Go Back   Cosplay.com > Cosplay Construction > Props/Accessories/Armor

Reply
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 18 votes, 5.00 average.
Unread 01-22-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
Cutting thick plastic?

Okay, so I picked up a cheap kids batting helmet at Target, thinking I could use it for the base of a helmet I'm working on. I've run into a bit of a problem, though. I need to cut off the ear guards and the brim of the batting helmet....and so far I'm having a really tough time trying to cut them off. For reference, here's the helmet I bought:

http://www.target.com/2-Tone-Coolflo...elm et&page=1

So here's my question, what's the best way to cut through thick plastic? I'm guess-timating the thickest parts are ~4mm. Am I going to have to go the Dremel route (I don't have one), or is there another option?

Thank you in advance!
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Unread 01-22-2008, 10:48 PM   #2
Phoenix Feather
Registered User
 
Phoenix Feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 67
I don't have much experience, but maybe some heavy duty metal cutters would work.
Phoenix Feather is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
verdatum
Extremely registered user
 
verdatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,462
tinsnips are a bit unwieldy, and with them you could possibly crack the plastic farther than you wish.

For detail cutting without a power tool, you should probably use a hack saw or better yet, a coping saw. Both have thin blades that allow you to cut curves and are sharp enough to cut through the plastic (if it's a functional helmet, I assume it's lexan/polycarbonate) without fracturing it. For best results, use short strokes while applying minimal force. Long somewhat more forceful strokes are fine if you don't care about the edges, and just need to rip through it. Either way, be sure to sand or grind the edges nice and smooth.

Still, Dremels are pretty cool.
__________________
Founder Special FX wiki http://fx.wikia.com
verdatum is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-23-2008, 12:25 AM   #4
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
Thanks for the ideas! I was wondering about using a hotknife on this thing....I was able to melt it with the tip of my hotglue gun, so maybe a hotknife would work? It's not a REAL batting helmet per se...not like the ones they use for 'real baseball'. I'm able to bend it with just my hands. Looked all over it to see what it's made of....the Target site says "high density plastic." By the smell I got when I melted it a bit I'd guess high density PVC.
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-23-2008, 12:57 AM   #5
verdatum
Extremely registered user
 
verdatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,462
Heh. Most people don't have access to a hotknife. I have very little experience with them, but I know of no reason why it shouldn't work.

But please do it outside, preferrably with sturdy gloves and a respirator.
__________________
Founder Special FX wiki http://fx.wikia.com

Last edited by verdatum : 01-23-2008 at 12:58 AM. Reason: felt like the sort of comment that needed a smiley
verdatum is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-23-2008, 04:46 AM   #6
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
Well, I don't have access to a proper hotknife, but I do know how to mod a soldering iron into a hotknife (just flatten the tip or buy a chisel tip attachment). That may be the cheapest option, however I also ran into a PVC/ABS pipe saw on the Home Depot website that might do the trick. Anyone have any experience with this kind of saw? I don't need to make any super precise cuts, but keeping a straight line would be nice. (Added bonus I could use it for my Halconnen project.)

As for grinding/sanding my cuts smooth when finished...do you suggest just coarse sandpaper or do I need something stronger?
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
limey
Trouble Maker
 
limey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 294
Hack or coping saw would do the best, like mentioned above. A hot knife would work also, however I think the the results would require to much finishing work.
Speaking of which coarse sand paper will gouge the surface. You can start out with a coarse or medium grit, But I recommend switching over to wet sanding for final finishing 220-800 grit.
__________________
IWe who are so prone to destroy, should also make great effort to create. By doing this we gain balance within ourselves and our world.
limey is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
verdatum
Extremely registered user
 
verdatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,462
I handsawed a piece of 3'' PVC pipe when I was in middle school. My arm nearly fell off. If you ask the hardware store, they will usually make a few cuts for you. They buzz it right through a power saw no trouble.

IIRC, pvc saws are good for when you want to cut pipe already installed in a building. So you're at an odd angle, and you don't want to accentally rip through some wiring or something. I assume it would work just fine for your needs, but if you've already got some similar saws, you probably don't need to shell out the extra cash. Up to you.
__________________
Founder Special FX wiki http://fx.wikia.com
verdatum is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-24-2008, 01:22 AM   #9
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
I'm going to give the hacksaw a whirl...will let you all know how it goes!
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-24-2008, 08:53 PM   #10
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
Sorry to double-post....Thank you to everyone...the hacksaw was PERFECT for cutting the helmet! Minimal mess too.

Here's some step by step photos.
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1389852
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1389853
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1389854
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-24-2008, 09:12 PM   #11
KillaBeeSwarm
Calmer than you are.
 
KillaBeeSwarm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,076
Did you use the regular blade of the hacksaw? I know for some hacksaws you can switch out the default blade.
__________________

Cosplay Wikis
* Black, Brown and Tanned Characters
* Musician Characters
KillaBeeSwarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #12
Pantsu_chan
So dericious!
 
Pantsu_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 767
Yeah, it was just a standard hacksaw blade, nothing fancy...I borrowed the saw from the geochemistry lab at work. It cut through the helmet quite nicely.
__________________
Next up: Fanime
Audrey Burne (Zeon uniform, Gundam Unicorn)
Malshina (Akibaranger)
Oren Pierre Alfonso (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Marie Antoinette (2001 Takarazuka Rose of Versailles)

Team Awesome <333!!
Pantsu_chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #13
WARPAINTandUnicorns
Black Magic Woman
 
WARPAINTandUnicorns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,467
I was going to say that I have cut through plastic with a Dremel cutting disk before but you’ve already cut lol.

Also you can hand sand it relative smooth with going through different sanding grits starting with 80 and work your way up to 1000 to 1500 wet sanding grid by hand.
__________________

Anime North '15
Souryuu / Sohryu - Yami no Matsuei (Fri)
Nehelenia ~ Sailor Moon (Sat)


Future cosplays/cons:
Allen Crown Clown
Sakizo Anniversary
Steampunk - Bride


For Sale
cosplay items, wigs, and materails for sale.
Arda & Shop.cosplay wig fiber swatch comparisons & Cosplay props tutorials and Makeup reviews!
WARPAINTandUnicorns is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:51 PM.


Copyright 2002-2013 Cosplay.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All comments and posts in our forums are the opinion of the respective poster.