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Re: [TowerTalk] Insulators

To: jimlux <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Insulators
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 03:20:48 -0400
List-post: <">>

jimlux wrote:
> wrote:
>> FYI:
>> I discovered a new source for insulator material that I will be using  
>> on my 80m tower verticals.
>> At the local 'feed store', I found 1+1/4" fiberglass ROD with a few  
>> small pre-drilled holes ... it's designed to be used as an electric  
>> fence post.  The rod is VERY STRONG and should hold up quite well.
>> The cost for a 6' rod is about $6 .... quite inexpensive.  Cutting it  
>> into 6+" lengths is quite easy.
> I used to use a lot of structural fiberglass in various forms. Whatever 
> you cut or drill with will get dull very quickly when working with glass 
> composites.. The glass is quite hard (harder than the steel in your 
> cutting blades).
> If you have a diamond grit blade that works real well (like a tile saw). 
>   A carbide toothed blade works fairly well, too. An abrasive cutter 
> also works, but is messy, melts the plastic matrix, and makes dust to 
> boot (which as was pointed out, is nasty stuff).
Depends on the grit.  I've used abrasive blades to cut fiberglass for 
years with no problems. Actually a "cut off saw" using an abrasive blade 
which is rather coarse will do a fine job IF it's applied gently.  
Otherwise the ends will be a *bit* frayed.  I use a medium blade, but 
personal experience and technique many dictate something else.
I've never had it mess up the resin which should be either an epoxy or 
vinyl ester resin.  If it does soften and make a mess the grit is too 
fine and/or the blade speed too fast. If drilling the bit is dull or 
running too fast.  Again, carbide bits work well at the proper speed.  
OTOH I've never come across any fiberglass that stands up well 
unprotected from UV and I'm including both Shakespear and Motorolla 


Roger (K8RI)

> Don't contemplate taking a 6 foot rod and hacking it into 6" 
> insulators.. the rod might be cheap, but the sharpening costs or new 
> blades won't be.
> I haven't tried it, but cutting it with a shear, axe, or tree branch 
> loppers might actually be a better strategy, since it would tend to 
> "cleave" the glass fibers, and it's easier to sharpen the blade when it 
> gets dull.
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