How to cut gasket material

Written by c.l. rease
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Clean radius and straight cuts are achievable on gasket material with the proper tooling. Thinner types of gasket material require nothing more than sharp blades and hollow gasket cutters. Gasket material over 1/4-inch thick require specialised mechanical tools to create the precision cuts necessary to seal a piece of equipment and is best left to professionals. Properly securing the gasket material and ensuring the tools used are in good condition will allow you to cut thinner gasket material efficiently and precisely.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Steel rule
  • Paint marker
  • Utility knife
  • Circle gasket cutter
  • Hollow gasket cutter set
  • Dead-blow mallet

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  1. 1

    Set the 1/4-inch plywood on a firm flat surface. Place the gasket material on top of the plywood. Using gasket cutting tools without plywood will cause damage to vital tool components.

  2. 2

    Measure and mark a rectangle sized to the length and width of the final gasket size with a steel rule and paint marker. Do not use a permanent marker on rubber-based gasket material.

  3. 3

    Cut along the marked lines with a utility knife, using the straight edge as a guide.

  4. 4

    Mark the centre of the rubber gasket material for a round gasket or mark holes needed for fasteners on rectangle gaskets with a paint marker.

  5. 5

    Set the centre pin of the circle gasket cutter on the centre mark of the gasket material. Loosen the thumb screw located on the side of the cutter. Slide the cutting blade(s) to the edge of the cut gasket material. Tighten the thumbscrew. While applying light pressure toward the surface of the gasket material, spin the cutter in a clockwise direction to cut the circle gasket. Adjust the cutting blades as described to cut and remove the inner section of the round gasket.

  6. 6

    Align the hollow gasket cutter from the cutter set that matches the size of the hole required in the gasket material. Strike the back of the hollow gasket cutter hard with a dead-blow mallet. Pull the hollow gasket cutter from the surface of the material. If the hole plug does not come out with the hollow gasket cutter, realign the cutter blade with the scored hole and repeat the process until the plug removes from the gasket material. Repeat the process to cut all hole locations in the gasket material.

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