Monday, January 7, 2019

Let's Cut Corian. Scroll Saw Patterns and Tutorial.

It has been quite a while since I have talked about cutting Corian. We have many new scrollers on the Blog now so I think it's a good time to discuss the topic again.

What is Corian? Corian is a solid material created by Dupont. Corian is often used on countertops but has many other uses also. It is composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. Does that sound like you should use your dust mask? Yep. Wear a mask when you cut it. The dust is relatively heavy as it comes off the scroll saw blade. The majority of the dust seems to fall but I'm sure there is a small amount that floats in the air. 

Corian makes a beautiful addition to the materials we can cut on the scroll saw. Unfortunately, it is relatively expensive so I generally use it with small projects. Crosses, jewelry, and small knick knacks. 

The Corian pieces feel great to the touch. They can feel almost like polished marble. This pattern book has a few small patterns as well as a source for the 1/4" thick Corian. It shows the blades you need and other information to give you a good start with Coriam. You can download it for the patterns and future reference. 

Corian come in different colors but it can be very difficult to find in thicknesses other than for countertops. You can find a few sellers on Ebay but it often comes in 6 or more sheets and will cost quite a bit of cash.

The company that I got my CNC machine from carries small sheets of 1/4" and 1/2" thick Corian. 
Here is their link. Inventables. 

The sheets are 8" X 12" and come in white or black. They run a little under $20 a sheet. Shipping to my shop is $7.78 for the one sheet. When I added a second sheet to the order the shipping stayed the same. So now you know it's not cheap but it is something nice to have for special or small projects.
If you have additional sources for Corian leave me an email and I will pass it on.

I cannot vouch for any of these sellers but here is an link to Corian products that may work,

It is critical that you choose the correct blade for cutting Corian. If you use a standard blade or a reverse tooth blade you will experience fusing. Fusing happens when the friction heat from the blade causes the Corian to melt as you cut. The Corian will cool rapidly behind the blade and the cut will fuse back together. 

You need to choose a Skip Tooth blade. All blade manufacturers make skip tooth blades. I use Pegas brand but any skip tooth blade will work. 

It is also a good idea to turn down the speed of the scroll saw a little. I generally set it to about 60% speed. The skip tooth blades run very cool but slower seems to help also. Experiment to see what work well for you. 

We apply the pattern to the Corian in the same way as we do on wood. I apply blue painters tape then use spray adhesive to apply the paper pattern. The blue painter's tape actually helps keep the blade cool so I recommend it for cutting Corian. 

Corian is durable but sands easily. Simple hand sanding works well or you can use power sanders. I like to use a mop sander to take off the hard edges. One word of caution. Corian sands very easy so go slow or you will go too far quickly.

If you need to straighten out a crooked cut lay sandpaper on a flat surface and sand the part. In this picture, I am using the bed of my table saw to correct the cut on the side of the cross.

CA glue will bond Corian. You really do not need the activator with the CA glue in this case. It bonds in seconds even without the activator. I use a medium CA glue. 

That should be everything you need to get started cutting Coria. It cuts beautifully when you use the correct blade. It polishes to a beautiful finish and adds another material for you to choose from. Give it a try.

$12 per sheet of 12 coins plus $3.50 shipping
Inlay with a 1" Forstner Bit.
The perfect way to sign your work.

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Products for your consideration:

Scroll Saw Pattern Design Tutorial: DVD
Let me teach you to create a beautiful wooden portrait pattern. I will show you everything you need from start to finish. The video will show you the free software program you can download for Windows or Mac OS. I will show you how to install the program and configure it for best results. 
Then I will show you the technique to take your photograph and make a pattern from it. When the pattern is complete we will go in the shop and cut it.
The DVD is $10 plus shipping. This is a data DVD that you will use on your computer to watch the video tutorial  

Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2017 in DVD
Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has 2,300 patterns published from 2007 thru 2017.
The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.

If you use the DVD on a Windows PC there is a simple viewer program to browse through the patterns.

The DVD also works fine on a MAC. The viewer program is not MAC compatible but there is an included PDF with all the patterns shown as thumbnails for easy viewing. 

Unique Wooden Vases:
Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
My two "Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw" books make it easy.

The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.

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