Wood cuts easier than rubber. The bend-to-cut idea will work- I have
used similar cutting techniques before- but it will be slow. I'd set up
a jig with some 2x and plywood and use a saw. Projects like this are
what HF blades are for.
I used a Skilsaw jigsaw and it cut the tiles just fine.
The tiles were a terra-cotta color so I started using a yellow wax
pencil but the lines quickly became so wide that I couldn't tell
exactly where to cut. I then switched to a black felt-tip Sharpie
marker that applied a thin line that was fairly easy to see against
the reddish tile.
70% of the tiles did not need to be cut.
15% of the tiles (around the perimeter of my patio) had to have about
6 inches cut off one side.
10% of the tiles were cut to a couple of inches wide.
5% of the tiles had to cut to fit around posts, pipes and other
obstructions so these took the most time to measure and cut.
I did use a utility knfe to shave off excess tile material when my
cuts were a little off or to make minor adjustments for uneven stucco
or when the concrete slab had bumps or other protuberances.
Make a little jig. What you want to do is bend the tile slightly. Put the
tile in the jig and tighten the clamps to bend it slightly. Score with a
SHARP utility knife slightly so that the cut in the tile is bent, and opens
slightly. Make your second cut using a straight edge, or the piece you have
made your jig out of. The second cut will be right in the first, and the
bending action of the jig will make it cut very easily by spreading the cut
wider as you cut deeper.
I'd make a jig like this:
Cut a piece of plywood oversize. Make three 1x3's with one hole drilled one
inch in from each end. The sizes of these things will depend on the size of
the tiles you are using. Cut a 2x4 on edge to get a slight angle, about 200
degrees.. Attach the two pieces of plywood to make a bent work surface.
You are making a slightly bent work area to clamp down a tile, then clamp
down the part you want to cut off so that the bending action will allow you
to keep the cut open. It should take about four slices to cut through each
If you have ever cut conveyor belt, you know how hard that is. Some of it
is 1/2" or better, and some of it has reinforcing webbing. This is the fast
way to cut heavy industrial conveyor belt made of some VERY tough rubber.
It should work on your softer rubber tiles.
The angle of your breakover should be about 200 degrees. So, if you look at
a 200 degree angle from the side, you would be looking at the side of your
jig, with two clamps on the big side, and one on the small side. Use long
carriage bolts and wingnuts to hold the 1 x 3's tight against the tiles.
It's very simple, although it sounds a little complicated. If you can't
grasp this, reply, and I'll draw it, and take a picture and post on flickr.
Heart surgery pending?
Heart Surgery Survival Guide
A pic would be great!
Just drawings, but it should give you the idea of the thing. You can make
the middle clamp out of metal, or just use a metal ruler for a cutting
guide. A metal clamp, like a piece of square steel tubing would be safer,
give you a straight cut, and wouldn't get cut by the blade.
Now I see what you're describing. I'll give it a try and post my
All you want to do is have the cut open up so you can make successive cuts
without having the cut edges put drag on the blade. This jig works to get
you nice straight repetitive cuts. When cutting conveyor belt, you can do
it by just bending it over a bench edge and using a piece of flat bar or
angle clamped to the work bench, and an assistant bending the cutoff side.
Just enough to open the cut. Don't try to cut through all in one slice,
take your time and don't cut any major arteries, and use a sharp new blade.
It's amazing how much sharper a sharp blad is than a used blade.
BTW, I understand cutting paper with scissors will dull them because
something in paper is abrasive. That you can ruin sewing scissors and
hair scissors by cutting paper with them.
Are there any other materials which dull blades faster than average,
faster than they seem like they would, judging from hardness or my
ability to tear them apart, for example?
On Fri, 20 May 2011 13:20:13 -0700 (PDT), gcotterl
Never heard of such a thing, but it sounds like the cattle mats us
farmers use in animal stalls. I've cut the stall mats with a saber
saw. Takes a long time, but it works. It should be easier to cut a
12" time than a 4x8 foot sheet that weights several hundred pounds.
These cattle mats are also about 5/8" thick. Probably the same stuff.
Just curious why you want that on the floor? Is it black like the cow
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