saw to prevent the lens from moving while making the cut. Then only thing I have to do is take the flashing (melted plastic) off of the end of the lens but this takes less than 5 seconds. Nice, STRAIGHT cuts every time. :)
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
FYI.......

all threads on this merged

 
 
Last edited by a moderator:

natep24

Member
PC Comms said:
Honestly? I have been using a chop saw for years, I have a wooden jig with felt hot glued to it to prevent scratching to the inside of the lens and rubber glued to the jaw clamps of the saw to prevent the lens from moving while making the cut. Then only thing I have to do is take the flashing (melted plastic) off of the end of the lens but this takes less than 5 seconds. Nice, STRAIGHT cuts every time. :)
i have used the chop saw as well.
 

lwfpd chief

Newbie
Yes, not too hard. I used a carpenters trim box to keep everything straight. Very fine tooth trim saw and take your time. It's pretty simple and straight forward
 

Pete L.

Site Veteran
As stated above, I use a 14" chop saw left over from my welding days. I support

the lens with a wood block made to fit inside the lens (keeps it from flexing).

Just remember, Slow and Easy. Don't rush cutting no matter what method you use.

If you take your time, it'll come out nice and straight.

I try and keep the factory edge of the lens to fit against the endcap.
 

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