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Old 11-22-2008, 02:31 PM
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Default Cutting FB Insulating Board

The forum seems to have eaten my earlier post on this topic; my apologies if it reappears and this is a duplicate.

I'm ready to start building my dome, and need to cut the Forno Bravo insulating board roughly to size since I'm doing a dome enclosure. I tried searching the forums, because I *know* I've read about this before, but the search function is making it difficult. It doesn't like "cut" and "FB" because they're too short, and it doesn't like "Forno Bravo" because it's too common. "Cutting FB board" and similar phrases result in no hits. I looked for an insert in the package and waded through many threads that had the word "insulating" but wasn't able to answer my basic question: how do I cut the FB insulating board?

I have at my disposal:
4" grinder
7ish" masonry saw. It looks like a mini circular saw.
Regular circular saw. we have a masonry blade for it.
new 10" harbor freight wet saw
jig saw (regular blade)

What's the best machine for the job? Anything particular I should be aware of before I get started?
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

The main thing is to wear a dust mask. Once you've got that on, almost anything will cut it. I used a reciprocating saw (sawzall)

with a wood cutting blade. You could cut it with a ordinary keyhole saw, or jigsaw. It's really easy to cut, but, again, don't breathe the dust.

A clue to searching the FB forum: Google will do more focused searches, and accept short words "FB", "UK" "AAC" that the forum search function will not. It will also search by strings if you put short phrases in quotations.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

Thanks, Dmun! I'll pull out my mask and start slicing!
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

works for me! I used a circular saw with masonry blade and that worked fine, too! - yeah - also the mask is a must, too!!!

I forgot - I also used a sabre saw or jig saw and that worked well also - It's been so long since I cut mine... I wish I would have tried the razor knife trick - that sounds the easiest and kicks up the least dust!

Christo
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Last edited by christo; 11-24-2008 at 12:43 PM. Reason: added sabre saw experience
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

This stuff is the easiest thing you'll have to cut the entire build! I used a jig saw. It is weird - zero resistance. Like cutting through air. And oh, don't breath the dust.
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

You can almost do it with an Xacto knife. And definitely wear a mask when you use or handle any of the ceramic insulators.
James
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

I scored with a utility knife and then cut with a handsaw...as was already said it is the easiest stuff to cut for the build
Dutch
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

I'm with Dutch, I would suggest usuing a handsaw. It leaves the sawduct in the largest particle size. Low on the list of things I would want is to put a power tool to it and make small particles that would be airborn by the fan on the motor driven saw. I also had a shop vac at the ready cut over a tarp laid on the ground from which the particles could and were very easily vacuumed up.

I have dogs and they are curious and always interested in what I'm doing and offering their assistance. So if you have dogs I would suggest having them stay in the house for the short time you are cutting the stuff, unless you have particle masks for your pets.

And certainly follow James advice when you are wrapping the dome with the ceramic blanket. While I did not use either of the FB products (using Frax/Kaowool and Calcium Silicate board form another source) the products are very similar. Most of the drop and debris from working the stuff is noxious at best (it is my understanding that the jury is still out on whether kaowool type ceramic blanket is cancer causing) and not to be inhaled either by you or your pets.
Wiley
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

CFB products should always be treated with respect. Virgin cer/fibre is at its safest when unfired. It has binders in it that burn out when fired, so at WFO temps you shouldnt have too much drama. Yes, hand saw is the best tool.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Cutting FB Insulating Board

I scored both sides with a utility knife & then broke, similar to cutting drywall. Definitely keep the pets inside, and in addition to the respirator (or nusance mask, if your comfortable with that), you should also be wearing eye protection, long sleeves, long pants and gloves.
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