cutting a fiberglass panel

I have a fiberglass jetted tub with a front panel for access to the pump. The panel runs the length of the tub. Recently I added wall tiles along the walls where the panel sits. This means I have to cut the panel's length down by about an inch to fit in between the two newly tiled walls. My question is in regards to cutting the fiberglass panel. Is it fairly easy to cut it with a circular saw with a cross-cutting blade? I only have one shot at cutting this panel, and I don't want to damage it.
Rob
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rlz wrote:

That will cut it easily but may chip the edges. I think you might be better off using a saber saw with a relatively fine - 10-12TPI - blade.
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dadiOH
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wrote:

Fine tooth carbide plywood blade, cut from behind with a double layer of masking tape on the front surface
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If you need a very clean cut with essentially zero risk, borrow or buy an oscillating multi-tool, such as the Fein (expensive), Dremel, B&D, Bosch, etc. Harbor Freight sells cheapo knockoffs that work.
Oscillating tools are a sure way to get super clean cuts in just about anything. They don't jump or kickback, and you're unlikely to damage yourself or the panel. The only drawback is that they are slower than other methods, but life is full of such compromises.
R
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On Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:34:22 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

And you DEFINITELY want a variable speed - full speed on a Fein will melt and burn as much as it cuts.
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I have seen exactly that suggestion for cutting fiberglass on other websites.
Fine tooth blade installed in reverse.
Taping the cutline is always a good idea in any type of thin or laminated or veneered material.
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I'll tape it off this evening and cut it with a fine-tooth blade,
Rob
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rlz wrote the following on 7/10/2012 2:50 PM (ET):

...with the blade in reverse. :-)
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Sheesh. Now you took all of the excitement out of it for him!
R
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rlz wrote:

Here's a YouTube link that I found in case it helps:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj9mteIGgBM
. It was a little hard for me to tell what they were actually doing on the video, but I finally figured out that the fiberglass that they were cutting was the big sheet underneath and the piece on top is just a guide to guide the tool.
Also, since you said you have to cut off about an inch, I wonder if it would make any sense for you to try whatever method you are going to use first by only making the first cut off be about 1/4 inch or so. That way, you could see how the material cuts before making the final cut.
Good luck.
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The OP didn't say if it was to be a 1/2 inch on each end or 1" all off one end. Depends on how it is fastened to the rest of the tub.
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wrote:

Also depends on whether it has a design on it or not. It might need to be cut from both ends for balance.
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Maybe it doesn't have to be balanced on the center. It could be a cantilevered whirlpool tub.
R
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