OT: Tool search

Does anyone know of a power tool or machine that can be used to cut through thick plastic?
Material to be cut is a flexible plastic material about 1/4 thick. Currently I am using sharp razor knives, straight edges, and a lot of muscle with multiple passes to cut. Finished cut needs to be square to upper and lower surfaces, smooth and accurate.
I will need this for production of multiple quantities of items. A benchtop or portable unit is preferred. I have need to cross cut strips and to "rip" (wrong term but the idea is the same, more like cut long strips).
Raw material comes in rolls of various widths from 3" to 18".
The cut edge will be plastic heat welded to other pieces so accuracy is critical.
Thanks in advance for any help this group may offer.
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Winston asks:

Sounds like a print shop's paper guilliotine will be ideal, but probably won't be available. Failing that, you might want to try a knife style paper cutter. Those are available in sizes that go waaaaaaaaay up, certianly past 18". Staples has an 18" and a 24", though they are pricey--about $270 for the big one.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie wrote...

Thanks, I have already researched this and the cutting action of the guillotine is exactly what I need, but I cannot locate a machine that is meant for industrial (shop) production and for manual use. A unit like this that is bench mountable, open on both sides to pass the long strips through and has a very accurate alignment system sounds like it would work great, but cannot find one.
The hand lever action paper guillotines do not cut through this thickness material well at all.
So...still looking...
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Look for book binding or printing equipment. They have them with very large capacity. Ed
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Winston responds:

http://www.officezone.com/mancut1.htm
Are you sure these things won't cut through?
You may be making an impossible task harder: can you check with a local small print shop to see about renting time on their guillotine? They may insist you use their operator, but there may not be another way to do this. I see answers including shears and burning, but you're not going to get the precision you say you need with those, or with a wavy bladed bandsaw, IMO.
Charlie Self "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." William J. Clinton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Check with printer/bookbinder's supply companies. They are NOT cheap
John
On Thu, 04 Mar 2004 15:51:12 GMT, "Winston"

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Bandsaw with a serrated knife edge blade cuts most flexible plastics. Depending on the particular plastic material, die cutting may be an option. Or a guillotine cutter. Ed
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To cut similar types of plastic I have used 2 different tools.
1) an electric carving knife - two serrated blades that slide past one another.
2) Hot wire cutter, it has a nichrome wire that is stretched between a base and an overam support.

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On Thu, 04 Mar 2004 15:21:25 GMT, "Winston"
|Does anyone know of a power tool or machine that can be used to cut through |thick plastic? | |Material to be cut is a flexible plastic material about 1/4 thick. |Currently I am using sharp razor knives, straight edges, and a lot of muscle |with multiple passes to cut. Finished cut needs to be square to upper and |lower surfaces, smooth and accurate. | |I will need this for production of multiple quantities of items. |A benchtop or portable unit is preferred. I have need to cross cut strips |and to "rip" (wrong term but the idea is the same, more like cut long |strips). | |Raw material comes in rolls of various widths from 3" to 18". | | The cut edge will be plastic heat welded to other pieces so accuracy is |critical. | |Thanks in advance for any help this group may offer.
Look into sheet metal shears. |
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