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Old 07-25-2019, 12:22 PM   #1
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Cutting foam board insulation?


Can I use my tablesaw to make my cuts?


I am insulating the roof of my metal shed and it is about 46 inches between the small joists on the roof so I need to cut a couple inches off the width of each sheet and am wanting nice straight cuts.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


That sounds messy, maybe with the finest blade you have.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


You can use the table saw. Unless you have a vacuum system there lots of flying dust that will stick to everything via static.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:29 PM   #4
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


easiest way I've done it is to take a metal straight edge and a razor blade (new). Clamp the metal straight edge to the foam, and cut with the blade. If the foam is thicker, it should snap OK if you cut most of the way through. the only issue is that you're only cutting a few inches off a big sheet, so the snap isn't quite as easy as if you wree cutting them in half.

also note, if it has a shiny coating that needs to be cut on both sides as it doesn't just snap.

That was the method I used for 2" XPS
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


Or, make a hot knife out of a soldering gun. All you need is a thin nichrome wire between two electrodes that you can control with a switch. There are specialty products to make clean cuts but they can cost quite a bit.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:25 PM   #6
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


I needed to cut 4 inches off the width of my first sheet so decided to give the table saw a try. I made my first cut long in case the saw didn't work well... it cut it beautifully! Clean, smooth cut with no more dust created than plywood creates sawdust, maybe even less.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:57 PM   #7
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bassadict69 View Post
I needed to cut 4 inches off the width of my first sheet so decided to give the table saw a try. I made my first cut long in case the saw didn't work well... it cut it beautifully! Clean, smooth cut with no more dust created than plywood creates sawdust, maybe even less.

If you are cutting a lot of the stuff, eventually it gums up the blade and starts pinching and burning. What I found that helps is to wax the blade with a old stick candle. With the blade off rub the wax on the sides of the blade.
Hope you are doing it outside, because it does make a mess!
Hooking up a shop vac to the exit chute helps if available.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


If you are doing a lot, you can also buy a special foam cutting blade for a circular or table saw.

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Old 07-26-2019, 07:38 AM   #9
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Re: Cutting foam board insulation?


I will be cutting about 6 sheets total and yes, definitely doing it outside.
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