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  1. #11
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerminator View Post
    How do you manage to pull the fabric apart after cutting without pulling threads Papa? Do you 'Baste' them apart with the iron?or seperate them as you are cutting?
    For me, it depends on the project and whether I want the fabric held together until I can get a first row of stitching through it or separated as individual pieces.

    For minimum "meltage" go fast and press hard with a metal straight edge to let the knife do much of the work. Pulls apart easilly, but eliminates much of the fraying.

    For maximum "meltage" mark the line first and free-hand it slowly with little pressure. Holds together better.

  2. #12
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Papa Smurf is wise. Great idea!
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  3. #13
    BurningCedar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaSmurf View Post
    That's one one the big reasons I use a hot knife. If you plan ahead and cut 2 pieces of fabric "wrong side out", you can use the hot knife to baste the seam. On bug netting, it reduces the likelyhood of the 2 layers stretching unevenly.
    Brilliant!!!!

    I'm a huge fan of hot knifes for cutting; but never even thought of this as a way to simultaneously cut AND pin two pieces together prior to sewing.

    Timing's good too. I'm going to sew two pieces of netting together this weekend to make large mosquito net.
    David

    The road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
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  4. #14
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaSmurf View Post
    For me, it depends on the project and whether I want the fabric held together until I can get a first row of stitching through it or separated as individual pieces.

    For minimum "meltage" go fast and press hard with a metal straight edge to let the knife do much of the work. Pulls apart easilly, but eliminates much of the fraying.

    For maximum "meltage" mark the line first and free-hand it slowly with little pressure. Holds together better.
    Thanks Papa. Thats some really good info.

  5. #15
    Senior Member hikelite's Avatar
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    I love Harbor Freight. I've been meaning to pick up one of these to try. Papa Smurfs idea has absolutely convinced me. I hate working with bug netting. This should make it easier.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/130-wat...ife-66182.html

    I have a netting project in the works too, so the timing is great
    Life is hard? Compared to what?

  6. #16
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Thanks gentleman.

    One word of caution though. I've run into some polyester noseeum that didn't want to melt at all. It was the gray noseeum from Rocky Woods. Maybe like it had a much higher melting temperature or something. I was able to get it cut, but it was painfully slow.

  7. #17
    stevebo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the excellent advice!------------one more question, when you use a hot knife, does it put off that nasty melted plastic smell? (or do you wear a respirator?)
    “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”
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  8. #18
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevebo View Post
    when you use a hot knife, does it put off that nasty melted plastic smell?
    Yep
    I do keep a wire brush handy and occaisionally brush the gunk off the hot knife so I don't have to smell it while I'm not using it.

  9. #19
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    Might I be so bold as to suggest... ahem... ripping the fabric? Seems to me any time I've ever torn nylon it makes a perfectly straight line. there's a slight ragged edge, yeah, but you could roll and hem this so nobody sees it. Anyone tried it?

  10. #20
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikelite View Post
    I love Harbor Freight. I've been meaning to pick up one of these to try. Papa Smurfs idea has absolutely convinced me. I hate working with bug netting. This should make it easier.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/130-wat...ife-66182.html

    I have a netting project in the works too, so the timing is great
    $15 on sale for that hot knife... somewhere I think I have a 20% off coupon.. Don't know if I can resist that...

    I've found that some polyester (ok, Mule Tape) doesn't really melt well... Weird.
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


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