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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Heat Knife Choice

    I'm ready to try another round of hammock making and am looking to purchase a heat knife. I hear it makes life a lot easier with cutting the synthetics. The problem is that there are a lot to choose from. I just went to a hobby store to price compare and they had a couple all-in-one attachment heating thingies for around 30$, Seattle Fabric Store has one brand specific to heat cutting for 35, and amazon just has too many choices.

    I want to know other people's choice / what brand worked for them. If a brand has a knife that snaps off all the time or does not cut but drags... Amazon reviews are nice but I figure if I am using it specifically for hammock/insulation cutting I might as well go to the source. Then if someone has a brand they like, I will be looking to buy from someone no longer into the DIY or has an extra they got as a gift

    --Born_Old

  2. #2
    Aardvark's Avatar
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    I am using a simple $8 woodburning knife, never failed me yet, just need a flat surface.... glass works well!
    .... the Aardvark (earth pig)... a rather unremarkable creature whose sole claim to fame is that it is the first animal listed in the dictionary.
    Rob

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I dont cut mine at all when i made my DIY hammocks. Just rolled the hem and it disappeared! it does make it cleaner though just if you cant afford it you dont have to hold off on the project.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Inexpensive woodburning tool from JoAnn's, glass shelf out of medicine cabinet, 7 inch scrap of angle iron for straight edge. Love the woodburning tool. Works great.

  5. #5
    New Member
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    @joemcc, with my first hamock I ordered ripstop from DIYgear and it came in good to go. Then I did my synthetic UQ and amost burned it up using a candle to help seal from fraying. I recently got a deal on ripstop, but one of the sides lengthwise is extremely frayed, and I am worried even when it is rolled it will come loose. Add the fact that I want to install some shockcord for my head/foot and I begin to worry.

    @Aardvark, 8$ would be a steal, especially for a knife. I have seen the soldering kits with the blunt tool for around that price, but never something with a blade.

    Ok, will need to grab some glass as well

  6. #6
    Moderator
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    I learned from my father, a very experienced kite maker, to use a high wattage soldering gun with a tile cutting tip (lower picture). Quick heat-up and cool-down. Fast cutting.

    With the sizes of materials we use for hammocking, use a sheet of oil hardened tempered masonite for the cutting surface and a 6' aluminum straight edge. No worries about the straightedge acting like a heatsink with that kind of wattage.

    Did I mention these are all multi-use items?

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Born_Old View Post
    ...but one of the sides lengthwise is extremely frayed, and I am worried even when it is rolled it will come loose...

    soldering kits with the blunt tool for around that price, but never something with a blade...
    Not to worry...that "fraying" is normally just the selvage edge and will not fray.

    Blunt is what you want. You are melting through the nylon, not cutting it. A blunt tip has more mass and will stay at the required temperature better. A heated sharp knife blade would dull very quickly anyway.

    Not the best photo, but frayed on left. selvage edge on right...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by gmcttr; 03-04-2012 at 22:27. Reason: Add Photo

  8. #8
    Knotty's Avatar
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    I picked up a 25W hot knife with an Xacto blade tip at a hobby shop the other day. Doesn't work at all for sealing the edges as you cut. The razor edge cut the material but it never got hot enough to melt the nylon. Broke out my 45W soldering iron with reasonably pointy tip and it worked great. What gmcttr suggested would probably be even better.
    Knotty
    "Don't speak unless it improves the silence." -proverb
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  9. #9
    tncamper's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    I've always been partial to a soldering iron. Even Wally World has them. I'd suggest getting a 40 watt if you have a lot to do.
    It'll be alright Friday!


    Check us out at www.buttinasling.com
    HF members get a discount on most items. Use discount code "hfmember".

    We're now carrying the Mini Tattoo Stove!

    shane@buttinasling.com

  10. #10
    Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    I picked up a 25W hot knife with an Xacto blade tip at a hobby shop the other day. Doesn't work at all for sealing the edges as you cut. The razor edge cut the material but it never got hot enough to melt the nylon. Broke out my 45W soldering iron with reasonably pointy tip and it worked great. What gmcttr suggested would probably be even better.
    Correct. The tile cutting tip I linked to is about 1/16" thick without a sharp edge at all.

    For those of you using a soldering iron with replaceable tips, I would suggest using a chisel tip and flattening the edge a little.

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