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Big Blue Saw Blog General Updates

Hey gearheads! Make gaskets with these new materials

By popular request, we have added three new laserable gasket materials in four thicknesses. Our customers who love to work on cars are sure to find a these useful.


  • Cork Blend: Temperature range is -39° to +249° F. This looks like regular cork, but is actually made of cork granules held together with Buna-N. This material resists oil and aromatic fuel. It is useful not only for gaskets, but also for decorative and sound-dampening applications.
  • High Temperature Gasket: Maximum temperature is 450° F. This material is made from a blend of organic fiber fillers with an acrylic-nitrile-latex binder. It resists water, grease, and oils. Maximum pressure of 1000 psi.
  • Treated Paper Gasket: Maximum temperature is 350° F. This material is made from recycled material with an SBR binder. It resists water and grease, with has some resistance to oils. It is similar to the "make your own gasket" material commonly sold in hardware and automotive stores. Maximum pressure of 1000 psi.


Keep in mind that these three materials will have a slightly charred edge when cut on the laser. We think you'll agree that precise laser-cut gaskets are far better than gaskets made with scissors and X-acto knives.

Upload your design now or design your part with the Big Blue Saw Designer to try making your own custom gasket.

How You Can Make Free Part Day 2 Happen

As we mentioned, the original Free Part Day was our most successful promotion ever. We would like to make the next Free Part Day bigger and better then ever before. But to do that, we need your help. How can you help? It's very simple, really, you just need to like us.

Well, of course you already like us. But we need you to declare your "like" for us on Facebook. This will help spread the word about Big Blue Saw and Free Part Day 2. When we get to 3,000 likes, we'll announce the date of Free Part Day and let you know how you can participate.

But we don't want to stop there. When we reach the 6,000, 12,000, and 25,000 level, we'll add a new stock material for Free Part Day. What's more, YOU will get to vote on which material you'd like us to give away.

So tell your friends, enemies, co-workers, neighbors, and family to "like" us on Facebook. Just use the "Like" button below, or see the Big Blue Saw page on Facebook.

Two great new decorative plastics

We have two brand new new acrylic types to announce today: one a solid color, and one a new type of flexible two-tone plastic.

  • Opaque black acrylic: this decorative plastic is a good substitute for clear acrylic. It's useful, for example, when you are making an enclosure that you don't want people to see inside.
  • Flexible engravable silver/black acrylic: This material is similar to our other metallic engravable plastics. It has the advantage of being flexible so that, for example, it can be wrapped around the base of a round trophy.

Steal ideas, don't borrow them

In an essay by the potter Dick Lehman, he makes the point that if you are inspired by someone else's work, you should steal their ideas, not merely borrow them. You see, when you steal something, you make it your own, whereas when you borrow something, it still belongs to the original owner. Borrowing is mere plagiarism. But stealing, standing upon the shoulders of giants, is critical to the creative process.

From the original essay:

If, as some have suggested, there are no new ideas in the ceramics world - only discoveries of new ways to develop or assemble the old ideas - then may we all discover much and be indebted more. Of all our artistic vices, "stealing" is among the least. A more telling character flaw is the laziness associated with "borrowing." May we all pledge to borrow less and steal more.

3 useful tools for choosing materials for your project

We often help our customers figure out which metal alloy or plastic will best suit their design. While we are making steady progress on our FAQ's on materials, I thought I would share a few of the great resources we use to help track down data such as density, strength, and thermal stability. screenshot

First, we have, a website that lets you compare two materials side-by-side, with useful bar graphs to illustrate the differences. For instance, take a look at their page which compares 6061 aluminum vs. acetal plastic.

Machinist-Materials screenshot

Next is Machinist-Materials which contains a lot of good information about materials, including this comparison of various kinds of plastics.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha screenshot

Wolfram Alpha caused a big stir when it launched almost exactly a year ago. While it's not the omniscient machine that many had hoped for, it does have a lot of great information about a variety of metal alloys, as well as polymers.

I did find myself struggling a bit at first, trying to figure out how to look up the properties of various alloys. The best approach I found is to begin by entering the general type of thing you're looking for like "aluminum alloy". Wolfram Alpha will then let you choose from a list of various aluminum alloys. From that list, you can find out that Wolfram Alpha refers to 6061 T6 aluminum alloy as "AA6061-T6", in case you want to look it up again later.

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Big Blue Saw
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Waterjet and Laser Cut Custom Parts.
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3522 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE #145
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (678) WAY-SAW4 (678) 929-7294