OT: Corian and Working with it

Hi all:
Did a search on Corian and came across a poster a few years back who claimed that DuPont went with authorized installers for Corian counter tops because the sanding dust is not healthy. Not easy for consumers to get hold of Corian products because of the sanding of joined seams could make the consumer sick.
Is this just sawdust tails, or is there any specific details on Corian dust health hazards?
Thanks
Phil
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 14:12:38 -0500, "GrayBeardPhil" <nospamphil@one two three n-o-maps.net> wrote:

http://www.parksite.com/productgroups/msds/msds_3_40.pdf
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 (webpage)
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Tom Watson responds:

In other words, what I heard might actually be true: DuPont felt that untrained installers might mess up too many jobs, ruining the reputation of the material. Currently, there are at least 15 manufacturers of solid surface materials, more if you consider those, like Moen, that make only sinks and lavs. Quartz is the new hot set-up, inching granite out. The formulae vary, but most of this stuff is mineral (ground to varying finenesses) plus 3% to maybe 7-8% acrylic or other resin. It is rough as all get out on almost all tools. I was told last week that diamond dust tools were most effective (I've only worked with a few pieces, and carbide did just fine). I sure wouldn't mess with it unless I were wearing a top notch dust mask, regardless of toxicity. Fine particularite dust is a bitch on the lungs even when it isn't poisonous.
Charlie Self "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2, 2000
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:
[snipperectomy]

I think that is a very valid concern of any of the manufacturers. Wilsonart Canada (and to a certain extent in the US as well) was a bit free to whom they sold Gibraltar. It bit them in the ass big time. As a warranty depot for Wilsonart, I have seen some gruesom screwups. I mean stuff that the bulk of the readers here would never do out of pure intuition. Stuff like cutting out a cook-top hole with a course jigsaw, cutting into the corners past the other cut, then jamming the cooktop down into the hole, ramming the protruding screws on the side of the cook-top cutting little V's to allow the screws to 'sorta' pass. I mean that is just asking for a crack. Then there have been guys who would sand a seam with dull beltsanders creating valleys that I could see from the front door of the house and NOT using any dust control, that stuff makes fine dust.. like talcum powder... not to mention what all that friction heat would do to the seam itself.
>Quartz is thenew hot set-up, inching granite out. The formulae vary,

Yup, I agree on all points, Charlie. Silestone is a big seller for me now. I don't fabricate that stuff, that's done in Detroit, a 45 min drive from here. High pressure water, CNC, diamonds, Half a million dollars worth of tools...... not counting inventory. The money for equipment just to recycle the cooling water is nuts..
r
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Tom:
Thanks for the link.
I never thought to google corian, +MSDS
Thanks again, this answered my question.
Phil

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Phil!..take a chair...*G*
The restricted sales of Corian products to 'Authorized fabricators and installers' have absolutely nothing to do with health hazards. It has everything to do with marketing exclusive areas to those fabricators which are willing to submit themselves to DuPont's demands. Read: Politics.
Most of their marketing policies are a hang-over from the days when they were the only game in town. I started with them when all they had was 4 colours. They have a strong brand recognition, to the point that a lot of people will refer to all solid surface products as Corian. Like Kleenex, and Cellotape. The name has become generic.
There is one argument which I will support, and that is that fabricators must be well trained due to warranty issues. That holds tru for all solid surface products. Improper fabrication can be a problem, such as running seams over a dishwasher or through cook-top cut-outs etc, etc.
I had the dept. of labour in the province of Ontario hang dust monitors all through my shop, in order to discover which level of dust masks and controls I had to install in order to protect my workers, and myself. The results were surprising. The dust from acrylic solid surface countertops was labelled 'nuisance dust' FAR less harmful than many species of wood dust. In fact, totally inert. Non toxic. Capped teeth are often made from exactly the same material.
The fumes from the adhesives are heavily laced with aromatics, in order to prevent senseless breathing of the fumes, but a very basic paint mask will control those fumes. Once the adhesive is set, harmless nuisance dust again. I do see the restriction as an 'Industrial Use Only' making some sense, as the hardener, in its raw state is very nasty. But, having said that, so is any of the crap you can buy off the shelf at any Borg. You eat a tube of 5-minute Epoxy and you won't feel well shortly thereafter.
In terms of working with it?
There are two classifications of solid surface material. Acrylic and polyester. (And a few 'alloys')
Polyester can be very beautiful (Avonite Studio Collection comes to mind) Others can be very badly manufactured. There are a lot of 'Fly-By-Night' operations that basically pour a chemical soup (like Bondo Automotive filler) with some coloured aquarium gravel and cheap dyes into a pan and call it solid surface. Some of those formulations never really cure and 'off-gas' for months after installation and sometimes they off-gas every time sunlight hits them causing many of them to discolour over time... whites turn yellow. The stuff is brittle, it cracks easily and cannot be thermoformed. Avonite Studio and Formica Alloys are the exceptions because those guys have done their homework and cure their products properly over controlled temperatures and time.
Acrylics are more difficult to manufacture and are not likely to be done by questionable operators. The mineral -filled (AHA) acrylics are slightly softer, hence more flexible, less prone to cracking. The players are usually 'big guns', like Wilsonart, Samsung Staron, DuPont Corian, Meganite, Dovae, Aristech. Avonite (also has a polyester line because some intense colours cannot be made with acrylics. Check out their incredible Studio Collection. At $1000.00 per sheet, it better be pretty, huh? I fabricate a fair bit of Goldmine, K3-8495)
When starting out, I suggest you stick to acrylics. The adhesive (cohesion) technology is superior to polyester (adhesion). Most quality router bits and saw blades can handle the acrylics.The polyesters are more abrasive. (Stuff stinks too..like body shop) A lot of the polyesters don't have the fire-rating most codes require.
http://www.issfa.net / http://pinske-edge.com / http://www.monumenttoolworks.com/pages/parallign.htm
issfa offers a course, after which you are pretty much required to buy certain equipement if you want any distributor to see that you can deliver the standards they have set for themselves. Dust-free sanding in the customer's home is about nuisance, not health...although it is common sense to keep even the most harmless dust out of your pipes.
(I am an authorized fabricator by all the major players including DuPont. I also teach.)
00
Rob
www.topworks.ca
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Since I have found an expert, I need to ask a question... I am replacing a one hole faucet in my Corian kitchen counter with a three hole, so I need to cut two new holes.
I have been told that a new, good quality (hence sharp) hole saw is all I need. My Harbor Freight hole saw would be a bad bet.
Does this sound correct? Any other advice?
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As long as the hole saw is sharp and has staggered teeth, go ahead. I use a 1 1/2' carbide saw with no better results than a regular bi-metal Milwaukee. Slow RPM ( you don't want heat) and a gentle rocking about the axis to keeps things loose. Keep the kerf as clean as you can. I use a vacuum and a old paint brush. When you're about 3/8 down, finish the rest from the bottom... cuz you don't want slam down onto the deck with your drill, plus it reduces scabs from breaking off around the hole. Soften the sharp edges with some 180grit and you're done.
Try not to overtighten your installation. Good luck!
00
Rob
PS.. keep an eye on the sink flange.
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wrote:

No access from below; the Corian sink is going to made the faucet installation a real trip. I will just have to be careful.
What are staggered teeth on a hole saw? Thanks.
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toller wrote:

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If things are that tight, make sure that you don't end up with the tap mounting nut/washer halfway on the flange of the sink.

The teeth are spaced with irregular spacing in between them. I think all the major manufacturers are doing that now. It reduces chatter. Again...good luck..and lots of patience..*S*
00
Rob
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A quick question, Do you know whether anyone is sucessfully turning solid materials, e.g. on a wood or metal lath, to make knobs or whatever.
Thanks in advance,
Ray
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Ray Manor asks:

Pen blanks have been available for several years now. I think somebody collects sink cut-outs and clipped ends and cuts 'em smaller.
Charlie Self "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2, 2000
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Ray:
Since my original post, I have found several sites with info: Google a corian art, and corian turning
but be sure to try http://www.bgartforms.com / and http://stonewood.safeshopper.com /
Phil
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Robatoy:
I thank you for your insight in to the background.
I am a hobby woodworker who thinks of going for a craft show some time in the far future.
Came across some info about using Corian kitchen sink cutout scrap on a scroll saw. Quite good looking project. But the warnings I read on a google search of newsgroups raised some red flags for me and my basement shop. (read that to mean low fresh air circulation.) The technology of cutting corian on a scroll saw is well addressed in forums dedicated to scrollsaw work. But they had no expertise, like you, in the handling of corian.
By the Way: try a google on corian art. There are web sites that show of mind blowing art turning, scroll saw, and even sandblasting small pieces.
http://www.willowglen.com/blast6.htm for example.
Thanks again.
Phil
two three n-o-maps.net> wrote:

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