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Question Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

Please move this post to the appropriate forum. It didn't seem to fit the Gear and Maintenance section, but here goes:

I'm about to repair the Sunbrella covers on my Cal 3-30. When cutting the fabric with a hot knife, the recommended cutting surface is tempered glass. I don't have a piece laying around waiting to be sacrificed. However, I do have a large piece of stainless steel plating. Can I use that, or would it suck the heat out of the knife, and make the cut sloppy, if it was even possible?

Thanks!
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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

Metal is fine. No noticeable difference. I use a sheet of tin. Plywood is OK, but it will get burnt. I'm sure I would break glass.

I use a DIY blade in a soldering iron; it is probably higher power than some hot knives, so I may not notice.

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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

You can prob get a footplate attachment and cut over most ant hard surface
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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

High pressure laminate (Formica) covered table is what I use.

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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

Thanks for your responses. I have a RoMech hot knife, which is new to me. It came with a cutting foot. That might make this a moot point.

I just happen to have two huge stainless steel kick plates like those on commercial kitchen doors that I have no use for. (long story) I'll give it a try on one of them. I'm guessing I'll need a bit more heat than if I was using glass.
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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

I used a thin sheet of aluminum any metal sheet would work.

Mike
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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

RoMech is 200 watts--you'll never notice.

edit. That was from a faulty Amazon listing. It is 100W.

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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
RoMech is 200 watts--you'll never notice.
There must be a few different RoMech hot knives. Mine is 100 watts. You're right, though. It didn't matter. Yowza!

It took me less than ten seconds to cut a line in the Sunbrella 30" long. I was moving fast, and it still smoked. Next time I would only use 50% power.

The stainless steel plate still had a vinyl protective film on the front so I used the back side. After I was done, the vinyl was unchanged, so I guess the heat dissipated quickly on the metal.

The pics are my companionway cover before the repair and after. Tomorrow I'll put it back on the boat. Fingers crossed that the snaps are in the right place.
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Re: Cutting surface for hot knife use on Sunbrella

^^ I waited decades to get a hot knife. I shouldn't have. You don't realize how handy they are until you use one.
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