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.
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.
I have seen exactly that suggestion for cutting fiberglass on other
Fine tooth blade installed in reverse.
Taping the cutline is always a good idea in any type of thin or
laminated or veneered material.
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.
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