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Need Info for working with corian

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  • Need Info for working with corian

    Hi all, yep i'm still alive,

    i got a bug in my ear about making carving knife handles out of corian...

    i have tried to rid myself of this idea but it keeps on bugging me.

    I am suppose to have a box of corian scraps being sent from my sisters cabinet shop.
    but my concern is, what scrollsaw blades would you use to cut this stuff... no body at my sisters shop remembers how its an old shop taken over by 2 sons after the father retired,

    the sons make solid surface counter tops from resin and granite dust or fit kitchens with natural stone. I know a diamond wet saw will cut nearly anything so i can get it cut and shaped if i rent a wet saw. but i thought i heard on this form of someone working with corian and having good results...

    what i need is to cut corian into a elongated bent teardrop shape 5/8 inch wide widen it to 3/4ths to one inch and then taper again to 1/2 " all in 6 or less inches
    then drill a 3/8 hole 3 inches into the end to attach the blade....

    is this stuff bad about flaking, fracturing or fragmenting if it gets hot?
    or is it basically like plastic?

    is there a better blade to use in a scrollsaw i have several spiral blades and some polar fd blades left.

    any help from someone experienced would be a great help...
    Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster

  • #2
    Good to hear from you again Thomp!

    I have a little experience with corian. From my limited cutting of it, what you propose should be a piece of cake. It cuts like butter and sands up just fine. I tape both sides with clear packaging tape, use FD Polar blades and medium speed. I am careful not to overheat it as it will melt.
    ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

    D. Platt


    • #3
      "the sons make solid surface counter tops from resin and granite dust or fit kitchens with "

      This stuff and Corian are not the same. I believe Corian is all plastic and would cut more easily than the granit impregnated with resin.
      Pegas and FD have blades that work well with the Corian.
      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


      • #4

        your worst enemy with Corian is heat. Heat from the cutting chips getting mixed up with the cutting tool. If you can clear the cutting chips, you will like the experience working with Corian (or more correctly Nairoc, which is the generic term as Corian is a Tradename of DuPont Corp.)

        My best luck was with Flying Dutchman's Polar blades. Only because the hard metal of the blades withstood the friction heating of the cutting. All my other blades I tried got too hot, and lost their sharpness, dulled, got hotter and broke. But the kerf for the last porting of the cutting melted back together, sometimes trapping in melted Corian the broken blade.

        I would not recommend spiral blades. However, always test on scrap. And test again. You are working with Corian.

        Router bits, because of the high speed, need good quality carbide bits. If you know how to touch up the cutting edge with a diamond stone, do so. Otherwise use a new router bit. Same with table saw: carbide blade (clean all gunk off before hand) sharpened.

        Corian will clog up sandpaper so try using Wet/Dry cloth-backed abrasive sheets. Use with water for lubrication to keep the dust from clogging the sanding sheets.

        BTW: I also recommend using a dust mask. Corian dust is not supposed to be good for you. Even if it does go for something like $25.00 per sq ft.



        • #5
          Hey Thomp,

          Check out this website:

          Some good info on how to work with Nairoc...Corian.


          DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

          NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          • #6
            Re: working with corian

            Thanks folks, for the great responses on this subject. it was driving me nuts...

            so this stuff sounds like working with Lexine or Plexiglas basically. keep it slow progress or cool or lubricared...
            too bad scroll saws wont work with a cooling flood pump running over the project.. well i guess it would till you got to glowing.... and dancing around doing the 110vac shuffle..

            According to the link Marcel provided it can even be heated and bent @350 degrees, that might come in handy in saving material as it wouldn't have to be cut to finish shape.. and more usable nested items could be cut from small pieces... then heated and bent... better illiminating scrap or waste cuts...

            i guess regular 5 minuet epoxy would stick to it in the Ferrel to hold in the blade tang in place, but will epoxy hold different pieces together like inlays?? or build ups or stacking for color changes? or is it have to have the special adheasive..?
            Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster


            • #7

              The pleasures of experimentation

              Have fun,
              DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

              NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


              • #8
                like mentioned.. a fd polar blade, and a careful feed rate, you wont have a problem. Reverse teeth blades and the two way cut blades are not much good for corian, the trapped sawdust heats it up . Dale
                Dale w/ yella saws


                • #9

                  Be aware that Kitchen installers use a special adhesive from DuPont for Corian. That is the reason DuPont won't sell Corian to consumers directly: the adhesive.

                  There could be several business reasons why the special Corian adhesive is not allowed in the hands of any untrained person. But from what I know, the adhesive is a truly bad toxic mess when mixed up until it cures.

                  If you buy the Corian Epoxy off Ebay, you are on your own for safety.



                  • #10
                    corian ?

                    OK fellers,

                    I'm using second hand information from a 3rd prospective here

                    my sisters husband is in a family that makes and installs kitchen sinks bath tubs and lavatory's, in addition to tub surrounds and counter tops out of resin and granite dust,

                    few years ago a neighbor started a shop doing the same so i got a idea pf the process from helping him....

                    Although i have worked with fiberglass and bondo where you mix the resen and catalyst. together and pour it into the mold or spread it thinly across a surface and the heat builds in the resin from a chemical reaction caused by catalyst and cures the resen to a solid state..
                    my sisters husband a youngest brother of 3 in the family business has only worked on a few jobs with his older brother that in-tailed corian..

                    his information is as follows.
                    we should have some scraps laying around you can have, but i would get hold of the folks that have the adhesive, most times they will send you a spec sheet and a bag of the dust and additive to cure it. its some mean stuff but you should be able to cast a knife handle out of the adhesive as it is the same material as corian and much like fiberglass to form....

                    this is the same stuff they join the counter tops together to make a seamless joint.

                    we work the material with side grinders and skill saws with solid carbon bits and saw blades... but on corian a new file can be used to round over a counter top edge to a bull nose. as he said he did it then buffed it out after sanding it smooth with wet dry paper.

                    so anyway that is his knowledge of the material. he lives on the other side of Arkansas from me, above bran son mo and i could drive their and get what was available but to ship it will be expensive.... because of weight... guess he wasn't thinking of gas prices...

                    his speciality is fake granite.. and he didn't know much more about the corian....

                    i checked local Lowe's today for corian and they don't handle it..or bamboo flooring but could special order?..they got all the pragoo floring though...... guess ill just have to find an installer here in town and go buy some scraps and work on it and see if its possible to work it here with these crude tools i have.

                    Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster


                    • #11
                      CA glue works well with corian. You can see some examples of corian that has been glued up here. Might be inspiring.

                      You can also contact Barry Gross at BGArtforms for info on working with corian or Janice Manuel at True Cut Blades. They both do a lot with corian.

                      I haven't tried glueing any up yet, but I have cut a bit of it. Basically you want a blade with NO reverse teeth, tape the corian with the packing tape and slow the saw speed down until you do not get any melt back behind the blade.


                      • #12
                        Actually, if you have a Hawk, you can run water or oil on the blade. Water is best when cutting corian. They have a drip kit accessory just for this situation. I would use a metal cutting blade on corian..fine teeth and lots of them. The cutting is the easy part, it's shaping and sanding your handles that is the challenge. Use a carbide cutter on a rotary tool to shape the corian. You can use regular sandpaper in the beginning but then you need to step up to cloth backed papers. In the end you need cloth backed 3m corian paper and you will wet sand all the way to at least a 600 grit. I used to work in a cabinet shop and we built and installed corian. Cutting and assembly was a snap, but sanding was a whole different situation. You can't have any scratches or they will shop up like ketchup on a white shirt.
                        Jeff Powell


                        • #13
                          Interesting, Jeff, I've never heard about using oil or water to cut Corian before. Most of the people I talk to also use a very aggressive blade that will clear out the chips...

                          Does the water clear out the chips to keep it from melting back together?



                          • #14
                            you don't have chips, because you use a very fine toothed blade, like a metal cutting blade...therefore all you have is dust. The water will remove the dust and the water will keep the blade and the corian cool. You'll have a nice slurry on the floor, so I guess put a towel down and a bucket under the saw to catch as much water as you can.
                            I wouldn't use oil, just water on corian. But Hawk says you can use oil or water with their accessory system. Looks like an IV dripper.
                            Jeff Powell


                            • #15
                              The people Pat L suggested (Barry Gross and Janice Manuel)are both good people to talk to about cutting corian. They both also are blade dealers, and their blades come the same place as Mikes I am 99% sure, so if your going to buy blades, keep that in mind. Also, I have never heard of using a real fine tooth blade for cutting corian. Maybe it will work, I cant say for sure,but my thoughts is who would want all that slurry mess and all that water or oil on their saw or around their shop when its simple enough to just get a dozen Polar blades from Mike the FD guy,put a layer of tape on the corian, and get cutting? I dont consider a Polar blade as "aggressive" as Bob put it, but its teeth have some set to them that makes the cut a touch wider so the rest of the blade dont drag on the corian, much like the set you would notice on a good bandsaw blade, but on a smaller scale.This helps reduce friction, which in turn minimizes heat generated.The tooth configuration also helps clear out the sawdust, and having no reverse teeth, it doesnt pack the sawdust back into the cut, causing more friction. For gluing I have used the thick "Hot Stuff" CA glue on a little corian, and it seems very strong to me, but the real test will be in a few years to see if the CA gets brittle. I use the CA on corian I turn on the lathe without problem. Actually, corian turns really nicely, if thats an option. Dale
                              Dale w/ yella saws


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