How to cut bakelite

Bakelite is the common name for phenolic resin, which was one of the first mass-produced plastics. Although it was once a mainstay in low-end jewellery, today it is most commonly used in laminate countertops and scientific laboratories.

The strength and its superior non-porous nature make the Bakelite a perfect choice for these two uses. However, the same attributes that make Bakelite desirable also make cutting it a challenge. There is a tendency for Bakelite to splinter, but the use of a specific type of saw blade or drill bit will greatly improve the chances of a clean cut.

Mark off your cuts on the Bakelite with the non-permanent marker.

Put on the safety goggles and dust mask.

Drill a pilot hole in the Bakelite with a diamond-tipped drill bit if you are making interior cuts. If not, skip this step.

Set the Bakelite on a raised cutting surface such as two sawhorses or wooden blocks.

Rip the Bakelite with the diamond blade on the circular saw using the straightedge line as a guide.

Clean the edges of the cut with an alcohol-based cleaner to remove any remaining resin dust.