How to Cut FRP Panels

FRP panels are fiberglass reinforced plastic paneling, which are used as a wall covering in various different situations. These panels need to be cut, so that they fit the application that they are used in. The job needs to be done with specific tools, designed for cutting such material. Appropriate safety equipment should also be used at all times. Doing the job yourself is fairly easy, provided that you follow important safety advice and have the appropriate tools.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • FRP paneling
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker pen
  • Circular saw with carbide blade
  • Jigsaw
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety gear including leather gloves, safety glasses and respirator

Step 1 – Safety First

Before you start work, make sure you make all required preparations. Make sure the surface that you are working with is flat and stable. Put on safety gear, including leather gloves, a respirator and safety glasses. This is important, since there will be flying debris which can cause harm.

Step 2 – Prepare the FRP Panel

Using a carpenter’s marker pen and a tape measure, draw an accurate line along one side of the panel where you need to cut it. On the opposite edge of the sheet, you need to do the same thing, simply repeating the process. Place the paneling flat on a table, which is big enough to support the whole length it. Put the line that you have marked to the exact edge of the surface. Place an carbide saw blade onto the circular saw and make sure that is properly secured.

Step 3 – Cutting the FRP Panel

Align the saw blade with the cutting line. Push down the trigger to activate the saw, and gently push the blade into the panel. Do this carefully, as pushing it in too vigorously can damage the blade or the paneling. Wait until the motor is running at full power. At a slow pace, push the blade across the cutting line, making sure that the blade is aligned at all times.

To cut any curves and notches in the board, you will need to use a jigsaw with an appropriate blade.

When you have cut the length of the line, you will notice that there will be some burring at the edges that have been cut. This is normal, but something that you can remedy easily. Using a sharp utility knife, simply hold it at a slight angle and drag it along the edge. This will make the edge smoother and prepare the panel for use. It is important to hold the knife at an angle, otherwise you can damage the panel. Make sure not to push the blade along the cut itself.

Step 4 – Use the Sandpaper

If there are any fiberglass shards sticking out of the edge that you cut, use sandpaper to get a smoother edge. Make sure that you keep the sandpaper comfortably far away from the surface of the board.