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Old 04-01-2005, 02:12 PM   #1
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


Well I had my Hardi-plank siding delivered and have started to put it up. I have been using my chop saw to cut the stuff and have quickly ruined a blade and created clouds of cancer causing dust. What I have read now is that Shears similar to the ones used to cut metal are made espeialy for cutting this product qickly and with out dust. I priced them out and I can get a cheap one that retro fits onto a drill for $125 from "Malco Inc." or upgrade to a dedicated one for atleast $200. I can buy a cheap metal shear for $60 bucks and the question is willl it work for the duration of one house?

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Old 04-01-2005, 02:41 PM   #2
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


I just got off of the phone with them and still have their site up. It is here http://www.jameshardie.com/
There is an 888# at 'contact us'.

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Old 04-01-2005, 02:45 PM   #3
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Old house
Well I had my Hardi-plank siding delivered and have started to put it up. I have been using my chop saw to cut the stuff and have quickly ruined a blade and created clouds of cancer causing dust. What I have read now is that Shears similar to the ones used to cut metal are made espeialy for cutting this product qickly and with out dust. I priced them out and I can get a cheap one that retro fits onto a drill for $125 from "Malco Inc." or upgrade to a dedicated one for atleast $200. I can buy a cheap metal shear for $60 bucks and the question is willl it work for the duration of one house?
I did not realize Hardi-plank dust causes cancer. Maybe this is a left coast thing where it only causes cancer because of some type of chemical reaction with the air there and the dust.

Go with the $200 and free yourself of the chance of this cancer, or you will not be around long enough to enjoy your new siding.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:49 AM   #4
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


I put Hardie plank on my house and have used both the skill saw and special shearing tool (cost $350 a friend had one) that was made for cutting Hardie. The shearing tool cuts with no dust but does not leave a clean smooth cut as a blade. The shears are great for cutting curves. I cut some curve pieces for my corners to give some extra detail.

On using a blade, get one that is diamond tiped. These cost from about $30 on up to $ 80. I used a dry cut blade that was in the tile department at Lowes. Be sure the blade is for dry cutting and not wet. The blade method does cause a lot of dust. Use a mask and be outside and if the wind is not blowing one can set up a fan to blow the dust away. The blade does cut alot cleaner and faster than the shears. The dust will also eat up your saw so I used an old skill saw that was on it's way to tool heaven.

I would go with a good dry cut blade and save the money on the shearing tool. Cutting with a blade is many times faster than the shears.:D

I do not know what your are using to nail your siding up but I used finishing nail gun with galvainize nails. Shot the nails on the each stud in a 3 point patten. A friend oh mine usede this methid on his house that he built about 4 years ago and it still looks good.

If you go to Hardie planks web site, they have good instructions to installing their siding.

Hope this helps

Mark
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:40 AM   #5
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Old house
Well I had my Hardi-plank siding delivered and have started to put it up. I have been using my chop saw to cut the stuff and have quickly ruined a blade and created clouds of cancer causing dust. What I have read now is that Shears similar to the ones used to cut metal are made espeialy for cutting this product qickly and with out dust. I priced them out and I can get a cheap one that retro fits onto a drill for $125 from "Malco Inc." or upgrade to a dedicated one for atleast $200. I can buy a cheap metal shear for $60 bucks and the question is willl it work for the duration of one house?
What you have read 'now', AFTER starting tthe work is something you should have informed yourself of BEFORE making the product purchase.
After going to the James Hardie site it took me (2) mouse clicks to learn that the cutting method you're using is not listed as either 'best', 'better' or 'good'. Why don't you just HEED THE MANUFACTURER"S RECCOMENDATIONS!!! Especially if you want any manufactuer warranties to remain intact.
I hope you don't have any nearby neighbors that can put two and two together. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:19 AM   #6
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


PipeGuy, FYI I did read ALL of the manufacturer's "Recommendations" on the product, installation, and on the sealing and painting. If one will notice on the blade recomendation it is for their brand of blade only and no one's else. I would guess if Hardie made a saw that they would recomend their saw. Also they once only "recommended" stainless steel nails and now their "recomended" galvinized or stainless steel nails. So it seems that they too are learning. I researched the web many many hours into this product and on the installation process. Also from talking with contractords and others that have used the product before. Using this "little knowledge" I formulated the best methods for using and installing this product.

Your are right a little knowldege is a dangerous thing, But a lot of knowledge is power!

Have a great day

Mark


Quote:
Originally Posted by pipeguy
What you have read 'now', AFTER starting tthe work is something you should have informed yourself of BEFORE making the product purchase.
After going to the James Hardie site it took me (2) mouse clicks to learn that the cutting method you're using is not listed as either 'best', 'better' or 'good'. Why don't you just HEED THE MANUFACTURER"S RECCOMENDATIONS!!! Especially if you want any manufactuer warranties to remain intact.
I hope you don't have any nearby neighbors that can put two and two together. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:33 PM   #7
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


I used the "score and snap" method, using a straight-edge and at least two boxes of double-edged blades. There was still some dust, so I had to be careful (and made sure to be upwind). The cuts are nowhere near as nice as with a saw, but I made sure to always have them against a corner, where they would be covered with caulk. I made sure that the factory cuts were butted on seams when necessary. I would make 6-8 passes with the blade on each side of the board before snapping.

My job turned out pretty darn good with some great advice from this site.

And for future users of hardie products - the Lowes in my area didn't keep the trim boards on the showroom floor, but in back. I had to ask someone if they did and I followed the unsure clerk to the back and thusly pointed it out to him.
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Old 08-08-2005, 12:47 PM   #8
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


All the installers I seen doing hardi either uses electric sheers or a saw. Most of the saw guys wore a mask and had a side winder saw with a wet/dry vac attached.
As for nails there is a hand drive hardi nail that is galvinzed screw shank. Longer lands than a normal screw shank.
I have never heard of the cancer warning. But do know that concrete silica that is in hardi products never really exits the lungs once breathed in. So anywhere concrete dust is being generated a mask is in your best interest.

Last edited by JustaFramer; 08-08-2005 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:42 PM   #9
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residing my house with Hardi-plank cement/fiberboard how do I cut it?


their warning is actually on the installation page from hardie's website.

Its actually a bit intimidating:

"WARNING AVOID BREATHING SILICA DUST

James Hardie products contain respirable crystalline silica, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and is considered by IARC and NIOSH to be a cause of cancer from some occupational sources. Breathing excessive amounts of respirable silica dust can also cause a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease called silicosis, and has been linked with other diseases. During installation or handling: (1) work in outdoor areas with ample ventilation; (2) use fiber cement shears for cutting or, where not feasible, use a HardibladeŽ and dust-reducing circular saw attached to a HEPA vacuum; (3) warn others in the immediate area; (4) wear a properly-fitted, NIOSH-approved dust mask or respirator (e.g. N-95) in accordance with applicable government regulations and manufacturer instructions to further limit respirable silica exposures. During clean-up, use HEPA vacuums or wet cleanup methods - never dry sweep. For further information, refer to our installation instructions and Material Safety Data Sheet available at www.jameshardie.com or by calling 1-800-9HARDIE (1-800-942-7343). FAILURE TO ADHERE TO OUR WARNINGS, MSDS, AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS MAY LEAD TO SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH."

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