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Thread: Pro tips for making clean cuts on big archival tubes.

  1. #1

    Red face Pro tips for making clean cuts on big archival tubes.

    Hello Forum People,

    I very recently moved jobs from a moderate sized fine art museum to a regional conservation center. The museum I worked at had a decent shop set up and we were able to cut cardboard tubes on our shop equipment very nicely. Here in the conservation center I am limited to hand tools, a circular saw, dremel saw max and a good stock of utility knives.

    I am wondering if anyone has any good methods for making good, clean and tidy cuts on big archival tube stock which we use to house all sorts of works on paper here at the Conservation Center.

    Your input is greatly appreciated.

    -Annajean Hamel

  2. #2
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    Wish I had a good answer for this one. The one thing about cutting tubes is at least if the blade is doing the primary cut going into the tube the then that outside surface will be clean. That is why you get a cleaner, square cut when you spin the tube either on the fence of a radial arm saw or chop box or crosswise on a table saw. No matter what though even with a super duper blade you will have some fuzz that needs to be cleaned up.
    Without a table saw or chop box I would be tempted to clamp four 4-wheel dollies upside down on a work table so that they can be placed in such a way as to be able to spin the tube maintaining a consistent angle. That way you would at least be guaranteed a square cut and, if spinning the tube into the cut, get minimal blow out using your circular saw. Sounds like something I might try if I was doing multiple tubes but not worth it for one I don't think. For one offs I have just wrapped tape (super low tack) around the tubes and hand cut with whatever (jigsaw, handsaw, etc...) and then had to spend a bunch of time cleaning it up. Good luck! Please let us know what you come up with!
    Cheers
    Ashley
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  3. #3
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    I've had good luck using low tack blue tape to mark off a square cut on the tube, then cutting with a jigsaw using the finest blade I was able to find. I use a variable speed jigsaw and keep the speed setting fairly slow and apply minimal pressure. Once the cut is done I use a palm router with a 1/8" roundover bit to clean the burr off the cut. It should look like a factory edge if you take your time.

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